Happy holiday weekend, one and all! I hope that you’re able to enjoy some quality time with people and things you love — like the CCHA.

Because of the holiday, the picks are abbreviated.

Paula’s picks

Last week, including Tuesday: 5-4-3 (.541)
Season to date: 53-34-13 (.695)

I hate the wrong-way splits.

This week

This week we have two conference series, one nonconference series, one team entertaining two different non-league foes in single games, and Miami in the Denver Cup. Ferris State, Northern Michigan, Ohio State and Western Michigan are off this weekend. Days and times are noted, and all times are local.

ND at LSSU The Irish played two teams to OT this past week, beating Boston College 3-2 at home Friday and tying with Western Michigan on the road 2-2 Tuesday. The Lakers traveled to Western New York and tied Canisius 2-2 Saturday before beating the Golden Griffins 4-2 Sunday. ND was 4-1-0 against LSSU last season; that includes two regular-season wins and a playoff series. This series pits Notre Dame’s 15th-best power play nationally (.215) against the Lakers’ sixth-best (.902) penalty kill. The Lakers are allowing just 2.14 goals per game on average, period. This series gives the Irish a chance to overtake the first-place Buckeyes and the Lakers a chance to catch them. Friday-Saturday, 7:05 p.m. Picks: ND 3-2, 4-2

UAF at BGSU With a split at home against Ferris State last weekend, the Nanooks finally registered their first CCHA win of the season — but not for lack of trying. The win came Friday (ruining the way I picked a split, thank you very much) in the form of a 2-0 shutout. The Falcons took two points from Miami on the road with a Friday loss and Saturday tie plus shootout point. Alaska is 11-4-1 against BG since Mar. 11, 2005. These teams are tied for last place in the CCHA standings with five points each. Friday-Saturday, 7:05 p.m. Picks: UAF 3-2, BGSU 4-2

UMN at MSU With the College Hockey Showcase a thing of the past, it’s nice to see the Golden Gophers and the Spartans filling in the gap with an out-and-out series. Each team split last weekend, Minnesota with St. Cloud State and Michigan State with Northern Michigan. UMN’s nation-leading offense is averaging 4.36 goals per game and the Gophers are third-best in the nation defensively (1.71). Friday and Saturday, 7:05 p.m. Picks: UMN 4-2, 4-2

Miami vs. Providence and Denver Providence, tied for fifth in Hockey East, lost to Northeastern in its only game last weekend, Friday night. Denver is tied for fourth in the WCHA, and the Pioneers beat Nebraska-Omaha 7-3 before tying the Mavericks 3-3 last weekend. The RedHawks are 2-3-0 all-time against the Friars, 3-4-0 all time against the Pioneers. Miami brings an unbeaten streak of 4-0-2 into this weekend after defeating and tying Bowling Green at home. Friday 4:37 p.m.; Saturday 7:07 p.m. Picks: Miami 3-2, Denver 4-3

Northeastern and Union at UM Northeastern is tied for fifth in Hockey East after beating both Providence and Vermont last weekend. Union is tied for fourth in the ECAC and last played Tuesday, Nov. 15, a 5-1 road win over Rensselaer. The Wolverines are stinging from a two-week dominance by the state of Ohio; their current winless streak (0-3-1) includes a loss and tie in Oxford two weekends ago and a home sweep last week at the unlikely hands of Ohio State. In the old days, I would have automatically said that this was bad news for the next Michigan opponents, but after the last weekend, I’m not so sure. The Wolverines are 3-2-0 all-time against Northeastern, and the Dutchmen and Wolverines have never met. Friday 7:35 p.m.; Sunday 3:05 p.m. Yes, homer picks. Picks: UM 4-2, 3-2

  • G4456mm


    Enjoy reading your column. Interesting split at LSSU this weekend. Do you know what the Lakers Saturday game record is so far this year? Do you use this kind of information in making your picks?

  • well that is foolish, Smith might be good but scoring a goal per game while playing in an inferior league doesn’t help.  defense is non existent as is scoring and im positive that if he had a full schedule against the WCHA or possibly Hockey East  he wouldnt produce as he does.  Stop looking at goals and start watching tape.  there are more stats to figure in when winning the hobey.    Frattin deserved it last year as he dominated weaker teams and stood out on the ice as a premier hockey player. All said in done  I hope Smith does win it, but so far I don’t see him deserving it.

