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College Hockey:
ECAC Hockey picks: Feb. 28 – March 1

Overall: 64-43-11

It’s the final weekend of the regular season in ECAC Hockey and the only spots decided are first (Union) and last (Princeton).Colgate has clinched a first-round bye, although the Raiders still can finish anywhere from second to fourth. Click here for a breakdown of all the possibilities for each team. All games are 7 p.m. unless noted.

Friday, Feb. 28

Rensselaer at Brown   

Picked to finish first by the media, RPI is eliminated from any chance of getting a top-four spot. However, both teams could clinch home ice this weekend. There are plenty of top-end scoring threats on each side, so secondary scoring could be essential.  Rensselaer wins       

Harvard at Colgate  

After platooning with Raphael Girard through the early part of the season, Harvard’s Steve Michalek has is unbeaten in four of his last five starts and has logged shutouts in two of them. But reigning rookie of the week Charlie Finn has come on strong for the Raiders as well, and I think Colgate has more weapons on offense. Colgate wins

Dartmouth at Cornell    

Cornell needs wins, not only for the conference standings, but for the PairWise as well. The last game between these teams ended with Dartmouth’s Eric Neiley getting a game disqualification at the end of overtime, so keep an eye on any carryover this at Lynah Friday. Cornell wins          

Quinnipiac at St. Lawrence      

The Bobcats are looking to snap a three- game losing streak compounded by injuries and a mini-scoring drought. St. Lawrence beat Quinnipiac in Hamden 3-2 on Feb. 8, and has been pretty solid this season outside of a brutal nine-game stretch in the middle of the year. QU is currently seventh in the PairWise, and I’ve got to think they’re a pretty solid bet for the NCAA tournament. Of course, that could change if their skid continues, but I think they’ll break out of it. Quinnipiac wins

Union at Yale     

Union wrapped up the school’s third regular-season title in four years last weekend, but don’t expect the Dutchmen to take the last two games off. That’s what coach Rick Bennett said, although he did mention the possibility of goalie Colin Stevens sitting for a game. Defending national champion Yale needs to put together some points if they want a first-round bye. Still, I’m not sure if a motivated Bulldogs team is enough to overcome the Dutchmen. Union wins            

Princeton at Clarkson     

The Golden Knights have struggled lately but even with their skid, they’ve still managed to win as many games in the second half (five) as the Tigers have won all season. Clarkson wins

Saturday, March 1

Union at Brown, 4 p.m.

The Dutchmen haven’t won at Meehan Auditorium since 2010. Union isn’t that far off from being undefeated – five of their six losses are by one goal, and the other was a two-goal decision with an empty netter. There are several scenarios Brown could be playing for on Saturday, but either way, I think the Bears continue the Dutchmen’s misery in Providence. Brown wins

Quinnipiac at Clarkson

It’s possible at by this point Clarkson will have been eliminated from any chance of getting a top-four spot. The Bobcats beat the Golden Knights 6-3 in a physical game in Hamden in February. That matchup was closer than the score indicated, as Clarkson overcame two early goals to tie the game, and had several potential goals reviewed. I think QU will head home with a sweep. Quinnipiac wins

Dartmouth at Colgate      

Like I said above, the Raiders need to pad their win total to get some cushion heading into the postseason. Dartmouth has played better over the last few weeks, but Colgate has been red-hot in the second half, especially recently. Colgate wins        

Harvard at Cornell    

Depending on Friday’s results, the Crimson could have the chance to play spoiler against Cornell. Either way, I think the Big Red should be able to neutralize Harvard’s speed and come away with a win. Cornell wins

Princeton   at St. Lawrence

The Saints blew out Princeton in New Jersey, so I don’t see any reason why they should lose to them at home. St. Lawrence wins

Rensselaer at Yale

There might be a shorthanded goal or two at Ingalls Saturday. RPI is third in the nation with seven on the season, while the Bulldogs set a school record with three against Princeton last weekend. Either way, RPI has won its last two games at Yale, and I think that will continue.   Rensselaer wins

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