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This week, we welcome yet another victim to the slaughter: Mr. Benjamin Davis. A former equipment manager at Clarkson (class of ’03), Davis feels he has the hockey savvy to take down your loyal puck pundit.

We’ll see about that.

Prediction precision

Last week: 8-1-0 (.889)

Season record: Me: 61-29-11 (.658)

Guest guessers: 38-31-6 (.547)

Head to head: Sullivan 5, Guests 2*

Keep the challenges coming; who’s next? ECACWriter@USCHO.com for the chance to submit your own picks.

This week

All times Eastern

Saturday, December 18

Vermont at St. Lawrence – 7:00

Vermont hasn’t been having a strong year, or really a strong couple of years since they made the Frozen Four in ’09. At 2-8-4 overall, the Catamounts are the second-lowest-scoring team in the country (beating Harvard by a significant margin nonetheless) with 2.07 goals per game. Their defense is in the bottom 10 nationally as well (3.43 goals against/game), they’re falling short of 15 percent on the power play and well short of 80 percent on the ‘kill. All that said, SLU resides in the bottom half of all of the same national categories except on the PK (85.7 percent, tied for 12th), and the Saints’ 3-8-3 record isn’t exactly putting Vermont’s results to shame. UVM just won a thriller at Dartmouth, so they might be riding a lap-pool wave, but I’ll give the edge to the team that has been a little bit better (and is playing at home, of course): 3-2 SLU.

BD: Both teams are struggling the first half of the 2010-11 season. Vermont did come off a huge road win at Dartmouth but St. Lawrence is always tough at home. I don’t really want to choose it this way but St. Lawrence in a close one 3-2.

Colgate at Robert Morris – 7:05

Colgate beat Army, but The Brown Rule hangs above them like the Sword of Damocles. This is not your run-of-the-mill ECAC-AHA matchup, either: Colgate is obviously struggling, but Bobby Mo’ is leading the Atlantic in league points as well as overall record (10-4-2). The way this season is going – for each side – I’m picking RMU, 4-2.

BD: Colgate only being winners of 1 in their last 9 are up against a tough Robert Morris squad. If the Raiders want any chance in winning they need to keep the Colonials under control in the 3rd period where the Colonials are outscoring their opponents by 13 (and the Raiders are a -6). Robert Morris in this weekend’s opener 6-2.

Union at Western Michigan – 7:30

WMU is having a pretty average season in almost every sense: they’re mediocre in every statistical category, including record. Union is clearly having an exceptional season, though there’s always more to be done. The one thing that gives me pause is that this is a home game for the Broncos, who are 5-3-1 in Kalamazoo, while the Dutchmen are a mere 2-3-1 on the road. I’m going to give Union (and it’s drool-inducing power play) a shot in this one: 4-2 in Game 1.

BD: A 720 mile bus trip will take a toll on any team no matter how good they are. Union can only hope for some penalties against Western Michigan to put the nations best power play on the ice. I still have to go against Union. Western Michigan in the opener 4-2.

Sunday, December 19

U.S. National Junior Team at Rensselaer – 4:00

Exhibition

Union at Western Michigan – 4:00

Round 2: Do I pick a split? If so, did I pick it the right way? I am going to put my faith in Union to do right by the ECAC and prove some of the haters wrong. (Not that they’ll admit it, of course.) 5-3 Dutch in the matinee.

BD: Union gets its legs back in this one and will not get swept on the weekend. Union 4-1 winners.

Colgate at Robert Morris – 4:05

Now that I think about it, I don’t have any hard-and-fast rules about how a team gets out from under The Brown Rule… all I’ve ever said is that they have to prove that they can win with some consistency. The Raiders have certainly not achieved that yet (though Bourdon, Day, Smith and Larkin are giving it their best shots). 3-1 Colonials.

BD: This game is a little closer then Friday nights blowout but the Raiders are swept again on the weekend. Colonials 3-1

If you like the Ottawa Senators… and/or hate NESN’s Jack Edwards… we should talk. Find me on Twitter at SullivanHockey.

  • WMU has been in the basement so long when Culhane was the coach, you expected them to never see daylight. The Broncos can beat anyone when they stop getting dumb penalities, I think when Frank moved on he took the self destruct component with him…he did know how to hit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBtcM_uj5zQ
    A new coach and look Kuhn is it net…holy cow..Blashill actually started him, Culhane would have never done that.

    Lets recap for an average team
    ..
    Swept Union..overratted..
    Spilt Miami, Northern, LSSU, Ferris,
    and is 7-1 with East Coast teams…

    If WMU is average this year exactly how many ranked team do they need to beat to get out of that category?

