SHARE

Hey! I’m 2-for-2 in Thursday night picks!

Last Weekend (including Thursday): 9-6-2
Season to date: 24-13-3
Win percentage: .705

When your pick percentage is as stunning as mine is over the course of a season, you cling to the little things.

This Week

The CCHA’s 41st season continues with five conference series and one nonconference game. This week’s action began Thursday night with MSU’s 3-0 win over OSU. For my take on that series, see yesterday’s quick pick post. I will tell you here that I called MSU to win last night and OSU to win tonight.

Each CCHA series previewed here is single venue, Friday-Saturday. All games start at 7:05 p.m. local time except the UM-NMU series, which begins at 7:35 p.m.

The single RPI-ND game is tonight at 7:35 p.m., and it’s the inaugural game in Notre Dame’s new home, the Compton Family Ice Arena.

A full slate of CCHA action and the Irish have a new arena. I’m giddy.

BGSU at LSSU Each team swept last weekend — but only the Lakers can claim six points in the CCHA standings going into the series. The Falcons beat Alabama-Huntsville on the road, 2-1 and 3-0, earning junior goaltender Andrew Hammond (1.47 GAA, .931 SV%) his third career shutout. Falcon freshman Ryan Carpenter (3-3–6) is tied for first nationally among rookies in points per game. The Lakers swept Michigan State at home, 5-4 and 3-2; LSSU rookie Chris Ciotti (1-4–5) is right behind Carpenter in the same category. The teams were 1-1-2 last season with the Lakers picking up the extra point in each shootout. They’ll probably split — and I’ll probably call it the wrong way. LSSU 3-1, BGSU 2-1

Miami at FSU The RedHawks split on the road against Colgate last weekend, 4-3 and 3-2 (OT). Junior Reilly Smith recorded a hat trick in Friday’s game, the second of his career in his first game of the season. As usual, seniors Connor Knapp (2.45 GAA, .918 SV%) and Cody Reichard (3.52, .848) split time in net with Reichard earning the win. The Bulldogs shut out Rensselaer twice at home last weekend, 4-0 and 2-0. Freshman C.J. Motte (0.50, .977) and senior Taylor Nelson (1.01, .952) each earned a win. Juniors Kyle Bonis (5-1–6) and Travis Ouellette (5-0–5) have the scoring touch early this season. In early November last season, the Bulldogs took five of six possible points from Miami in Big Rapids. This series is tied all-time 20-20-9 in Ewigleben Arena. Watch them split and me call it the wrong way. FSU 3-2, Miami 3-1

UM at NMU Last week, the Wolverines beat St. Lawrence 10-3 on Thursday night — and that was enough for them to capture the top spot in the USCHO poll. That win was UM’s fourth straight, giving the Wolverines their first 4-0 start since 2005-06. Senior Shawn Hunwick (1.36 GAA, .950 SV%) is the UM starter in net; senior Luke Glendening — who had a hat trick against the Saints — leads UM in goals, but three other Wolverines have three goals each. Because it’s early this is an inflated stat, but it’s worth noting that Michigan is averaging 6.0 goals per game so far, second in the nation behind Minnesota. The Wildcats swept St. Cloud at home, 5-2 and 3-2, with senior Reid Ellingson (1.92, .931) and sophomore Jared Coreau (2.53, .909) each picking up a win. Senior Justin Florek is off to a fast start with four goals. The Wolverines are 9-1-0 against the Wildcats in the last 10 meetings in Marquette. Last season, UM swept NMU in Marquette, 3-2 and 5-0, Feb. 25-26. That shut out was the last regular-season game for both teams, and Hunwick took himself out of the contest with six minutes left to give then-senior Bryan Hogan a share of that win. UM 4-2, 3-2

