Welcome back for another season of weekly picks. It hasn’t even been six months since Yale won the national title, but the ECAC is ready to go with Clarkson and Colgate each starting the regular season this weekend. Quinnipiac, RPI and St. Lawrence are all in preseason action as well.
Saturday, Oct. 5
Ferris State at Colgate, 7 p.m.
Colgate started off last season with a bang, as the Raiders piled on ten goals in a decisive win over Niagara. Don’t look for another season-opening romp, as Ferris State goalie CJ Motte was excellent last season despite a mediocre year as a team for the Bulldogs. One thing to watch is who will start in goal for Colgate. Holdovers Spencer Finney and Eric Mihalik split time last season, but are joined by freshman Charlie Finn. Ferris State wins
Clarkson at Niagara, 7:05 p.m.
The Golden Knights ended last season in an offensive slump, and won’t find it easy against what looks to be a strong Niagara team, even minus goalie Carsen Chubak, who went pro after leading the Purple Eagles to the NCAA tournament. Clarkson head coach Casey Jones said there would plenty of competition for spots in the lineup, so it will be interesting to see who’s out there for the opening weekend. Niagara wins
Sunday, Oct. 6
Clarkson at Niagara, 2:05 p.m.
I could see a Clarkson win Saturday carrying over into the series finale. But the Purple Eagles should finish the sweep. Niagara wins
Ferris State at Colgate, 4 p.m.
The teams conclude the Bulldogs’ first visit to Starr Rink since the 2003-04 with an afternoon game. I think the Raiders get a win against the 2012 national runner up. Colgate wins
Thursday, Oct. 10
Colgate at RIT, 7 p.m.
RIT’s team defense was near the bottom of the national leader board last year, while the Tigers’ penalty kill was in the middle of the pack. That’s bad news against a Colgate team that can score in bunches and has a potent power-play unit. The Raiders should get the win in rare Thursday night game. This is also the Raiders’ only matchup against an Atlantic Hockey team this season. Colgate wins