It’s been a while since I caught a good load of flak for my hard work and insight, so I figured it was time to make some new predictions. Have at ye!
Friday, January 6
Harvard at Union
Brian – Harvard’s tie at NoDak last weekend – along with its play through the holiday break – indicate that the Crimson are likely more than just paper tigers. That said, Harvard’s loss to UND (7-3 the following night) was pretty ugly, whereas Union’s two losses in Colorado last weekend were each quite tight. The Dutchmen defeats ended their six-game unbeaten run (4-0-2), but I like their chances in Schenectady… a bit closer to sea level. 4-3 Union.
Nate – Two teams muddled in the bog otherwise known as the middle of the ECAC standings. The Dutchmen should take this one. Union 4, Harvard 2
Quinnipiac at Yale
Brian – Losses to Brown and UMass were underwhelming for what had seemed to be a higher-caliber Yale team. The Blue laid a 9-3 hurtin’ on Bentley on Sunday, so we’ll see if that created any offensive momentum heading into continued league action. The Bobcats have rediscovered their attack of late, scoring 21 times in their last seven games. You know what? I don’t remember the last time I picked QU over Yale (or for that matter, almost anybody over Yale)… but I’ve got a feeling about this one. 3-2 QCats.
Nate – The Bobcats take a quick drip down I-91 to face Yale. The Bulldogs are 9-0-1 in their first two games of a new year over the last five seasons, while Quinnipiac is 5-3-1. Does that mean anything? I don’t think so, but look for Yale to take this one. Yale 3, Quinnipiac 2
MSU-Mankato at St. Lawrence
Brian – Minnesota State has been bad. Bad bad bad. At 5-14-1, three of the Mavericks’ wins have come against Alabama-Huntsville (twice) and Rensselaer. They don’t score much (2.75 goals per game) and give up a fair amount more (3.75 goals against per game). SLU has come to life recently, knocking out 14 goals in four games and riding that offense to a 2-0-2 run and a holiday tourney title. I think this should be a couple of hashes in the W column for the home-standing Saints. 4-2 SLU.
Nate – The Mavericks are dead last in the WCHA and head east for a two-game series this weekend at St. Lawrence. Should be three point weekend for the Saints. St. Lawrence 4,Minnesota State 3; St. Lawrence 3, Minnesota State 3.
Princeton at Brown
Brian – The Tigers are coming around at a leisurely pace, averaging just over three goals a game in their last seven tilts, but allowing at least three each game over their last half-dozen contests as well. Brown is suddenly one of the league’s hot topics, rolling off three respectable wins in a row and looking to eke over .500 in league play for the first time since early November. I’m liking those odds… Bruno seems to be “getting it” a little quicker than young Princeton. 3-2 Bears.
Nate – It was a good weekend for the Bears. Now the real test begins, as Brown starts its first of 16 conference games left on the schedule with a home matchup against the Tigers. Make it four in a row for Brown, who is third in the ECAC in scoring. Brown 5, Princeton 3
Colgate at Ferris St.
Brian – The FSU Bulldogs kicked off the year with six straight wins, and were 9-2-1 and one of the nation’s top-ranked teams by mid-November. Since then, the Bulldogs are 2-6-0 and have dropped three straight decisions. Granted, FSU is 6-1-1 at home and 4-0-0 against ECAC Hockey. Colgate’s success has been thoroughly documented… I smell a split. 3-2 FSU in Game 1…
Nate – Travel partners Colgate and Cornell head west to try and build up some non-conference mojo for the ECAC. Ferris State is currently No. 17 in the latest poll, and 20th in the PairWise, while Colgate is 9th in the poll and tied for 13th in the PairWise. The Raiders are riding a seven game unbeaten streak, and should be able to come home with some points against a Bulldogs team that was swept in the Catamount Tournament last weekend. Ferris State 2, Colgate 1; Colgate 3, Ferris State 1
Dartmouth at Rensselaer
Brian – Sorry, RPI: it’s the Brown Rule for you. Between these two down teams, each must be hoping for a big jolt of momentum by Sunday morning. 3-1 Big Green.
