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Well, it’s time for Arlan and I to start our picks blog up again. Our last one was on December 8. That week, I got the split dates wrong on Mercyhurst-Boston College and North Dakota-Minnesota-Duluth, so I went 11-4 (.733). Arlan hedged by picking sweeps in both of those, and he went 12-3 (.800). Overall on the season, I hold a slim lead over Arlan, going 100-33-11 (.732) in the first half, while Arlan went 98-35-11 (.718). I figure it will be a race to the wire. Let’s see how we can do second half.

Thursday, January 5

St. Lawrence at Boston College
Candace: BC is playing without Alex Carpenter, but St. Lawrence has struggled to score goals, especially against better teams. Expect a close one. Boston College 3-1
Arlan: How big of an advantage is playing in Boston but not at home; how much do the Eagles miss Carpenter? First game of 2012, and already my head is hurting. Boston College 3-2

Friday, January 6

Clarkson at Boston College
Candace: The loss of Carpenter could hurt against a defensively sound Clarkson squad, but I think the Eagles will have just enough. Boston College 2-1
Arlan: Clarkson hasn’t yielded more than two goals since Oct. 9, and I still don’t trust BC to win a low-scoring game. Clarkson 2-1

St. Lawrence at Northeastern
Candace: This is the type of game Northeastern needs to win to avoid losing any more ground in the PairWise. Northeastern 2-1
Arlan: There are likely good reasons to pick the Saints, but I can’t think of any. Northeastern 3-1

Harvard at Princeton
Candace: Harvard was very strong through the first half, except for one blowout loss to Minnesota. Even without Sarah Edney, I think the Crimson come out on top. Harvard 2-0
Arlan: Unlike some ECAC teams, the Tigers usually manage to hang with the Crimson, so a tie would not surprise me. Harvard 1-0

Dartmouth at Quinnipiac
Candace: I hate picking Dartmouth games. I never know which Big Green team will show up. I’ll probably get this wrong again, but I’ll call for the Big Green to make a statement in the first conference game of the second half. Dartmouth 2-1
Arlan: It may be best for the Bobcats faithful if few of them want to see Dartmouth, because they tend to have better results at home in front of smaller crowds. Quinnipiac 2-0

Friday-Saturday, January 6-7

Wisconsin at Minnesota
Candace: Always pick Wisconsin. In truth, I expect a split, but after getting the split results wrong twice in the last week before the break, I figure I’ll pick a sweep and get at least one right. Wisconsin 3-1, 3-1
Arlan: I expect one tie, but I’m behind in this contest and Candace has stated that she’ll always pick Wisconsin, so I’ll pull my goalie and try to make up ground. Minnesota 3-2, 2-1

Mercyhurst at Syracuse
Candace: Even without Bailey Bramm, the Lakers have too much firepower for Syracuse. Mercyhurst 4-1, 3-0
Arlan: The Orange have played the Lakers tough on occasion, but they’ve lost every time. Mercyhurst 6-1, 3-0

Robert Morris at Providence
Candace: This is another series that is a coin flip. Rebecca Vint has proven to be a dangerous player. Providence has been very up and down. It wouldn’t surprise me if these two split, but the Colonials have at times had trouble putting points on the board. I’m going to go with a home ice sweep. Providence 3-1, 4-2
Arlan: Nina Riley’s numbers aren’t as good as those of the absent Genevieve Lacasse, but she’s unbeaten in four games this year. Robert Morris 4-2, Providence 3-1

Saturday, January 7

Dartmouth at Princeton
Candace: Another Big Green game that I’ll probably get wrong. Princeton plays teams tough, but I don’t think the Tigers are good enough offensively to win this one. Dartmouth 2-1
Arlan: The first team to score wins — assuming that anyone does. Dartmouth 1-0

Harvard at Quinnipiac
Candace: The Crimson are realistically the only squad that can challenge Cornell for the ECAC crown. Harvard 3-1
Arlan: The Bobcats haven’t lost since Nov. 19, and only twice in the last 15 games. Have they become the team that we thought they were? Harvard 2-1

Sunday, January 8

Boston University at Maine
Candace: The Terriers will be without Isabel Ménard and Tara Watchorn. That spells trouble. They actually play the Black Bears three times in a row, with this one the first. If ever Maine is to beat the Terriers, this is the time. Maine 3-1
Arlan: Were this contest not slanted against ties, I’d surely pick one here. Maine 3-2

Tuesday, January 10

New Hampshire at Boston College
Candace: New Hampshire’s NCAA tournament streak seems like a distant memory. Boston College 4-1
Arlan: Unless the Eagles are worn out from playing three games in six days, I don’t know how the Wildcats can win this. Boston College 5-2

Dartmouth at Providence (Fenway)
Candace: This is another coin flip game. Something tells me the Big Green fall to earth here. Providence 3-1
Arlan: When I see Dartmouth on the schedule, I have absolutely no idea. Unfortunately, there are about a dozen teams where that is true. Dartmouth 4-2