WMU at UAF Last weekend, the Broncos traveled to New York State and tied ranked Union twice, 2-2 and 3-3. Senior Greg Squires (2-2–4) had both goals in the first contest, the first multi-goal game of his career. Squires’ two goals are five shy of his season total last year. Junior Nick Pisellini (2.90 GAA, .919 SV%) was in net both nights. The Nanooks beat Mercyhurst, 5-2, and Nebraska-Omaha, 4-1, in the Brice Goal Rush — but lost the hardware to rival Alaska-Anchorage on a goal differential. Junior Nik Yaremchuk is off to a fast start for the Nanooks with four goals in four games, five shy of his season total last year. Junior Steve Thompson (2.00, .913) won Friday in his first game since Jan. 23, 2010, giving workhorse senior Scott Greenham (1.67, .926) his first break since then. Greenham picked up the win against UNO. The Broncos must feel like they’re always going to Alaska; it’s their fifth trip in five years to Fairbanks. The Nanooks are 6-2-2 in their last 10 home contests against WMU; last year, though, the Broncos took five of six possible points from the Nanooks in the Carlson Center with a 2-2 tie and shootout point Jan. 7 and a 2-0 win the next night. UAF 3-2, WMU 3-2

RPI at ND

Last weekend, Notre Dame hosted Ohio State to close out the Joyce Center era, winning 5-2 Friday before losing their last-ever game in their old barn Saturday, 4-3 — creating a strange bit of trivia for the Buckeyes, believe it or not. When the Buckeyes ended their tenancy in the OSU Ice Arena in December 1998, they did so with two wins against the Irish; that means that OSU won the closing game in each program’s old venue before each moved into a shiny new arena. Anyway, last weekend the Irish found themselves coming from behind in both games. Junior Mike Johnson (2.46 GAA, .900 SV%) had the win Friday and was in net Saturday for ND’s three third-period goals; the Irish did not look good in front of sophomore Stephen Summerhays (4.61, .821). T.J. Tynan (2-7–9) and Anders Lee (5-3–8) lead ND in scoring so far this season.

The Engineers have scored four goals in four games this season — but they’ve been shut out three times. Last weekend, FSU blanked them in Big Rapids. The problem isn’t between the pipes: junior Bryce Merriam (1.68, .944) and freshman Scott Diebold (1.03, .950) and the RPI defense have combined to allow two goals per game on average. These teams last met in Tampa Dec. 29, 2007, a 3-1 win for the Irish in the third-place game of the Lightning College Hockey Classic.

It’s the first game in Notre Dame’s beautiful new building, which you can read about in Ryan O’Leary’s Compton Center story from earlier this week.

Pick: ND 3-0

  • ???

    How does WMU tie Union 3-2? Another season, another 5 months of Paula’s strange lack of proofreading and/or simply confusing writing.

    • Paula Weston

      Thanks for the heads-up on the typo.  I’m glad that I could help provide some focus for your life’s discontent.

      • !!!

        Paula, every one of your columns has very obvious errors in it. And each week there you are posting an “oops” correction after someone pointed out your mistakes. It hurts the credibilty of you as a writer as well that of USCHO.

        I’m just trying to help. I’d be happy to proofread for you before you post on the site. Lemme know.

        • Mcbrian

          well said ???

      • Kelski_13

        How do you find it so hard to copy box scores down but can manage to copy the work of REAL journalists quite easily?

      • Mcbrian

        Very mature of your reply paula, well done.

    • Kuhn&Friends

      another 5 months of Paula thinking U of M is gods gift to hockey,

  • Anonymous

    So way to wiggle out of picking Yale-Cornell. Something tells me the Red might rack up quite a few points before they return to Lynah and I don’t expect Iles to play poorly again this weekend. Of course I’m incredibly biased on the subject. 3-2 Red in OT.

    • Brian Sullivan

      Oh holy… that was an oversight! My bad! My pick, as of 6:46pm EST, is Yale 3-Cornell 1.

      • Anonymous

        It’s all good, happens to all of us.

