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ECAC Hockey picks: Week 3

Still a few weeks off from intra-conference conflicts, but an encouraging nine-game docket awaits ECAC Hockey this weekend, including a couple of intriguing road deuces with St. Lawrence at Maine, and RPI at Minnesota State.

Friday, Oct. 19

Bowling Green at Colgate 7:00 pm ET
Brian: The Falcons and Raiders already have an opponent in common: Niagara. BGSU tied the Purple Eagles, 2-2, two weeks ago on the border. Colgate hosted the Purps three days later, and promptly booted them back to the Falls with a 10-2 beating. (To be fair, the Falcons put a minor scare into Union last Friday, taking an early 2-0 lead on the Dutchmen before succumbing in a 5-3 loss at home.) Especially at home, I think this is the ‘Gate’s chance to get back to (and above) .500. 4-1 Raiders.

Nate: Fresh off getting sweep by Union, Bowling Green heads to Hamilton to face the Raiders, a team they hold a 5-0 mark against all-time.  Colgate scored just one goal at Miami last week after posting a ten-spot on Niagara in their season opener. Note that Raiders freshman Tyson Spink will sit out the opener after getting a game disqualification in the final game at Miami. Bowling Green 2-1.

Ohio State at Quinnipiac 7:00 pm ET
Brian: The Ohio State University split a pair at ever-tough Minnesota-Duluth last weekend, and the Buckeyes have flirted with contender status for the past few years. The Bobcats have split with OSU each of the past two years (after sweeping them in 2009-10), but certainly hope for more after getting de-clawed by Robert Morris goaltender Eric Levine (48 saves) in Hamden last Saturday. Whither senior sniper Jeremy Langlois? The forward was out of the lineup in that game, and will constitute a major loss should he fail to suit up again in the near future. 3-2 Bobcats.

Nate: These teams have played six times over the last three years, with the Bobcats owning a 4-2 record in that span.  It’s been hit-or-miss for Quinnipiac on special teams so far, as QU is a perfect 15-for-15 on the penalty kill but 0-for-14 on the power play. The Bobcats have scored one shorthanded goal but given up two shorties as well.  It hasn’t been pretty on either special team unit for the Buckeyes, as they’re just one-for-13 on the power play and have killed just around 64 percent of their penalties.  Quinnipiac 4-1

St. Lawrence at Maine 7:00 pm ET
Brian: A split and a 6-6 aggregate score at Western Michigan ain’t too shabby, and that’s exactly what the Saints accomplished last weekend. Maine has looked legitimately shabby on the other hand, summing only one total goal in losses to Quinnipiac and Notre Dame, and eking out a 4-3 win against a perennially unremarkable Army team last Saturday. Maine will be frothing for a significant win – especially at Alfond – while SLU seems to have more momentum between the two. Tough call, but I’m giving Friday to the hungry hosts. 3-2 Black Bears.

Nate: This is the second time in three weeks an ECAC team heads north to Alfond, as Quinnipiac opened its season with a 2-1 win over the host Black Bears. Like Brian said, a solid trip west for the Saints last weekend. Close call here. 4-2 St. Lawrence.

Rensselaer at Minnesota State 7:37 pm CT
Brian: 1-0-1? How’s that strike you, Engineers fans? Believe it or not, it has been six years since the ‘Tute made it to Game 3 without a loss (2006-07, also 1-0-1). Next up is a taxing road trip to Mankato, where the home side is also 1-0-1 after a double-dip at Alabama-Huntsville. RPI may have played a tougher opponent, but those games were in Troy. This is a whole new ball o’ wax. I’m taking MSU-M in the opener, 3-2 Mavericks.

Nate: Not much more to add to Brian’s insight.  These two met for the time ever last season, splitting a series in Troy. Think that’s the same here, with the hosts taking the opener. Minnesota State 3-2.

Saturday, Oct. 20

Ohio State at Quinnipiac 4:00 pm ET
Brian: A split has been good enough for these sides for the past two years; why change it up now? Just because OSU’s icers don’t get 1/1,000th the amount of publicity that the Football Buckeyes do (if even that much), that doesn’t mean they aren’t legit. 4-3 Bucks.

Nate: I had the Bobcats down for a sweep last weekend against Robert Morris, but they settled for a split after getting blanked in the second game. Four-point weekends are tough in college hockey, even at home. Ohio State 3-1.

Bowling Green at Colgate 7:00 pm ET
Brian: I don’t see Round 2 going much different than Round 1. But then, I’m not much of a soothsayer. 5-2 Raiders.

Nate: Colgate should rebound and head home with two points. Colgate 4-1.

 

Holy Cross at Clarkson 7:00 pm ET
Brian: Your 6-2 win at American International isn’t impressing me, Crusaders. Clarkson, at Cheel, in the home opener? You betcha. Cue that horn. 5-2 Golden Knights.

Nate: Like I noted in this week’s column, the Golden Knights will raise Craig Conroy’s number seven to the rafters prior to the game. Should be a a few goals in this one. Clarkson 6-4.

St. Lawrence at Maine 7:00 pm ET
Brian: Hunger sated, the Bears fall flat on Saturday to a more consistent Saints squad. 4-2 SLU.

Nate: I’m going to take the opposite approach of Brian and predict that  Maine will wake up in the finale. It’s been a slow start for the Black Bears so far. Look for a turnaround here. Maine 4-2.

Rensselaer at Minnesota State 7:07 pm CT
Brian: I’m tempted to pick the Mavs again – home-ice advantage and all – but I’m going to put a little mostly blind faith in RPI to step it up a level and improve to 2-1-1 (or better). 3-2 Engineers.

Nate: Engineers should sneak home with a win Saturday night.RPI 3-1.

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