Hockey East picks: Jan. 29-Feb. 2

Ties through 65 minutes were the way of Hockey East last weekend as four of the eight games went down as ties with the extra league point decided in a shootout. Five games, in fact, went to overtime, which continues to highlight just how close things are in Hockey East.

Jim last week: 4-0-4
Marisa last week: 3-1-4
Jim to date: 33-12-9
Marisa to date: 29-16-9

January 29-31

UConn vs. Merrimack (Fri. at MC, Sat. at UConn)
Merrimack opened a lot of eyes last weekend with a strong performance on the road against New Hampshire. That came after taking No. 1 Boston College to the brink. At the same time, UConn has had flashes of brilliance this season, which should make for a good series.

Jim’s picks: UConn 3, MC 2; UConn 4, MC 1
Marisa’s picks: UConn 2, MC 1; UConn 3, MC 1

Providence vs. New Hampshire (Fri. at UNH, Sun. at PC)
UNH continues to get players back from injury, but has also struggled to put together 60-minute efforts night-in-and-night-out. Providence has reverted to its early-season struggles of finding offense, scoring just once last weekend in 130 minutes against Massachusetts.

Jim’s picks: PC 3, UNH 2; PC 2, UNH 1
Marisa’s picks: PC 4, UNH 2; PC 3, UNH 1

UMass Lowell vs. Massachusetts (Fri. at UMass, Sat. at UML)
The battle of these sister schools has become quite the rivalry in recent years. This year, with both programs nationally-ranked, it could further enhance this battle. That said, UMass Lowell has played just four games this year and hasn’t played a game in 25 days due to COVID issues. UMass, like Providence, didn’t exactly light the world on fire last weekend. Tough to tell what we get from this series.

Jim’s picks: UMass 3, UML 2; UML 3, UMass 1
Marisa’s picks: UMass 4, UML 1; UMass 5, UML 2

Tuesday, February 2

Boston College at Northeastern
If it’s the first week in February and BC and Northeastern are facing off, you’d expect the game to be at the TD Garden in the annual Beanpot tournament. But with this year’s tournament canceled and both BC and Northeastern without opponents after both BU and Maine had to pause for COVID, these two rivals will meet at historic Matthews Arena instead in what should be a fiery tilt.

Jim’s pick: BC 3, NU 2
Marisa’s pick: BC 4, NU 3