  • HellzCowbellz

    I challenge you Brian/Josh! I come from an engineering school, so for those liberal arts folks out there, I will use some pretty technical language. SLU’zers can wikipedia it if they can’t figure out what a division symbol represents. Picks are in the form “Winner (Over) looser” or Win/lose for short.

    Friday:

    Colgate/Brown
    Clarkson/RPI
    Dartmouth/Quin
    Harvard/Princeton
    Union/SLU
    Yale/Cornell

    Saturday.

    Brown/Cornell
    Clarkson/Union
    Dartmouth/Princeton
    Quin/Harvard
    RPI/SLU
    Yale/Colgate

    • Brian Sullivan

       4-2 for you so far, friend… maybe you’ll catch up Saturday night.

    • SLUHOCKEYFAN

      wow looks like u cant judge slu considerin they are tied with clarkson who has only beaten bad teams!!!

      • Anonymous

        Half the ECAC is tied after this one weekend of play.

  • Anonymous

    Wow that was pure dominance. 

  • Well you got Clarkson vs RPI right, dang.  Listening to WRPI (from South Carolina), I got the feeling that the Engineers did not even show up wanting to play.  I hope I hear a better result (RPI alum) tonight.

  • Critsports

    Yo……need to keep your Drewiske’s straight!!!    We wouldn’t mind having Davis anchoring our Defense!!!!

    • Gpr

      Yep. Seriously consider the words of any sports writer who can’t keep his players straight. This guy is a bozo.

  • Leggs2

    Union out of the gate strong. They had a relatively tough opening month (W.Mich-2; UNH, RIT-both on the road)

  • BeaverHockey

    The Beavers beat MSU-Mankato the last time they met.

  • WCHAHockeyBlog Guy

    If the Gophers are going to exercise their demons, the Huskies will win Friday! However, if they’re going to exorcise their demons, the Gophers have a shot. Recent records and stats point to a Husky win Friday and a Gopher win Saturday. Should be a split, but I’m looking for a Husky sweep!

    • Anonymous

      Proofread your comment.

      • WCHAHockeyBlog Guy

        Grow a vocabulary… Exorcise – to expel an evil spirit. Exercise – the act of bringing into play or realizing an action. I’m pretty sure the Gophers don’t want to bring their demons into play. They want get rid of them. Therefor, if the Goohers bring their demons into play tonight, the Huskies will win! If the Gophers get rid of their demons, they’ll win. Grow a vocabulary…

        • Anonymous

          Brilliant explanation. Maybe they should hire you to write columns for USCHO. 

          • Guest

            Maybe they should fire you Goldy!  Nobody likes rodents…

    • WCHA Fan

      I don’t understand this post, either.

    • Fan Man

      Im hoping them Husks win Friday @the huchi but I just cant see it happening….   If they lose bad friday they will not win saturday unless 29, saves 40+ for the shutout!

  • WCHA Fan

    The Gophers will sweep this weekend.  Their defense will be the difference and I think they are a little deeper with all the Husky injuries. 

  • M&G Forever!

    Figures–get out your dictionary.  Nothing wrong with Blog Guy’s comment (except the part about the Husky sweep).

    • WCHAHockeyBlog Guy

      Most likely won’t be a sweep by the Huskies, but I can always hope!

  • UNDFIGHTINGSIOUXSCORING

    UND takes the first of two games! Looking for the sweep tomorrow!

  • Its nice to have that 5 point lead in the conference but next weekend I would expect that Sandelin is going have his team ready to head to Alaska and get 4 points!  This is going to keep the pressure on MN to keep up the hard work!  

    A five point lead in the WCHA is like a 2 goal lead in a game, you can’t get to comfortable!  The Gophers are in the driver seat, just gotta keep in heading in the right direction!  

    Great weekend for the Golden Gophers!

    • Phoenixfyre1313

      Yes, the Gophers have to keep playing hard.  Trips to Denver and Nebraska-Omaha will not be easy.  The home series are not pushovers either.  Bemidji State is down, but playing everyone tough and Wisconsin is always a heated series.  The Gophers need to keep playing strong everynight to stay where they are!

