Hockey Night in Chi Psi – Week 4

HockeyNightinChiPsi

Missing our Chi Psi College Pick’em now that football season is over? You’re in luck because we’re bringing it back for hockey season with our Hockey Night in Chi Psi series! Each week Justin Zolot and James Holman will be joined by a surprise guest to give their picks for the week’s top hockey face-offs.

This week’s surprise guest is Ryan Ahlberg, E ’03, N ’06. Check out this week’s games to watch and our picks below:

DartmouthRPI

ECAC Tournament Quarterfinals (best of 3 series)
Dartmouth at Rensselaer

Zolot Justin Zolot: Rensselaer (14-14-6; 8-9-5 ECAC Hockey) enters the post-season having either won or tied five of its last seven games (3-2-2), while Dartmouth (8-17-4; 7-13-2 ECAC Hockey) is 4-1-1 in its last six contests. RPI and Dartmouth have played 81 times all-time with Rensselaer holding a 44-32-5 advantage. They met twice during the regular season with the Engineers winning both games, 7-1 in Hanover, NH, on November 2nd and 4-2 in Troy, NY on January 24th. I expect the Engineers of RPI to continue their dominance over the Big Green at home. Houston Field House is no joke for any visiting team. Keep an eye on RPI senior forwards Brock Higgs and Ryan Haggerty to spark RPI’s firepower. I’m praying for a Union-RPI playoff matchup next week. Only way that happens is if RPI takes care of business against Darthmouth! RPI sweeps the three game series 3-1 and 4-2.
James James Holman: Dartmouth has one of the worst defenses in college hockey. RPI has one of the best offenses in college hockey. That math is so easy that Zolot could do it. RPI over Dartmouth in two games. 
 Ahlberg Ryan Ahlberg: We don’t know much about these teams in Minnesota. I go with the home ice advantage. RENSSELEAR.

MassVermont

Hockey East Tournament Opening Round (single elimination)
University of Massachusetts at University of Vermont

 Zolot Justin ZolotVermont (18-12-3, 10-10-0 HEA) won six of its final nine league games, including a 3-2 victory over 7th nationally ranked UMass-Lowell, to close out the conference slate with the # 7 seed. UVM moved up two spots to #15  in this week’s USCHO.com poll and is receiving votes in the USA Today/USA Hockey poll for the ninth consecutive week. Look for freshmen phenom forward Mario Puskarich, who was recently named Rookie of the Month for the second consecutive month, to pair up with senior Chris McCarthy and maul UMass-Amherst goalie Steve Mastalerz (who shares the same hometown with me back in Mass.). Vermont 4 – Umass Amherst 2. 
 James James Holman: UMASS is just a bad hockey team. This is the easiest pick of the week. Vermont-5 UMASS-2
 Ahlberg Ryan Ahlberg: I applied to U of Vermont, and they let me in, plus as a cat owner I like their mascot.  VERMONT.

BostonNotreDame

Hockey East Tournament Opening Round (single elimination)
Boston University at Notre Dame

 Zolot Justin Zolot: Rally sons of Notre Dame: Sing her glory and sound her fame. To my Terrier fan friends back home: sucks to BU. Irish 4- BU 2
 James James HolmanNotre Dame is an old CCHA rival of Miami that would always wilt under pressure, especially at tournament time. One of my university’s worst athletic moments was the NCAA national championship game where we lost with a 3-1 lead with 1:12 seconds in the 3rd period. Boston mounted a fierce comeback and won in overtime. Despite my hatred for both of these schools I have to pick one and the clear winner is the Terriers. Boston-2 ND-1


 Ahlberg Ryan Ahlberg: We’re not huge Notre Dame fans up at Epsilon (GO BLUE!). And I’m Lutheran. BOSTON UNIVERSITY.

MiamiDenver

Miami University at University of Denver

 Zolot Justin Zolot: Look for the talents of Nolan Zajac, the younger brother of North Dakota standouts Travis and Darcy Zajac and Union College’s all-time assist leader Kelly Zajac, to fuel the Pioneers over the Redhawks. I’m still not sold on Miami and I believe their upset win over #4 St. Cloud State was a complete fluke despite what James Holman says. Psi Delta brothers hailing from Colorado’s capital city will be happy with this one. Denver 4- Miami 1. 



 James James HolmanMiami has played much better since returning some injuries, but this has been their worst season in recent memory as they have struggled to adjust to the newly minted NCHC. Still though, I’m not going to pick against my alma mater, even on the road. Miami-3 Denver-2
 Ahlberg Ryan Ahlberg: I hold a grudge against Denver as an old WCHA foe of Minnesota plus I did personally see the Wolverines upset them in the tournament in 2002. MIAMI.
 

WilliamsAmherst

NESCAC Tournament Semifinals (single elimination)
Williams College at Amherst College

 Zolot Justin Zolot: The oldest rivalry in all of college sports takes center ice this weekend in a do-or-die semifinal matchup in Hartford, CT. The Lord Jeffs (15-7-3, 12-4-2 NESCAC) closed out the regular season by going 5-1-2 in February to lock up the #2 seed. Amherst punched its ticket into the semifinals by defeating 7th seed Connecticut College, 4-2. I’m going to go with Alpha Chi on the win this weekend given their hot streak and ability to dominate along the boards. Sophomore goaltender Dave Cunningham has posted a 2.14 goals against average to go along with a .923 save percentage, one of the top performances in the league this season. Amherst 3 – Williams 2
 James James HolmanThese two schools split their season matchup and are pretty even on paper. Williams however has had a noticeable drop off the past couple of months and is overly dependent on their home rink. I’ll take Amherst and Alpha Chi in this one game matchup. Amherst-3 Williams-1

 Ahlberg Ryan Ahlberg: ​Chuck O’Boyle! Chuck O’Boyle! AMHERST. 

Remember your hockey teams aren’t the only ones competing for a National Title right now. Visit www.chipsi.org/AnnualFundChallenge to learn more about this year’s race to become Chi Psi’s National Champion. Check out all the stats and GIVE TODAY!

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