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College Hockey:
ECAC Hockey picks: Week 10

Prediction precision

Last week

7-2-1 (.750)

Season record

46-23-10 (.646)
Guest guessers: 32-28-6 (.530)

Still seeking new challengers to my prognostication prowess… email me at ECACWriter@USCHO.com with five good (or bad) reasons why you should be selected as a guest-guesser.

This week

All times Eastern

Friday, December 3

Rensselaer at Yale – 7:00

I’m not sure I could get Yale head coach Keith Allain’s birthday out of him in anything under three interviews, so I certainly don’t know what – if any – injuries the Bulldogs are suffering, nor how severe they may be. RPI, on the other hand, is missing a whole line of forwards as well as a blue-liner (senior John Kennedy, no less). That’s not a good recipe for success against the turbo-Dogs. (Might I suggest an advertising opportunity?) 5-3 Yale.

Alabama-Huntsville at Cornell – 7:00

The Big Red might be having a tough year, but nothing like independent UAH. At 2-11-1, the Chargers slogged through an 11-game winless slump (0-10-1) between victories, and now brave the lion’s den and the resurgent Big Red. Be warned, UAH did win its last game against UConn (who has given ECAC teams fits in its own right), and holds a 22 percent success rate on the power play. It’s the general team defense (4.14 goals against per game) and penalty kill (77 percent) that are dooming the Chargers. 5-2 Cornell in Game 1…

Union at Brown – 7:00

Bruno will be playing without captain, leading goal-scorer, and chief punk (to borrow a phrase) Harry Zolnierczyk against the potent Dutchmen, but Union may be thin on the blue line as well. Brown is on a nice roll (2-0-2), and Union’s been off for nearly three weeks. I think this game will come down to special teams, but quite frankly, I’m not sure how that will play out given the injuries. I’m giving Brown the tentative nod, 4-3.

Clarkson at Princeton – 7:00

Princeton has been the better team offensively and defensively. The Tigers have taken fewer penalty minutes, though the squads’ special teams have very similar numbers. The wild card? Princeton has only played two home games (1-1-0), and Clarkson, only one road game (0-1-0). Each side comes to the table on a hot streak, with the Golden Knights 3-1-0 in their last four, and the Tigers 5-1-0 in their last six. This is a tough one, but I’m tabbing the Tigers on the strength of their recent consistency, 3-1.

St. Lawrence at Quinnipiac – 7:00

The Saints are only three games removed (all losses) from their home sweep of Cornell and Colgate, but those were three long games in which SLU was out-scored 13-4. While young and inconsistent, QU is nonetheless 5-2-0 at home and that’s good enough for me: 3-1 Bobcats.

Saturday, December 4

Rensselaer at Brown – 4:00

RPI is only 1-3-2 on the road this year (but a perfect 6-0-0 at home), they’ll be playing with a short roster and on short rest, and Bruno will be getting Zolnierczyk back for this one. I almost can’t believe I’m saying it – it’s been so long since I’ve thought this way! – but I think Brown has a reasonable shot at besting the Engineers, and at wresting the weekend sweep. 4-2 Brown.

St. Lawrence at Princeton – 5:00

I find myself picking the home teams with great frequency lately, and this seems like another obvious candidate for that line of thinking. 4-1 Tigers.

Alabama-Huntsville at Cornell – 7:00

… and 5-3 in Game 2.

Clarkson at Quinnipiac – 7:00

This looks like a “correction” game for each side. QU doesn’t have a great power play, but it still accounts for nearly 30 percent of the team’s offense (which also isn’t exceptional). Clarkson’s power play is absolutely dreadful, but its penalty kill, on the other hand, is superb at 91 percent. Thus, the big difference as I see it is that the Knights have managed to win despite their PP, whereas the Bobcats have been moderately dependent upon the occasional PPG to boost a struggling offense. Advantage ‘Tech, 3-2.