      • This is what I fear most now that they are Ranked #1 in the Nation!  I just hope they don’t fall back on their skates like earlier this year after being in that position!

        • xTEDxTHExREDx

          I believe you are number 2 chief.

          • Gophersforlife

            They just are in the USA Today poll, but only by a little. Bulldogs better kick the crap out of UND. 

  • After Further Review

    They are both… #1 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll

  • Ridingtimes

    The DU vs CC series is always awesome games. If Howe does not start in goal this weekend i see CC in a sweep. Look at the games this year and who was the goaltenders….

    • Timmay

      With that grammar you must be a cc grad.

      • Ridingtimes

        Wow i guess sinces Owens has coached CC and George boy has been at DU..I guess the only thing u have to go on is my grammar..For your information little one i was defending this country so little boys like you can type on here. Oh Yea CC 2 DU 0..LMAO

        • Timmay

          sinces?

  • Spiral

    Problem with your logic Mr Hockey is that UMD has 8 games remaining with 16 points available, not 14. 
    However, after all is said and done, I do agree that the Gophers will win the WCHA crown.  I predict that UMD will take 12 points during the remainder of the schedule and that Minnesota will match that total.

    • Mr Hockey

      Yes my math was off a little, the morning red bull hadn’t kicked in yet…lol. However that being said I was figuring the Gophers points as the same 14 not 16. So either way it will be tough for the Bulldogs to catch them.

  • Gogophs

    Who else thinks the pairwise is B.S regarding both UMTC and UMD

    • Phoenixfyre1313

      You trim down that sentence to the pairwise is B.S.  end of story

  • Scott

    Lowell needs to sweep their final four and hope for some good luck if they want a shot at the regular season title.  I don’t think BC (vs Prov/UVM) or BU (vs UVM/NEU) will drop a single game. Here’s to praying though.

  • BBear94

    Friday’s Lowell game was one of many very close misses for UML.  Dozens of shots just an inch off the target – they put tons of pressure on BU and were not really ever out of the game regardless of the score. They have a lot of fight in them and as BlueLine said I expect good things in the HEA tourney from them.

    Maine, on the other hand, what we learned, David, is that this coaching staff (read Tim Whitehead) still does not know how to prepare this team for each and every game.  They are far too imbalanced – long losing streaks followed by long winning streaks – and again this weekend, as with the Alabama-Huntsville games a few weekends back – they took their opponents for granted and this time it really cost them.

    • Bartneally

      Wow, and you wrote them off 2 months ago

    • bronxbomberz41

      Don’t bother giving UMass any credit here.  They only outscored the Black Bears 7-2 when you combine the 3rd period of Game 1 with Game 2. UMass can play a little, but they aren’t a powerhouse.  However, they could be a one Doug Carr type goalie away from being a top 4 challenger like Lowell.  You take  Cannata away from MC or Carr away from Lowell then those teams are at the same level as UMass.  

      • Beanpotandbeyond

        great point..Umass needs to change their recruiting philosophy to a more well rounded approach that addresses team defense.

    • TheU

      BBear you are a joke.  I take nothing you write seriously

      • bronxbomberz41

        yeah he totally is.  i gain small amounts of pleasure making him look foolish in the comments, but i don’t know how effective it is.  at the very least i feel better about myself.

  • noonan18

    Did I read that correctly? Maine is 3 points out of first place and they are not considered a title contender by this guy? When they have 5 winable games to round out the season? Really? If you seriously think Maine is out of this, or even Merrimack, you need to take your BU/BC blinders off. What a ridiculous comment.

    The way everyone has been up and down all season, BU’s and BC’s games against Vermont are not gimme’s and like I mentioned above, Maine’s last 5 games could all be wins if they play like the did against BU/BC in their weekend sweeps. Does anyone who follows Hockey East really take this guy seriously? 

