Hockey East picks: November 23-25, 2018

Posted by: Mike McMahon

Last Week: 7-2-1
2018-19 Season: 31-14-5

November 23

Boston University over UConn (Friendship Four)
Both BU and BC have struggled out of the gate, and I have more faith in BU to figure things out due to the overwhelming amount of talent on the roster. We’re not sure if Albie O’Connell is a great head coach, but we do know that Paul Pearl is very good at what he does.

Boston College over Bentley
The Eagles will face a talented Bentley team, but the Eagles are simply too good to fall to the Falcons.

Merrimack over Holy Cross
Holy Cross is, statistically, one of the worst teams in the country (last in the KRACH). Personally, I think the Crusaders are better than the record indicates (they’ve played a fairly tough schedule), but even a banged-up Merrimack, at home, should be able to find the win column here.

November 24

Boston University over Yale/Union over Boston University
The Terriers win the Friendship Four if they take on Yale in the final. But Union matches up well with BU and I think the Dutchmen have BU’s number should they meet in the championship game.

UConn over Yale/Union over UConn
Connecticut wins the in-state battle (in Belfast) should they meet on day two. But like BU, I think Union wins if they match up with the Huskies. 

Northeastern over RIT
The Tigers are off to a better start than I had anticipated, but so is Northeastern. This is a matchup of two of the more surprising teams nationally (at least right now). The Huskies continue their roll. 

Princeton over UMass
OK, bring on the haters! Seriously, I can’t wait until I’m called out on Twitter for being anti-UMass after I said I thought Providence was the best team in Hockey East last weekend. The Minutemen are VERY GOOD. They’re the second-best team in the league and top-12 nationally at the end of the year, I think. Providence, come March, will be better than that is my guess. Here, UMass faces a Princeton team that is desperate to get back on track. Plus, I think Princeton’s top line and Josh Teves match up well with UMass’ weapons.

Weekend Series

UMass Lowell sweeps RPI
Lowell has been one of the unluckiest teams in the country if you look at their PDO and shot/goal share to start the year. The River Hawks need goaltending badly. RPI will be a tougher challenge than some expect, but Lowell gets a weekend sweep in a home-and-home.

Maine splits with Quinnipiac
I had high hopes for Maine, and given their start, they have to be one of the league’s biggest early-season disappointments for me. Quinnipiac, meanwhile, looks like they’re back in the hunt as one of the top teams in the ECAC. Maine gets at least two points this weekend with the games happening up at Alfond.

Miami sweeps UNH
The Redhawks are flying high and UNH is limping along. The Wildcats will also be without their best player – Max Gildon – in the opener of the season due to a one-game suspension.

Providence splits at Denver
This is the matchup of the weekend nationally. The Friars really impressed me last week – I think they’re the best team in the league – and Denver might be the best team in the NCHC. Both of these teams could find themselves in the Frozen Four this April. 

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