Nate – Set your DVR’s if you’ve got Friday night plans, as this is the first of four ECAC league games to be shown on Versus…errr NBC Sports Network this year. Give NBC an “A” for effort, but the college hockey knowledge needs a bit of work… During Wednesday’s Boston Bruins game, Mike Emrick correctly identified Northeastern’s arena as the first home of the Bruins, but incorrectly called it “Williams” instead of “Matthews” Arena. Still, good to see college hockey getting exposure. As for the game itself, RPI is a mess. Look for a Big Green win. Dartmouth 4, RPI 1
Cornell at Colorado College
Brian – CC put a crimp in Union’s New Year festivities, and will hope to do the same to the Big Red this weekend. The Tigers have been strong all year, scoring nearly four goals a game while surrendering fewer than three on average. Cornell hasn’t lost consecutive games this season, but hasn’t traveled beyond the Eastern seaboard and certainly hasn’t played on big ice at a mile high. The Big Red are hoping for big things, but I’d be happy with a split, if I were part of the Lynah Faithful. 4-1 CC.
Nate – It’s a weekend of contrasts for Cornell. First, they head to balmy Colorado Springs after spending last weekend in Florida. And the Big Reds’ third-ranked defense will be tested by Colorado Springs’ third-ranked offense. Union held the Tigers mostly in check last weekend, but still fell, 2-1. Colorado College 3, Cornell 1; Cornell 2, Colorado College 1 (OT)
Saturday, January 7
Colgate at Ferris St.
Brian – … 4-1 Colgate in Round 2.
Quinnipiac at Brown
Brian – This is an under-the-radar doozy. Will both be rolling come Saturday? Who knows. My gut tells me that QU is a little better experienced, and the Bobcats have definitely been playing stronger defensively than Brown over the past half-dozen games. In a squeaker, it’s Quinnipiac, 3-2.
Nate – A fast-paced offensive team against a team that ranks tenth nationally in scoring defense. I’ll take the defensive-minded visitors here. Quinnipiac 3, Brown 2
Harvard at Rensselaer
Brian – Brown Rule. 4-2 Harvard.
Nate – (Nate forgot about this one. Ironically fitting, in a way.)
Princeton at Yale
Brian – Yale has been anything but predictable this year, but it’s hard to doubt the Elis ability to best inexperienced Princeton at Ingalls. 5-3 Blue.
Nate – A short trip north for the Tigers, who will have to deal with Yale’s potent offense and special teams. Yale 4, Princeton 1
Dartmouth at Union
Brian – Union is looking to rekindle autumn’s flame; Dartmouth – as badly as I’ve busted on them recently – is better than they’ve played. This weekend has the potential to be Union’s flashpoint for a second-half surge, but Dartmouth may feel they need this game more than the Dutchmen do. All that said, I rarely pick struggling teams over consistent winners, and this is no exception. Union, 3-2.
Nate – The Big Green will face a much stiffer challenge in the second game of their New York road trip. The Dutchmen should cap a weekend sweep here. Union 3, Dartmouth 1
MSU-Mankato at St. Lawrence
Brian – Count it. Saints sweep, 4-3.
North Dakota vs. Clarkson (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
Brian – The Golden Knights are on a three-game skid. North Dakota has lost once in its last nine games (7-1-1). The game is being played across the border in Winnipeg, so even the distance favors UND. Sorry Green & Gold, this is an uphill battle all the way. 5-2
Sioux North Dakota.
Nate – Canada, huh? Almost made it. Bonus points for that movie reference, but in the mean time, the non-Fighting Sioux (Brian: the Fighting Who?) take on the Golden Knights at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba at part of the US College Hockey Classic. North Dakota 3, Clarkson 0
Cornell at Colorado College
Brian – This is as much optimistic as empirical: 3-2 Cornell for the split.
Tuesday, January 10
American Int’l at Rensselaer
Brian – Brown Rule applies, even though this might be one of those moments where it backfires. 2-1 AIC? *shrugs*
Nate – RPI 2, American International 0