  • Guest

    Frattin deserved it last year? LOL. Miele’s stat line was ridiculous and looking at the CCHA this year it is even more impressive since no one is even coming close to that mark. 

    As for the article, saying have 1G/game is so much better than 1A/game seems a bit out there. Yes, scoring goals leads to wins but you can’t get assists without someone else on the team scoring goals so either way you are contributing to the scoring. 

    Good luck to Austin Smith going forward he is a great player. 

  • Skennys2145

    @Aaron G.- “Defense is non-existent”??
    Three of the top six teams in the country are in the ECAC- Union, Quinnipiac, and Cornell!
    I guess that now you’ll say that they don’t face the best offenses so those numbers don’t mean anything.

  • ECAC is where hobey played

    To say that Smith is doing it against “inferior” competition is just crap.  Look at the latest “Scoring Defense” leaders.  Smith has played against 5 of the top 8 defenses.  (Ferris State, Quinnipiac, Cornell, Miami and Merrimack).  Oh yea he will be facing the top defense in the country this week, so that will be 6 of 8.  The rest of the country is right, weak competition. 

    And remember that Quinnipiac shut him out on the road but he had two GOALS against them at home. 

    Lastly, I think the biggest hurdle he has is that he plays for a school which has 2000 students and does not have the entire STATE of New York behind him.  The other players have larger fan bases because everyone in the state is cheering for them, not just a small private school in upstate ny.

    • ECACFan

      He actually had 3 against Quinnipiac at home. 

    • I agree with you on the size of school and not getting nation wide recognition!  It’s terrible hard to know exactly how good these players are when there is not much besides online media that covers the sport!  (It’s getting better though!)

      Curiosity is killing me so I have to ask.  You obviously follow the ECAC so I would assume you live somewhere in the north eastern part of the country.  So my question to you is do you hear much press about the players in the Atlantic or the WCHA.   I  would assume (and you know what they say) that you probably hear quite a bit about Hockey East  and ECAC!  

      Just curious!  I have met some people recently online that have shown me that there are tons of great match-ups and stories that are out there about teams and players that I had never heard about!  I think its amazing that in this day in age you would have no idea that these great college hockey little tid bits are out there and know one has a clue!  

  • Puckmaster

    You’re all kidding right?  Look at Smith’s contribution to his TEAM.  The percentage of goals scored and points.  He and Wagner are playing at a different level right now and yes Smith does deserve the Hobey if anyone does.  One more point, 6 goals while a man down, how great is that?

  • ColSkate

    If you’ve seen Austin in person on the ice you should know there’s a lot more to his play than just goals and assists. Take a look at how he anticipates the play, has extremely good vision for where his teammates are and how scoring chances can develop from opponent’s broken up passes. His quickness and smarts on the ice are why he’s leading the nation in SHG. That SHG stat says as much about why he deserves the Hobey as his goals/assists totals. He may be the most opportunistic player at the D-1 level. And this would hold up were he playing for Duluth or St. Lawrence.

  • Unionbob

    ecac not a good league?…
    and where did Hobey come from????

  • Zekebud

    Clarkson beating Yale is the upset pick of the week? They’re ahead of Yale in the ECAC standings, right? Did I miss something here?

  • ColSkate

    #1, #2, #3 teams playing in the Capital District. Does it get any better than this? Gonna be a great weekend of hockey…

  • Leggs2

    Looking for some help to better understand the workings of the PWR.  If a team has previously beaten a team that is ahead of it in the rankings, in general does that team want that higher team to win or lose future games?
    For example, Union has beaten both Merrimack and Michigan, both of which are ahead of Union in the PWR.  Would it be better for Union if Merrimack and Michigan lose or win upcoming games? Unless Union can move up ahead of those teams, is it better that those teams win, so that Union has in effect beaten a “better” team?  Or does it even matter?
    BU plays Merrimack this weekend. Both are ahead of Union in the PWR, but Union has beaten Merrimack.  Would Union prefer that BU or Merrimack win? Of course, if the results put either behind Union in the PWR, that would be the preference.  But if both stay ahead of Union in the PWR regardless, which is more beneficial for Union, Merrimack or BU winning?  Or, again, does it even matter?
    Hope this makes some sense.
    Grateful for any help so I can better understand this stuff. (Old age takes its toll !!!!)