    • If Maine actually had 5 winnable games left, then you’d have a point, but they only have 3 winnable games because they only have 3 games left period while UML, BC, and BU all have 4 (especially BC/BU…UML at least has to contend with Merrimack). 

    • Joe C

      This is all REGULAR season title talk. If you are expecting BC and BU to tank then next four games, then it is possible, with UML/Merrimack splitting. As a BU fan, I can see BU playing poorly with yet another off-ice crisis. I do not see BC getting any less than 7 points out of the 8 possible. They are on fire.

      It might be a different story come Hockey East playoffs. The top 5 teams all have a great shot at winning the autobid.

  • BBear94

    Jim thinks Maine is having a “year of destiny”, but is afraid they cannot win the backside of the weekend versus Northeastern?  Good grief do you read this column before it’s published?!

    • Idontknow87

      Good Call BBear94. Still think Maine shouldn’t be worried about NU?

  • BlacBear Fan

    Come on! Just because the Black Bears lost once to the Minutemen doesn’t mean they are not up to par with BC, BU, UML, and Merrimack. Maine is sitting solidly at an 8th place tie in the PairWise rankings, while Northeastern is tied for 30TH in the PairWise. I pick Maine to get home ice, not because I am a Maine resident and Maine hockey season ticket holder, but because Maine is really coming around. They have an amazing first line with Spencer Abbott, Brian Flynn, and Joey Diamond (who by the way, has learned not to take so many penalties.) Maine has also started to generate scoring outside the first line from a promising freshman class with Cerretani, Higgins, and Parker. Maine can also score on the power play now. They have solid defense; Will O’Neil and Ryan Hegarty. Not to mention sophomore goaltender Dan Sullivan can really play. I wouldn’t count Maine out yet Dave.

    • Joe C

      As a BU alum, I agree that there are FIVE closely-matched teams, BU, BC, Lowell, Merrimack and Maine in no particular order.

      If forced to rationally choose (which is hard for a BU fan to do with respect to BC), I would say that right now, BC is the favorite. After that, the rest of the top five can win out all the way to the Hockey East title to flaming out in the first round of the Hockey East playoffs. All five teams are flawed, but it appears that BC has possibly figured its major flaw, goaltending.

    • TylerDurdenMaine

      you don’t think maybe Diamond is taking fewer penalties because it is near the end of the season and the refs have kinda swallowed their whistles?

    • BBear94

      Yes, the team is playing well, the recent UMass debacle notwithstanding.  And they could conceivably finish anywhere from 2nd through 5th in HEA.

      However, I have to strongly disagree with you re: Sullivan.  He is not a DI-quality goalie and certainly not up to Maine’s standards.  Wait till next year when you get a look at Matt Morris and you’ll see what I mean –

      • TeamOfDestiny12

        WOW!!!!!! Seams like the first positive things we have heard from BBear all season. And there is even an indirect kudos to Tim Whitehead in there in your excitement about his goalie recruit Matt Morris!! And they have some great offensive potential coming up next season too. Maybe the present and future for this team is not so dismal after all. As far as the all important present, BlacBear Fan sums it up pretty well. LETS GO BLUE!! Take care of business on the road tonight!!! Finish strong. 

        • BBear94

          Matt Morris was recruited to Dubuque by Jim Montgomery, where he arrived needing some serious coaching – much like Dan Sullivan.  However, after a major committment from Coach Montgomery and Grant Standbrook (yes, that Grant Standbrook) he’s developing nicely.  Nothing to do with Timmay everything to do with Jimmy (and Grant).