Colgate at Army – 7:05

Sigh… even against a non-league opponent – one the Raiders beat earlier this year, no less – I must respect The Brown Rule. I invoked it, I have to see it through. 2-1 Black Knights.

Sunday, December 5

Union at Yale – 3:00 TV: ESPNU

Hoowee, if this ain’t the game of the week! Will the UC D be able to stand up to Yale’s blistering attack? Will Yale goalie Ryan Rondeau be up to the Dutchmen challenge? Union is very good, but I think Yale is even better than they were last year, and this will be put to the test Sunday afternoon. 5-3 Bulldogs.

Tuesday, December 7

Providence at Brown – 7:00 25th Mayor’s Cup

Good Lord, could Brown be seeking a six-game unbeaten run by Tuesday night? If so, they’re more than capable of taking down a tough but surmountable Friars team. The PC special teams are awful, but they’ve been playing elite competition and will have experience in tight games. Here’s to Bruno reclaiming the Cup, 4-1.

Wednesday, December 8

Quinnipiac at Harvard – 7:00

Two teams who can’t find the goal department converge on Bright Arena. The problem is for Harvard is that they’re not even looking in the right area code. 3-2 Bobcats.

Vermont at Yale – 7:00

It might not register too strongly on the radar, but the Bulldogs’ 1-0 loss at Vermont last year was a bitter one, and one that Yale will like to avenge in the team’s last major non-conference game of the season. 5-2 Yale.

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  • Bob Bitchen

    Every week you give me a good laugh. After reading this weeks blog I was laughing so hard I almost knocked over my bong. I agree with all of your picks this week, but may I add that Colgate couldn’t beat William& Mary even if Mary was injured. What W&M doesn’t have a hockey team? Ok well just wait till Colgate goes into the Dec 30th game vs Boston College with a 2-13-1 record. Coach Vaughn should be on at least 3 bottles of maylox by then.

    • Friend of the Tribe

      Technically, William and Mary does have a hockey team, just a Division III club team.

  • None

    Your picks are the same except the second UVM game. Thrilling.

    • Jim Connelly

      The only other game I could’ve gone the other way was the BC-BU game. Though I do hope I’m wrong a few times. I like upsets.

      • Dave Hendrickson

        Some weeks we differ more than others. This just happened to be a week in which we were very much on the same wavelength.

  • sos

    PC again snatches defeat from the jaws of victory. At least they won’t lose a playoff heartbreaker

  • Css228

    Not ranking Cornell after the 7-1-2 tear they’re on?

  • Anonymous

    If Wisconsin is gonna sweep, they are going to have to do it in an extremely hostile environment. They are going to be playing in front of upwards of 16,000 on Friday night and 10,000 plus on Saturday night as well. This, in arena that not only serves beer but has a ginormous full service bar at one end of the arena that has a sweeping full view of the ice. A place that nobody on their team has ever even so much as seen before.

    Further, Wisconsin has exactly ONE win all season against a team with a winning record, January 15th against Minnesota-Duluth. So, you expect them to all of a sudden reverse that trend in one of the more hostile situations they are likely gonna face all year? They better hope THEY don’t get swept.

    • Goalie Fan30

      Ya I have to agree! This is not an easy sweep and it could definetly go the other way in favor of UNO. Should be a great series but I see a split either way….

      • hockeytimeincapitalcity

        Wisco is not afraid of an environment like UNO’s. They play in filled venues all the time. UW was a different team when they played NoDak, Denver, and UMD early in the year. Now Wisconsin is playing very well. Schultz and Gardiner might be the best scoring defenseman duo in the country and Gudmandson might be the best goalie in the country right now. That said, it’s a conference game and UW hasn’t seen much of UNO.

  • Marmoset2

    UW sweep of UNO? Unfortunately, UNO spoiled that prediction by winning 4-1 tonight. UNO sweep of UW????

    • Anonymous

      An interesting aside to this is that UNO won with it’s best player sitting on the bench. Supposedly, Terry Broadhurst slipped and fell on his way to class the other day and they don’t know how long he’s gonna be out.