  • The Captain

    As a die hard wildcat fan, I agree that UNH’s season success will be judged upon what they do in March. HE regular season titles are nice but haven’t amounted to anything as of late. Growing up in the great state of Maine, I’ve heard the old University of No Hardware cry too many times to count. It’s warranted-yes, but I second the notion of living in the present. As of today, Umile’s squad will most likely be dancing as a #1 in their home state avoiding a matchup with the Eagles while the Black Bears will be out snowmobiling in Orono. As far as I’m concerned, Bears fans can continue with their favorite no hardware chants, but if I were a black bear I’d be more concerned with my hockey team who has not been to the NCAA tournament in 3 years looking to be 4. The Maine program is steadily falling off the college hockey map as they struggle to recruit against the Boston Powerhouses with better programs, coaches, and facilities. Believe me Bears, I enjoy seeing Maine come tournament time – they are/were a staple of college hockey. But take a good look in the mirror and evaluate this year’s team and your program as a whole as of today – not the past. On a side note, the Northeastern Huskies WILL win the Beanpot for the first time since 1988. Go NU!

  • SiouxAlumDenver

    I would say IF Michigan Tech were to steal one from UND it would be this weekend, not next. And it would be the Saturday game. I think UND takes all four games, but there is no way Tech is taking a game in Grand Forks during the playoffs in my opinion. The Ralph will be rocking.

    • FightingSioux4ever

      They ended a 14 game unbeaten streak in 09. In the Ralph. I think that Sioux take all four, but Tech proved in Denver a few weeks back that they can pull off a surprise win, too. This Sioux team is just too good for that to happen this year.

  • Matt4466

    Is is possible the gophers and badgers could meet in the playoffs next week? If so what is the scenario?

    • Omaha

      Too many scenarios to spell out. Especially for someone unwilling to do it themselves.

    • lakeshoe

      Here’s one Sioux fan hoping the rodents get SCSU for the first round. This is the best case scenario for MN to miss the Final 5. SCSU takes 2 of 3 and tDon likely doesn’t get an extension.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think ND has anything to play for here, way from home, in what will probably be a blase’ environment. I would not be shocked at all for MT to come of this weekend with at at least a point. Trap games.

  • LuckyLou

    If UW was to take 3 pts. from CC and SCSU swept the pioneers……wouldn’t the Huskies have home ice?

  • Anonymous

    UNO leads the nation in shutouts (6) and their goaltending is “average”?

    Plus, Faulkner has taken a shutout into the 3rd period of 12 games (more than 1/3 of UNO’s entire schedule), and UNO’s goaltending is “average”?

    Right.

    How about, if we had better defensemen and took a few less penalties we’d have the best goaltending in the NCAA? That sounds a lot more like it to me.

    If Faulkner isn’t the WCHA goaltender of the year, there’s something really wrong here.

    • Saara

      Faulkner won’t be goaltender of the year because sorry but the WCHA doesn’t have that award. We have a “goaltending champion” which goes to the goalie with the best goals against average in league play, and it’s looking like that will be Aaron Dell. So sorry. Faulkner will have to settle for *maybe* one of the all-wcha awards.

    • Omaha

      As a UNO fan, I almost made the same post. But his GAA is 2.50 and save percentage is 91.1. Those are fair numbers but there are 6 other WCHA goalies ahead of him in the same categories and having a similar amount of games. So that’s middle of the pack and does not equate to goaltender of the year. Don’t get me wrong, he can steal games. I’ve seen it numerous times this year. And if he gets on a roll, UNO has a good chance to do some damage.

  • siouxfanforlife

    Why is it that all season long they don’t give tech a chance in heck to win anything, but all of a sudden they are predicting a win against the Sioux in one of the upcoming two weekends? I understand they beat us two years ago in the Ralph, but I firmly believe that this year the Sioux are better than they were two years ago, and at the same time I think Tech is worse than two years ago. True, upsets can always happen, but I think the Sioux are just too deep of a team and playing too well this time of year for that to happen. Long story short, I’m wondering why they picked a team that is #1 in every poll and #2 in the pairwise to be one of the few teams to drop one against Tech?

  • Old Time Hockey

    “Wait until next week when the series will most likely go three.” That is the best laugh I have had in a long time

  • bigskyvikes

    I dont care, just cant wait to get there, hockey hockey hockey!!! GO SIOUX!!

  • Jeffffyb

    CC played and won more games against tougher competition. That’s why they’re ranked higher than the Gophers. Check out the Pairwise Rankings.

  • Guest

    This article would be better if they knew the name of BSU’s coach, it’s Tom Serratore…Frank is his brother.

  • Markoak2000

    So proud of these Michigan Wolverines, I have watched them be one of the top rated teams early in the year, they went through a mid-season slump, then went on amazing run late in the year to end up in the championship game, and regardless of win or lose it I know they deserve nothing but high praise for where they made it.