Well, I had a pretty awesome week with my picks last weekend, going 16-2-3 (.833). That brings me on the season to 150-49-20 (.731). We’ve got two weeks left in the season before the playoffs start, and the Pairwise has changed little in the last month. However, there could be some interesting position-jockeying in the last couple of weeks. Let’s get to this week’s games.

Friday-Saturday, February 18-19

Wisconsin at Minnesota State: Just as Cornell has been the East’s best and most consistent team, Wisconsin has rolled in the West. Last weekend, they looked impressive in sweeping a tough North Dakota squad. Minnesota State doesn’t have the firepower to hang with the Badgers. Wisconsin 6-1, 5-0

St. Cloud State at Minnesota-Duluth: The Huskies won their first game of the year last week, beating Minnesota State and avoiding the indignity of going winless on the year. However, Minnesota-Duluth is one of the big guns, and should win easy in both games. Minnesota-Duluth 6-0, 7-1

Ohio State at Bemidji State: This is a tough series to pick. The Buckeyes have at times looked good, and at others looked dreadful. Bemidji State has been a pleasant surprise in the WCHA this year, and played No. 1 Wisconsin very tough a couple of weeks ago, losing in OT. I think the Beavers and home ice should equal a sweep, as Bemidji wants revenge for a shootout loss and standard loss earlier in the year. Bemidji State 3-2, 2-1

Minnesota at North Dakota: The marquee series of the weekend, with the subplot of the Lamoureux twins facing their former school. North Dakota has been very mercurial this season, and has settled into a solid fourth in the WCHA. Minnesota has been one of the hottest teams in the country since January. I wouldn’t be surprised by a split, but I’m going to call a Gophers sweep in two close games. Minnesota 3-2 (OT), 4-3

Boston University at Maine: After sweeping Northeastern on the weekend, the Terriers surrendered a three-goal lead in the third to tie the Huskies in the Beanpot, a frustrating result. Maine upset Boston College last weekend, but I think BU is going to come out firing and should sweep. Boston University 3-1, 4-2

Cornell at Dartmouth: Cornell has been dominant this season in the ECAC, with a tie with Clarkson the only blemish on its record. Dartmouth is one of the better teams in the conference and should challenge the Big Red, but I expect they will come up short. Cornell 3-1

Colgate at Harvard: Though they lost a tough Beanpot final to Boston College, Harvard has shown signs of consistency in the second half. I expect they will win this one. Harvard 4-2

Quinnipiac at Yale: An all-Connecticut battle between a team with one of the best freshman in the country and a team motivated by price. Quinnipiac is hot on the heels of Dartmouth and Harvard in the ECAC, and should win this one. Quinnipiac 4-2

Saturday-Sunday, February 19-20

Connecticut/Northeastern: An all-Huskies home-and-home battle between the fourth and fifth place squads in Hockey East. These two are already guaranteed to play each other in the first round, but home ice is on the line. Northeastern looked good at the Beanpot. I’m going to call a sweep for the underdog in two close games. Northeastern 3-2, 2-1

Vermont at Providence: The mistress of ties (nine so far this year) pays a visit to Providence. Is another tie in the works? Very likely, but I’ll call a Friars sweep. Providence 3-2, 3-1

Boston College/New Hampshire: Another home-and-home on the year. The Eagles are coming off an emotional win the Beanpot tournament, but sandwiched that around a loss and tie against lowly Maine last weekend. They might be primed for a letdown again, but I think they will come through. Boston College 3-1, 3-2

Saturday, Feb. 19

Quinnipiac at Brown: Look for the Bobcats to strengthen their position in ECAC against the dismal Bears. Quinnipiac 4-1

Cornell at Harvard: A huge game in the ECAC. While Cornell already has first place locked up, the Crimson need to show the Big Red they are a threat in the playoffs, and what better place to do it on home ice? However, Harvard didn’t look too good against Boston College Tuesday in the Beanpot, and Cornell has been the Big Red Machine this season. Cornell 3-1

  • CollegeHockeyFan

    As a BU fan, I am seriously worried about them looking past this Providence game to Denver. This is a classic trap game, with the win last week and PC’s low ranking and an important game against Denver on Saturday. BU is known for sleepwalking through games that should be “easy wins”.

    • Joe C

      Good call. Then again, maybe the Friars have truly gotten better.

  • Kwd_13

    After losing at home to Merrimack it is inconceivable that UMO could win on the road at North Dakota.  On the other hand, the Souix should have joined HEA.  That way, they could get a proper a** kicking on a regular basis and maybe then the whining would go away –

  • Sioux2b07

    What are Sioux fans whining about? The matchup doesn’t play well for ND because HEA and the WCHA play totally different styles of hockey and the winner if all other things equal is the way the game is officiated, if it is called very tight the HEA team will more than likely win because they will live on the power play because they play a more skilled brand of hockey. If the game isn’t called as tightly the WCHA team will probably win because they can use their size to push around the usually smaller HEA team. Don’t take this as a whining Sioux fan because I do really like HEA because the type of hockey they play is the way I play my game and the way I wish hockey was always played, but saying that UND would get crushed in HEA is too simple to say because when you play non-conference it is all up to officiating but if they were in HEA they would recruit players that fit the HEA style and not the players it takes to compete in the WCHA.

    • After Further Review

      I do agree with you, to a point.  The styles of the two leagues are very much different.  The officiating does certainly have an impact on the outcome, but I think the biggest problem UND has had with Hockey East opponents recently is that no matter who officiates, they can’t catch the smaller, quicker players to actually hit them.  I am a UNH/HE fan and that is not meant to bash the WCHA or the Sioux, just seems that the speed has really been able to bury the size on many occasions.

      • After Further Review

        But to amend my story, apparently if you play UNH, you don’t have to catch them.  Just let them skate and pass and eventually they will hit your goalie with the shot.  With 63 shots and 0 goals in 2 games, with BC on the schedule for tomorrow, it might be a VERY LONG season!

  • MnGopherFan

    Looks like Dave and Jim picked the wrong team in the Denver at BC matchup Friday night. Denver looked solid. Another case of east coast bias?

    • Joe C

      Number #1 ranked team upset at home by the Number #3 ranked team.

      Even though I cheer every time BC loses, not sure how “East Coast Bias” plays into this. They split the pick for Pioneers at Terriers.

      Give full credit to Denver for playing a great game last night. Hopefully, BU can shake off last night’s loss to the Friars…

  • JJM

    So much for the “no brainer of the year” and  “going with BC all the way”

  • Wow Dave, Glad that you blew the two PC games!

    It’s going to be an interesting season…

    • Joe C

      It looks like Providence is pretty good and New Hampshire has a lot of issues.

      There seems to be a good balance between WCHA and Hockey East this year. I sure hope there will be more out-of-conference play in 2013-2014

  • Scottymtoughguy

    How is Coach McDonald doing at Thomas Creek rink?  Still sucker punching old men in your over 30 no check league?  How were those hand cuffs?  Bet you thought you might get deported!