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College Hockey:
ECAC Hockey picks: Nov. 15-20

Overall: 20-14-3

All games are 7 p.m. unless noted

Friday, Nov. 15

Cornell at Clarkson

Clarkson shows no sign of slowing down. The Golden Knights have been outstanding defensively and have gotten balanced scoring through their lineup. Cornell has been shutout in its two of its last three games after a strong start, putting a combined 34 shots on goal in those two games. They’ll have to do better than that against the Golden Knights. One area to keep an eye on: Cornell has strong power play, while the Golden Knights are average on the penalty kill. Clarkson wins

Dartmouth at Princeton

It’s a tossup who needs this game more: the winless Big Green, or the Tigers, who won their opener, but have since lost six straight. I think Dartmouth has a little more depth, but no one is exactly lighting it up for either team, with the exception of Big Green forward Eric Neiley, who has five of his team’s 15 goals on the year. Dartmouth wins

Harvard at Quinnipiac

The Crimson have had some solid stretches in the early going, rallying for a 3-3 tie and posting a 2-0 win in back-to-back games against  Rensselaer. Raphael Girard and Steve Michalek have split time in net, with Girard being virtually lights out in three games, and Michalek more than holding his own. Whoever gets the start will need to be on top of their game, as the Bobcats have been throwing a ton of shots on net while clamping down in their own end.  The Crimson’s freshman class might pay off down the road, but Quinnipiac’s newcomers appear to have fit right in, a big reason for the Bobcats’ early success. Quinnipiac wins

Colgate at St. Lawrence

I think the Saints will win the five-on-five matchup; Greg and Matt Carey are deadly if given room to operate. Both teams have strong power plays, and neither has exactly lit it up on the penalty kill, so whoever can be more disciplined might have the best chance. St. Lawrence wins

Rensselaer at Union

RPI leads the all-time series against its Capital Region rival 45-31-10, but is only 4-18-3 over the last 25 meetings. Union has hit some snags this season, but it’s hard to argue with a 3-1 record through the first two weeks of ECAC play. If they can keep their emotions in check, the Dutchmen should start the weekend off with a win. Union wins

Saturday, Nov. 16

Colgate at Clarkson

Colgate has power-play goals in two straight games, but overall, their unit hasn’t been the same as it was last year. If the Raiders can straighten it out, they could make this game interesting, but Clarkson has been lights out most of the season. Tough to pick against the Golden Knights. Clarkson wins

Harvard at Princeton

The Crimson have allowed an average of two goals a game, while Princeton has scored an average of two goals per game. I think defense wins out. Harvard wins

Dartmouth at Quinnipiac

Quinnipiac has dominated Dartmouth in Hamden, going 9-2 all-time against the Big Green at home. The Bobcats have been relentless on both ends of the ice, and have fired an average of 35 shots on net per game. That’s bad news for a Dartmouth team that is giving up over five goals a game. Quinnipiac wins

Union at Rensselaer 

The Engineers got a little too emotional in last year’s series with Union, taking some costly penalties.  RPI’s has shown signs of being a more mature team this season, and they should feed off a strong home crowd. Rensselaer wins

Cornell at St. Lawrence

This is a nice matchup, as Cornell plays a physical style, while St. Lawrence typically uses its speed to create chances. But the Big Red have plenty of skilled players, while the Saints showed they can be physical when I saw them several weeks ago. I think both teams matchup pretty well. Tie

Sacred Heart at Yale

Rensselaer swept Sacred Heart by a combined score of 13-1 in two matchups earlier this year. The Bulldogs might not be at RPI’s level just yet, but Yale looks poised for another strong season and shouldn’t have much trouble against the Pioneers. Yale wins

Wednesday, Nov. 20

Boston College at Harvard

If the Crimson try to keep up with the Eagles, forget about it. Boston College has plenty of offensive talent throughout its lineup, and has scored five or more goals in nearly half its games entering the weekend.  A strong performance by Raphael Girard could steal a win for a young Harvard team, but Boston College looks to be playing a pretty complete game over the last few weekends. Boston College wins

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