Geez, 19 blogs devoted to picks already? Crazy.
Onto the madness!
Season record: 116-51-19 (.675)
All times Eastern
Friday, February 11
Yale at St. Lawrence – 7:00
Good heavens, Yale is mortal… on the road at least. Away from home, the Bulldogs are 5-4-0 overall, 4-3-0 in conference. Unfortunately, the Saints are 1-4-1 in their last six. If someone’s going to knock the Elis off in the near future, it’s probably not SLU. 4-2 Yale.
Princeton at Harvard – 7:00
Only one team playing under The Brown Rule’s heavy shadow these days, and it’s the furiously incomplete Crimson. Princeton was swept at home last weekend; every game is a must-win game for the Tigers if they hope to stay in the hunt for a first-round bye. 3-1 Tigers.
Brown at Clarkson – 7:00
It wasn’t so long ago that this would’ve been a hot ticket, so to speak: Both Brown and Clarkson have had strong stretches this season, but neither has exactly set the world on fire in recent times. ‘Tech has lost eight of 10 (2-8-0); Brown, seven of 10 (3-7-0). So how do you pick the winner of the Frustration Bowl? Home team… even when the home team isn’t really making the most of it so far. Knights, 3-2.
Cornell at Union – 7:00
If the aforementioned Clarkson-Brown game is a meeting of once-hot teams, this tilt positively sizzles. Cornell is making up for lost time… er, games, with only one loss in its last 10 games (7-1-2), and is firmly in the hunt for a first-round bye. Union, too, has dropped just one in 10, but puts the Big Red in its place with a 9-1-0 record in that stretch. If you’re in the Capital District Friday night, this is the place to be. Prediction? UC, 3-2 in front of a hopefully crazy crowd.
Colgate at Rensselaer – 7:00
Colgate finally escaped The Brown Rule in downing Clarkson last weekend, but the Raiders will have their hands full in Troy. RPI has been a big cherry beast at the Field House, and I anticipate that they will continue to be so against ‘Gate. 4-2 Engineers.
Quinnipiac at Dartmouth – 7:00
Here’s an odd matchup. The Bobcats have been strangely strong on the road, but decidedly sub-par at home (much like Princeton, in fact, and the similarities go beyond mere tendencies). The Big Green have had better results on the road as well, but haven’t played as many league home games as away, so we’ll see what happens. The ‘Cats might not be happy with their one-point weekend last time out, but taking anything from RPI and Union these days is noteworthy. So what do I think? I think the Big Green are more seasoned and more consistent, so the hosts are the safe bet. 4-3 Dartmouth.
Saturday, February 12
Cornell at Rensselaer – 3:30
If Cornell-Union was Friday’s big game, this is Saturday’s. RPI is on a seven-game unbeaten streak entering the weekend (6-0-1), and – with Yale and cross-town Union – is one of the toughest road games in the league. Will the Big Red fall twice in a weekend? I can only say that RPI is one of the top three teams to beat in the league; Cornell is not quite there yet. 4-3 ‘Tute.
Princeton at Dartmouth – 4:00
I’m making this pick by instinct rather than by the numbers: I feel that Princeton is rambunctious enough to build momentum in a hurry, and if my Friday guess is on the mark, the Tigers might be feeling pretty good about themselves come Saturday afternoon. They play very well outside the Garden State, for some reason, and this feels like a trip-up kind of game for Dartmouth. 4-2 Tigers in this one.
Yale at Clarkson – 7:00
No two ways about it: Yale is undoubtedly better than Clarkson. No reason to ramble on about anything else when that’s really what this comes down to. 5-2 Bulldogs.
Colgate at Union – 7:00
Hmm. I find myself compelled to say “ditto”, having just written what I did about Yale at Clarkson. Oh well: Ditto. Union, 5-2.
Brown at St. Lawrence – 7:00
Here’s a chance for either one of these teams to pick itself up and get things back on the right track. The sides look quite evenly matched, with very similar records and goal differentials, so I’ll give the edge to the team that plays in a giant oak tree: SLU FTW, 3-2.
Monday, February 14
Harvard vs. Boston University – 4:30 Beanpot consolation at TD Garden; Boston, Mass.
Brown Rule. One of these teams played pretty well in its opening-round loss; the other didn’t. Even if it weren’t for The Brown Rule, I’d still probably pick the former. BU, 3-1.
Tuesday, February 15
Clarkson at St. Lawrence – 7:30
No love lost here, the day after Valentine’s. I think the outcomes of the weekend’s games will affect this one a lot, but obviously I can’t be sure how the chips will fall. So lacking prescient abilities (outstanding prediction record notwithstanding… sorry, had to say it), I’ll say that SLU owes Clarkson a couple: ‘Tech won both earlier meetings this year after a slobberknocker of a first-round playoff series went the Saints’ way last spring. If it weren’t a rivalry game, I’d say that the Knights have shown that they can handle SLU, and are likely to do so once more. But then, this is a rivalry. Saints should be through the roof for this one: 4-2 SLU.