BOSTON COLLEGE vs. Notre Dame, Friday, 7 PM
The last time Notre Dame was in town, they drank our milkshake, beating us down 7-1. I would not expect that to happen this year. They went on a magical run to make the national title game last year, but let's not forget they were aided by a matchup with the #1 choke team in America, UNH, in the first round.
This season's Notre Dame team came into the year a bit overrated at preseason #6, but their 4-3 start has them down to no. 12. They are 0-3 against NCAA tournament teams - a loss to Denver, and two losses to Miami. They did successfully sweep Northern Michigan last week, a team with high preseason expectations - but NMU has disappointed as well, starting the season 2-5-1.
Their offensive problems are indicated by the fact that their leading scorer is a defenseman with three goals on the year (Ian Cole). They have one very impressive freshman, Billy Maday, who has a 3-3--6 line on the season, and they also have one other player who was absent during last year's title run, senior forward Erik Condra (2-4--6). Jordan Pearce has been okay in net with a .902 SV% and a 2.35 GAA.
I honestly expect BC to shred Notre Dame tonight. The Irish just can not deal with BC's speed, even without Gerbe; our speed gave them fits in the title game last year, and we seem to be even faster this year. If BC jumps out to an early lead, it could be a long night for the Irish.
PREDICTION: BC 6, Notre Dame 2
BOSTON COLLEGE @ Maine, Sunday, 2 PM
I wish I could attend this one. Games at Alfond Arena are a treat - they have one of the best home crowds in Hockey East. Unfortunately for the Black Bears faithful, their team is not so good. They are off to a 3-3 start, but their wins are against Niagara (x2) and Alaska.
PREDICTION: BC 4, Maine 0
Cornell @ Princeton, Friday, 7 PM
The first big ECAC matchup of the year, between #9 Princeton and #17 Cornell. It's the first game of the year for the Big Red, so I'd expect them to be a bit sloppy.
Last year, the Tigers went 2-0 against Cornell and I'd expect that trend to continue.
PREDICTION: Princeton 2, Cornell 1
Vermont @ Providence, Friday, 7 PM
The Friars are off to a disastrous start (2-4, 0-4 HE) while Vermont remains #16 in the rankings despite taking a major licking from BU last weekend, 7-2. Vermont is the superior team, but I think/hope that PC gets it together tonight at the Coffin.
PREDICTION: Providence 2, Vermont 1, lots of boredom
BU @ Umass-Lowell, Friday, 7 PM
BU is the hottest team in America right now - even the most ardent BC fan can't deny this. They have scored a touchdown in back to back games, once against Michigan and once against defensively stout Vermont. I don't see UMass-Lowell standing in their way.
PREDICTION: BU 5, Lowell 1
North Dakota @ Colorado College, Friday & Saturday at 9 PM
The Tigers seek to defend their #1 national ranking against the roughed up Sioux, 2-4-0 on the year. ND has won 2 of 3 since their 0-3 start, but their most recent game was a 5-2 loss to equally sad Wisconsin.
PREDICTION: CC Sweep!
New Hampshire @ Minnesota, Friday & Saturday at 8 PM
This series gives me a moral dillemma. I love Minnesota, but Hockey East needs to continue its PWR dominance over the WCHA. I'd like to see the two teams split, and that's probably what will happen. Both are off to a very good start to the season. If this game were in March, I'd call Minnesota the favorite - but the Undisputed Kings of October and November will likely perform very well at Mariucci.
Vermont @ UMass-Lowell, Saturday, 7 PM
This will be Lowell's chance to bounce back after facing the red-hot Terriers.
PREDICTION: Lowell 3, Vermont 1
Bentley @ Northeastern, Saturday, 7 PM
Yeah, Bentley has a D1 team. They are having 'pots and pans night' at Northeastern; I fully expect a NU player to get a hat trick and cause pots and pans to rain down on the Matthews ice from the Doghouse. Duck and cover.
PREDICTION: NU 6, Bentley 0
Notre Dame @ Providence, Saturday, 7 PM.
Aww... this isn't fair.
PREDICTION: Notre Dame 4, Providence 0
A light slate this weekend due to the Four Nations Cup in Lake Placid.
Rensselaer @ Harvard, Friday, 7 PM > Expect Harvard to roll in this one, even without several key players.
Princeton @ Cornell, Friday, 7 PM > I predicted Cornell (2-1) to be quite good this season, but their loss to Robert Morris last week leaves me scratching my head. They should bounce back tonight against Princeton (1-3).
Maine @ UConn, Saturday, 1 PM > An important Hockey East tilt for UConn; they need to capitalize on a crummy Maine team to keep pace with the top teams in HE. UConn should win easily.
Ohio State @ St. Cloud State, Saturday, 3 PM > Probably the best game of the weekend; showcases two teams that have may have their eye on that volatile #10 spot in the rankings.
Wayne State @ Vermont, Saturday, 4 PM > As much as I'd love to see Jackie Thode et. al. hold down the fort for Hockey East, Wayne State is a pretty solid team and should run them out of the rink.
Maine @ Northeastern, Sunday, 2 PM > Florence Schelling should get the call in net as NU looks to bounce back from being throttled by BC.