It’s me and former Clarkson team manager Benjamin Davis, sparring over more than two dozen games straddling this New Year transition. He beat me to end 2010, and he beat me in the first half of the Week 13 picks, 8-2-1 to 5-4-1. Let’s keep the momentum going… or at least, keep his momentum going…
This week (continued)
All times Eastern
Saturday, January 1
Harvard vs. Army – 4:00 Sheraton/TD Bank Catamount Cup; Burlington, Vt.
I can’t remember if I invoked The Brown Rule on Harvard… in doing a quick search, no, I have not. Which is good, because the only team that has fallen to a Brown Rule invokee has been Army. 3-1 Crimson.
BD: This is Harvards first game since December 8th but this is Army’s 3rd game in 5 days. Will Harvard be to rested or will Army be to tired. Neither team has very impressive stats though this portion of the season so this will be a toss up game. Going to go with the better record in this one. Army 4-1 winners.
Brown vs. Boston University – 4:05 Shillelagh Tournament; Hoffman Estates, Ill.
Will BU be gunning for Zolnierczyk’s kneecaps after his shameful leg-check of BU’s Clendening in November? Brown looked a lot less potent in the closing weeks of its 2010 campaign (0-2-3 in its last five); the Terriers may be out for blood. 4-2 BU.
BD: Brown has played competitively vs many good teams but can’t pull out the wins. If Brown can hold up through the 2nd period where the Terriers are a +6 goal differential and the Bears are a -9 they Bears might stand a chance. BU is to strong overall though in this game. Terriers 3-1 winners.
Union vs. Bemidji State – 6:00 Dodge Holiday Classic; Minneapolis, Minn.
Adam Presizniuk will finally return for Union this weekend, and none too soon: the Dutchmen offense hasn’t been the same without him. Here’s to reinforcements: 5-2 Union.
BD: The 12th ranked team in the nation are looking start the new year out on the right foot. After losing 3 straight (if my prediction proves right from Friday night) Nate Leaman will put the pressure on the Dutchman to get a W vs what should be an easy Badgers team. Bemidji States only hope is to stay out of the penalty box and play even
hockey the whole game. I don’t foresee that one. Union gets the win 5-2.
Sunday, January 2
Brown vs. Minnesota State – TBA Shillelagh Tournament; Hoffman Estates, Ill.
This will be an interesting matchup, as this is Brown’s only game against a western team in the regular season. Will MSUM take the Bears too lightly, or will Brown underestimate ‘Kato’s abilities in light of a poor record against a difficult schedule? I’ll take Brown here, though it’s with the biggest grain of salt you’ve ever seen. 3-2 Bruno.
BD: Going out on a limb in this one. Brown wins 2-1.
St. Lawrence at New Hampshire – 4:00
SLU is usually good for a Hockey East upset or two each year… but at 1-4-2 on the road, perhaps not this time. 5-3 Wildcats.
BD: Some of St. Lawrence’s biggest upsets in previous years have come against New Hampshire both in Canton and Durham. This is the first game since the break and the game is in Durham so I don’t think there is going to be an upset this year. Wildcats win 4-3.
Holy Cross at Yale – 4:00
More cannon fodder for the Bulldogs? Of course, so long as they don’t pull another Air Force. 6-1 Elis.
BD: This game looks lopsided on paper and no way that Holy Cross should have a chance against the #1 team in the nation. Even though this is the 3rd game in 5 days for the Crusaders this game will be closer then it should be. Yale wins 3-2.
Harvard at Vermont – 7:00 Sheraton/TD Bank Catamount Cup; Burlington, Vt.
Vermont has two wins this year… but its most recent was only two games ago, at Dartmouth. Impressive, if a bit stunning. Harvard has two wins as well, but the Crimson hasn’t seen a W since early November. Catamounts at home? You’d better believe it: 4-1 UVM.
BD: This is going to end up being the 3rd place game for this tournament. Vermont is going to pick up another vs ECAC. Catamounts big at home 5-2.
Monday, January 3
Minnesota-Duluth at Clarkson – 7:00
Clarkson ended the first half (well, first third, really) on a roll, while UMD was sliding. North Country resurgence? I’m biting my lip as I say this, but hey, why not: ‘Tech in another ECAC upset, 3-2.
BD: The 4th ranked team in the nation comes to Potsdam to take on the Knights who are doing better then most expected following last season. Clarkson would gain lots of national respect with a couple of good showings. Clarkson is going to have to come out and play a complete 60 minutes game and stay out of the penalty box ( though they have scored 5 short-handers on the year). M-D might be a bit tired after there trip and Clarkson has to take advantage of that. Golden Knights win the opener 3-2.
Quinnipiac at Princeton – 7:00
Princeton just won the UConn Hockey Classic, and QU just swept UNO in impressive fashion. Real strong statements by each team (though QU’s was clearly against tougher competition). Edge to the home side, when all else is equal: 3-1 Tigers.
BD: Both Teams are coming off weekend games and neither team had to travel very far. Quinnipiac needs a win to stay in the hunt for home ice in the playoffs. Having already played 10 league game the Bobcats have more pressure in this one as half their regular season will be over. Princeton in this one though, 4-2.
St. Lawrence at Sacred Heart – 7:00
There is nothing to be said about this one: SLU, 5-2.
BD: Sacred Heart just doesn’t come close in this one. Having given up 9 goals in their last 2 games before break I don’t see much changing. St. Lawrence might be banged up from their game @ UNH but that doesn’t stop them much. SLU 5-1 winners.
Tuesday, January 4
Minnesota-Duluth at Clarkson – 7:00
Wanna super-size that upset? Make it a double. 4-3 Clarkson.
BD: At a quiet Cheel Arena with no students or pep band in town to keep the team going, and after a close one on Monday night Clarkson might not be able to hold off the 4th ranked Bulldogs. Bulldogs come back in the closer 3-1.