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ECAC Hockey picks: Week 19

Last week: 3-6-1
Overall: 82-81-28

For all the talk of the balance in the ECAC, its possible the regular season title will be wrapped up Monday with two weekends left in the season. Quinnipiac hosts St. Lawrence and Clarkson needing two points to clinch its first-ever Cleary Cup.  But there is still plenty else to be settled throughout the standings. All games start at 7 p.m.

Brown at Rensselaer

It’s hard not to like the way these teams have been playing lately. The Bears are a on 4-1-1 run, while the Engineers are 6-3-1 over their last ten, including 4-0 at home. RPI has traditionally fared well against Brown, and that should continue. Rensselaer wins.

Colgate at Harvard

Will the Crimson’s win over Boston University Monday key another second half run?  For all it’s struggles, Harvard tied Dartmouth Sunday and held on against Boston College in the Beanpot opener.  Still, I think the Raiders should have enough firepower to pick up a road win. Colgate wins.

Clarkson at Princeton

The Golden Knights ripped Princeton for a season-high seven goals when these teams last met in November. Goalie Mike Condon gave up six goals in that game, but the senior has been carrying the Tigers of late. Princeton wins.

Cornell at Dartmouth

I touched on the Big Red’s struggles this season in this week’s column. But here’s another interesting note: Cornell has allowed 45 goals in 16 league games after giving up 46 in 22 last year. They’ve only given up 50 or more goals in ECAC play twice since 2000, but look likely to surpass that mark this season. Dartmouth is on a 1-3-2 stretch, but I’ve still got to take them over the struggling Big Red. Dartmouth wins.

St. Lawrence at Quinnipiac

A win by the Bobcats in their first game as the No.1 team in the country would clinch the Cleary Cup with two weekends remaining.  The Saints are one of many teams in the middle of the standings that have picked it up of late, but it’s tough to go against the Bobcats here. Quinnipiac wins.

Yale at Union

The Dutchmen are desperately trying to climb back into a top-four spot, while the Bulldogs are attempting to hold off a pack of teams behind them in the standings. Yale hasn’t scored a goal in its last five periods, dating back to a 6-2 loss to Quinnipiac Feb. 2.  Union has struggled at even-strength, but has been bolstered by the nation’s top-ranked power play. Tie.

Saturday, Feb. 16

Brown at Union

Bears goalie Anthony Borelli is probably the last thing the Dutchmen want to see. The senior goalie is second in the nation in save percentage, and made 44 saves in shutout of Yale Tuesday.  As I mentioned before, Union has struggled at even strength, but if the Bears can stay penalty-free, they have a very good shot at winning this one. Brown wins.

Colgate at Dartmouth

Colgate can put up goals in bunches, including four in the third period to take a 5-4 win when these teams met in November. That was an uncharacteristic meltdown for the Big Green, who have been pretty solid defensively even as they’ve struggled to score. Dartmouth wins.

Clarkson at Quinnipiac

It’s entirely possible the Bobcats will play this game with nothing on the line, assuming they beat the Saints to clinch the regular-season title Friday. Even if that does happen, I still don’t see QU losing its focus. Quinnipiac wins.

Cornell at Harvard

It’s amazing how far these teams have fallen since last year, when both finished with a first round bye. Now, both are all but certain to head on the road for the playoffs. The Big Red are looking to snap a seven-game losing streak, while Harvard has been unable to beat anyone but Boston University since defeating Cornell 4-1 on Nov. 16. Cornell wins.

St. Lawrence at Princeton

Plenty of top-end scoring talent on both teams,, but the Tigers have been tough at home and I think Mike Condon is playing a little better than the Saints’ Matt Weninger right now. Princeton wins.

Yale at  Rensselaer

RPI has suddenly found its scoring touch while Yale’s offense has run dry. The Engineers laid a smackdown on the Bulldogs when the teams met in December,  leaving New Haven with a 6-1 win. Yale will break out at some point, but I’m not sure if it will come Saturday in Troy. Rensselaer wins.

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