          If only Sullivan were getting the same great coaching at Maine…

      • Black bears all the way

        Are you stupid? Dan Sullivan not a d1 quality goalie. Ok are we talking about the same dan sullivan that as a freshman broke maine’s record of consecutive shutout time? passing the great jimmy howard? the same dan sullivan that is 17-7-3 rightnow? you are a fool. I agree he has his struggling points, but to say that he is not a d1 goali you are just dumb. he has beat bc, bu, umass lowell. has he been a little shaky sure, but what goalie isn’t?? he beat 2 of the best goalies in the nation ( carr from umass-lowell, and kieran millan from bu) bc’s goalies have struggled this year so I can’t say he beat a better goalie in those games. But before you make such an absurd statement look at the facts fool

        • BBear94

          Wow, easy little fella.  If you can’t handle a differing opinion without acting like a 3rd-grader, then don’t post here –

          Being the nice guy that I am, and very knowledgeable on all things college hockey (haha), I will say this. Sullivan COULD BECOME a DI goalie, if he had someone actually coaching him. David Alexander a goalie coach? Surely you jest…

      • MaineHockeyGuy2

        was lookin at the stats sullivan is not in top-27 for gaa or top-23 for save %.  uscho doesn’t show anymore.  sullivan also tied for 33rd in shut outs so he not in top 50% of goalies in country based on stats. 

        remember king delguidice snow dunham allison michaud howard bishop boy those guys were solid in net we need that type goalie again. hope morris pans out.

  • BlacBear Fan

    BBear 94: Yes, Sullivan may not be D1 quality, but he has played some very good games.

    TylerDurdenMaine: Yes I have to agree with you on that. Did you see Diamond getting the extra minutes for cross-checking the referee? Maybe I stand corrected.

    One of the reasons why Maine lost the Saturday night game is because of the poor Hockey East Officiating. Fyrer and Keenan were not calling obvious penalties, and they were making bad calls against Maine. Of course, Hockey East Officials always know how to ruin a great game. The four Hockey East schools outside of Massachusetts always suffer against teams from Massachusetts because of the refs. Here is a list:

    HATES MAINE
    ———————-
    Head:
     Kevin Shea (overuses the EMBELLISHMENT call)
     Dave Hansen
     Scott Hansen
     Tom Fyrer
     Kevin Keenan
    Linesmen:
     Chris Aughe
     Bob Bernard
     Mark Sullivan

    Fair Referees (All the referees on this list, the Boston schools think are unfair just because the Boston schools are always used to being favored.)
    —————————————————————————————
    Head:
    3. John Gravallese: I might have ranked him a bit higher if he reffed a few more Maine games, always keeps the calls fair and minimal.

    2. Jeff Bunyon: Keeps the calls fair. Also met him in person; a really nice guy.

    1. Tim Benedetto: Really nice guy, keeps the calls fair and minimal for ALL teams.

     

    • Hockeyeastforever99_99

      Jeff Bunyon is an absolute ****, choose your expletive.

  • Guest

     Go Warriors!  Beat the River Hacks!

  • Jerry York for life

    “Wait until next year”  This seems to be the war cry for Maine and UNH every season. 
    A BC win this afternoon combined with a BU loss would make for smooth sailing to the HE title next friday
    Go Eagles! 

  • Jonidman

    “desimiation?”  Does this mean to become un-apemanlike?

  • Irish Spectre

    Having won a paltry 3 out of 23 games in the conference going into the weekend, Vermont was a made-to-order opponent for the character challenged Terriers after the week they had.  Frankly, the other way to look at it would be to suggest that BU needing OT on Sat. to beat an anemic UVM means that they ARE in fact showing the effects of their unhappy extracurriculars.

    Save the hat-tipping until first seeing how BU fares this final, upcoming weekend vs. Northeastern, which has a habit of rising to BU games to begin with, and is fighting for its playoff life to boot!

    • BG

      Or you could look at the fact that they pulled the goalie, scored to tie the game, and win in OT was a character defining moment.

      UVM has beaten 3 top-10 teams this year, a W is not a given.  BU beat UVM 5-0 the night before if you were looking for a beatdown.

  • SDS

    If Northeastern does not make the HE playoffs, they will do so despite beating Michigan in Ann Arbor, Minnesota in Minneapolis (NU winning the Mariucci Classic), and sweeping a pair from Notre Dame in South Bend, when UND was ranked #2. Ouch.