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Holee smokes! I’ve shaved two games off Jim’s lead. Something good must have been in my holiday eggnog.

Dave last week: 7-3-3
Jim last week: 5-5-3
Dave’s record-to-date: 100-46-25
Jim’s record-to-date: 103-43-25

Here are this week’s picks:

Friday, Jan. 8

Providence at Boston College 
Dave’s pick:  I think there’s a razor-thin difference between these two clubs, so I’m going for home ice deciding the opener in this pivotal series.
BC 3, PC 2 (OT)
Jim’s pick: With Demko out, I have concerns about Boston College this weekend.
PC 4, BC 2

Massachusetts-Lowell at New Hampshire
Dave’s pick: The River Hawks have lost three of their last four, making it really tough to pick them against a surging UNH club. To my mind, this is the most difficult call of the weekend. By a whisker, I’m going with the Cats.
UNH 3, UML 2 (OT)
Jim’s pick: I haven’t picked against Lowell that often this season. But teams with a dominant line have given the River Hawks fits and that’s exactly what UNH has.
UNH 4, UML 3

Merrimack at Cornell
Dave’s pick: This looks like a fourth straight loss for the Warriors.
CU 3, MC 1
Jim’s pick: Merrimack’s struggles continue with a difficult trip to Lynah.
CU 3, MC 1

Colgate at Maine
Dave’s pick: The Black Bears have taken only a single point out of their last four games, but all of those have been against UNH, a team I see as a sleeping tiger that’s been awakened. Given Maine’s success at home (4-2-1), I’m going with an end to its losing streak.
Maine 2, Colgate 1
Jim’s pick: Colgate has been a hit or miss team this season. I have a feeling in Orono it will be a miss.
Maine 3, Colgate 1

Northeastern at St. Lawrence 
Dave’s pick: I really think the Huskies are going to turn things around, but going on the road against the 10-5-2 Saints is a tough way to do it.
SLU 3, NU 2 (OT)
Jim’s pick: I agree with Dave. There will be a point in the season that NU starts playing better hockey. But I can’t pick that it will be this game.
SLU 4, NU 2

Desert Hockey Classic

Michigan Tech vs Connecticut 
Dave’s pick: This one’s a tough call and not just because it’s Huskies vs. Huskies. UConn has enjoyed some really high moments, such as sweeping Lowell a month ago, but also some low ones. I think our Huskies fall just short.
MTU 3, UConn 2 (OT)
Jim’s pick: This is a winnable game for UConn, but after losing both at the Mariucci, I’m not positive this is one where I can pick them.
MTU 4, UConn 2

Dartmouth at Vermont
Dave’s pick: The Catamounts make it four in a row.
UVM 2, DU 1
Jim’s pick: Dartmouth has started well in the second half but so has Vermont. Thus, I’m going with home ice to dictate.
UVM 4, DU 2

Western Michigan at Notre Dame
Dave’s pick: I suppose I should pick a third-straight tie for the Irish, but they’ve quietly put together a six-game unbeaten streak. And the win that kicked that off was 3-1 over these same Broncos. So give me an order of some deja vu,
UND 3, WMU 1
Jim’s pick: Notre Dame has the ability to be the best team in Hockey East in the second half. So I’m picking them until they give me a reason to do otherwise.
UND 5, WMU 2

Saturday, Jan. 9

Boston College at Providence
Dave’s pick: Round 2 of this heavyweight battle goes to the Friars back on their home ice.
PC 2, BC 1 (OT)
Jim’s pick: This is a tough matchup for BC in a weekend where it could use some wins.
PC 3, BC 1

Massachusetts at Boston University 
Dave’s pick: UMass finally broke a winless streak that had dated back to Nov. 7, defeating Army West Point, 2-1.  But I still can’t muster confidence the Minutemen can topple BU at home, where it’s 7-2-1 this season.
BU 4, UMass 1
Jim’s pick: One wonders if BU’s win on Thursday after Harvard in dramatic fashion will jumpstart consistency in this team.
BU 4, UMass 2

Merrimack at Cornell 
Dave’s pick: I’m afraid it’s a double dip this weekend for Merrimack, making it five straight losses.
CU 4, MC 2
Jim’s pick: I agree with Dave. Bad timing to have a tough road trip for these Warriors.
CU 4, MC 3

Colgate at Maine
Dave’s pick: This matchup begs for a split, but Homer Hendrickson gives the Black Bears a sweep.
UM 3, CU 2
Jim’s pick: I am actually going with the split here. Hard to sweep without a very good team and I’m not sure Maine is that team right now.
CU 3, UM 2

Northeastern at St. Lawrence
Dave’s pick: As I said above, I do think Northeastern will turn it around, but the Saints at home is the wrong place to do it.
SLU 3, NU 2
Jim’s pick: I bet Northeastern takes some points this weekend, but I can’t pick that way based on what we’ve seen to date.
SLU 2, NU 1

Notre Dame at Western Michigan
Dave’s pick: It’s tough to go against WMU’s 6-2-0 home record, especially since the Broncos are coming off a 1-0 win over Bowling Green, which had been ranked 12th at the time. But I’m sticking with the Irish.
UND 3, WMU 2 (OT)
Jim’s pick: Like I said, I’m on the Notre Dame bandwagon until I get tossed off.
UND 4, WMU 2

Sunday, Jan. 10

Desert Hockey Classic Third Place/Championship Game

Yale/Arizona State vs Connecticut
Dave’s pick: This one comes down to the opponent. We’ll list all possibilities, but UConn certainly has what it takes to defeat Arizona State. I’m afraid the 7-4-2 Bulldogs, however, are another matter.
Yale 4, UConn 2; UConn 4, ASU 1
Jim’s pick: UConn proved they can beat ASU, but Yale, I’m not sure about that one.
Yale 4, UConn 1; UConn 5, ASU 2