  • Anonymous

    Shucks, we only managed to get 15,137 into the building tonight for the Badger beat-down.

    Having attended the game, considering Wisky’s record against team’s with winning records this year, I can say I wasn’t terribly surprised by the outcome. I consider it insulting that the Omaha World Herald’s headline tonight says “Mav’s upset #7 Badgers”. This, despite the fact that Wisconsin has NEVER been ahead of UNO in the conference standings the entire season!!! By the way, in UNO’s various games/series, all in the last 365 days, against Michigan, Miami of Ohio, Notre Dame, North Dakota, and Minnesota, their record is 9-5-0.

    A more appropriate headline would have been, “Badger woes against teams with winning records continues”.

    It was pretty obvious, even at a casual glance, that UNO is a better skating team than Wisconsin. I’m sure we’ll see a better effort out of Wisconsin tomorrow night, but, no matter what happens, they are leaving town STILL behind UNO in the standings.

    • Anonymous

      Wisconsin was higher the in the league standings then UNO. That was the weekend that UNO played UAH. If Wisconsin would have won tonight they would be tied with UNO at 26 points.

  • Fred

    UNO looked better than Wisconsin on Fri. night. The Wisc. fan next to said so halfway through the game and he was quite impressed with UNO. And they did it without Terry Broadhurst, who slipped on some ice going to class (!–yes, I know, these are not football players). Broadhurst has been scoring over one point per game this season. He won’t play on Sat. and the coaches didn’t say what was the injury, but he was at the game, limping.

    One hallmark of UNO this season is balanced scoring. Again, four different players got goals on Friday.

  • Jdorf40

    I can’t believe Theresa Spisek still has a job.

  • Goalie Fan30

    Im thinking Lucia needs to go… With that said I wouldnt be suprised to see ol’ Deaner (Blaise that is) in there in the next few years. He is a U of M grad and the chances of him coming back to the SIOUX are slim at best. The gophers are talented every year but seem to fall apart for whatever reason? I think this weekend we will see a good game both nights with some NHL highlights from a bunch of young players. As for the Alaska~Sioux series Depending on whether or not Dell has a good friday nite makes the series interesting… WE (the sioux) will sweep if we show tonight! Ill be at the game and come back to comment later if any WCHA fans care which probably means no hahaha Like most of you, I just like to hear myself talk

  • Anonymous

    If the gopher’s don’t make the NCAA’s in the next two years Lucia will be gone. Lucia isn’t the only reason that this team doesn’t show up to play 60 minutes every night. It looks like some of the guys are just going through the motions each night. From the gopher games I’ve seen this year the team tends to quiet at some point each game.

  • cholkesvig

    Blaise will not becoming to the UofM he likes where is his he wanted the Mankato job but they stuck with a idiot of a coach he wont go to the Sioux either, if he did it would be for a year to reitre there.

  • Goalie Fan30

    Why do you think that is? Dont they have the most nhl draft picks out of any NCAA team… most depart early (prolli cause the development process is crap) and never make the big show! Also, do you think the NHL teams tell them to get out now or is it the college work and the money offered that bribes them into an AHL careeer Whatever the problem is in gopher town its has to start with Mr. Lucy I hope they keep him… I have to move down to Minni next fall semester for grad school and I would love to see Maruicci torn down after the Sioux (again hopefully) destroy them in regular season!

  • Anonymous

    Maybe he needs to stop recruiting so many NHL draft picks and start recruiting kids that can play together under the system he has in place there. North Dakota has been making it to the NCAA tournament each year with less draft picks, it’s because they buy into the system at North Dakota.

  • siouxfanforlife

    Actually, BLAIS (just wanted to get the spelling right) most likely will end up in Minnesota. He has a clause in his contract with UNO that if the head coaching position in Minnesota becomes vacant he can opt out of his current contract with UNO. I agree though, I can’t see him coming back to UND, I think he will either retire at UNO or Minnesota.

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