It’s a big hockey week for Hockey East teams as games start on Tuesday this week.
One of the big games this week is when Boston University travels to New York City to face Cornell at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night. This has been an annual game for the last couple of years now. It will be a nice out of conference test for the Terriers.
Cornell is a solid ECAC program which is off to a decent start to their season at 5-2. Freshman forward and Bruins draft pick Brian Ferlin maybe teammates with a couple Terriers come December on Team USA’s World Junior squad. He has five goals and five assists in ten games. Penguins draft pick Nick D’Agostino has four goals and seven assists in ten games. Andy Iles is 5-2 with a 2.30 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage.
I will go with Cornell to squeak by the Terriers.
Massachusetts at Vermont
A battle at the bottom of the standings and one of the Frozen Fenway match-ups on January 7th. Something has to give in this match-up. I will go with UMass as I like their offensive better and I don’t know which Vermont team will show up.
New Hampshire at Harvard
The Wildcats are where I thought they will be at this point of the season. They have a solid opponent in the Harvard Crimson who are 2-3-1 on the young season for them. In the end New Hampshire should go down to Boston and get two points.
Alabama-Huntsville at Merrimack
Things aren’t getting any better for Huntsville as the SEC (Club) Hockey Conference appears they won’t accept them into the conference. Merrimack rolls in this game.
USA U-18 NTDP at Maine (Exhibition)
The best best 17 year olds travel all the way up to Orono to face the Black Bears. You never know what will happen in these games and I will take the safe bet and go with the Black Bears. I will get to see the NTDP on Sunday as they will take on Division III opponent Bowdoin College.
Alabama-Huntsville at UMass-Lowell
If there was a game the Chargers would pick up any points this week it would be against the River Hawks. I don’t think that will be the case and Lowell comes away with the victory.
Miami vs. Providence
I think the Friars will keep this game interesting, but Enrico Blasi has built a national powerhouse in Oxford, Ohio. Dallas draft pick Reilly Smith has eight goals and three assists in 12 games. Toronto draft pick Tyler Biggs is heating up with three goals and five assists in 14 games.
Colgate at Vermont
Another ECAC-Hockey East match up and the Raiders of Colgate are off to a 8-4-1 start to the season. This be a confidence boaster for the Catamounts if they can pull this one out. With that said, until Vermont shows me something, I am betting against them.
Northeastern at Michigan
The Huskies travel to Ann Arbor to face the Wolverines. Michigan is the perennial powerhouse every year with plenty of NHL draft prospects on the roster. Michigan’s depth prevails.
Massachusetts at Quinnipiac
Quinnipiac is become a solid little squad in the ECAC conference. They have a 7-6-2 record on the season but they have some talent on the team. I like them against the Minutemen on Saturday
Boston College at Yale
A big game between two schools who will be vying for a National Championship at the end of the season. This game could go either way, but I can’t see the Eagles dropping three games in a row. Yale coach Keith Allain is familiar with some of the Eagles as he coached them last year at the World Junior Championships with Team USA.
Princeton vs Providence
I think Providence bounces back and gets a much needed victory. Princeton isn’t off to a hot start with a 2-6-1 record. The Friars have their way with the Tigers.
Alabama-Huntsville at New Hampshire
I don’t have much other to say in this one, but New Hampshire wins big.
Clarkson at Maine
This is the first of two meetings this season for these non conference foes. They will be playing down in Florida in a tournament after Christmas. This should be a good one between two teams hovering around .500. I think the Black Bears take this one in Southern Maine as the game is being played down in Portland, Maine.
Dartmouth at Vermont
Dartmouth is sitting at .500 and should be a good contest. Despite Vermont’s troubles this season I will throw them a bone and will pick up the victory.
Hockey East teams in USCHO Top 20 Poll: 1. Merrimack 5. Boston College 15. Boston University Others receiving votes: UMass-Lowell, New Hampshire, and Providence