By: Marisa Ingemi
UMass @ Merrimack: After a tie with UConn last week, UMass is still one of the weaker teams in the conference. Meanwhile, Merrimack had a strong week, making quick work of Mercyhurst and tying with Providence. The Warriors themselves are fighting some serious injuries, with goalie Colin Delia and Ottawa prospect Chris LeBlanc out, but they’re still a stronger team than UMass. Prediction: Merrimack wins
UMass Lowell @ Maine (H&H): Maine was swept this weekend from a superior team in BC, and they face another superior team this week in UMass Lowell. The Boston College Eagles are getting attention for their hot streak, but the River Hawks are playing just as well. Maine is a tough place to play, but Lowell has played good hockey, especially in the third period, where the Black Bears have also made their mark. Prediction: UMass Lowell sweep
UConn @ Ohio State (2): Tying UMass wasn’t a great look. But Adam Huska is starting to play fantastic in net for the Huskies. He might split time this week with Rob Nichols, but goaltending has become the strength of this UConn team. Prediction: Split
BU @ Michigan (2): Now without Clayton Keller, the road for BU looks much tougher when they already have to face a stiff test in Michigan. The Terriers have responded well to adversity all season, and its true the Wolverines are not what they once were. The lines are changed but a lot of players have stepped up for the Terriers, including new second liner Nick Roberto, but BU has struggled on the road this season at 1-2-1. Prediction: Split
Notre Dame @ Northeastern (2): Northeastern’s depth has obviously take a blow with Nolan and John Stevens both out of the lineup. After a week off, Notre Dame returns following winning just one of their past four games. This is the second week in a row the Huskies face a team coming off an extended break. Prediction: Split
Vermont @ UMass: Vermont was swept last week by UMass Lowell. Craig Puffer stepped up while the Catamounts had suspensions, and they are actually playing some decent hockey. One of the surprises of this season has been Vermont, who should roll past the Minutemen after beating much tougher opponents this season. Goalie Steffanos Lekkas has been a big part of that as well in what’s become a pretty good goaltending conference. Prediction: Vermont wins
Arizona State @ UNH: UNH tied Sacred Heart and defeated Mercyhurst. Not terrific competition for the Wild Cats, and it gets weaker this week against the Sun Devils. Prediction: UNH wins
Merrimack @ UNH: The Warriors are 3-1-1 in their last five contests, and despite some bad injuries, are quietly finding a rhythm. UNH has also played well of late, but haven’t had to handle many difficult opponents. The Warriors are riding a wave, and they might be starting to surprise some people. Prediction: Merrimack wins.
Arizona State @ Boston College: With easy wins over Maine and New Hampshire this week, the Eagles are on track. Arizona State should not be a difficult opponent. The Eagles have won six games in a row and are really starting to look like a contender. Prediction: BC wins.
Dartmouth @ Vermont: Like mentioned previously, Vermont is playing well and turning heads. Dartmouth beat Michigan last week which was surprising, but with the way the Catamounts are playing, they should take this one at home. Prediction: Vermont wins