ECAC Hockey picks: Week 7

The Pride of Cornell, Miss Meli Mathis, takes aim at two wins in a row, while we give the Four Guys a shot at redemption.

Big props to the Guys, who went the extra mile to create the first-ever Nate Leaman propaganda film to ever grace this site. (Their predicted scores are in the usual places, but their game-by-game “analysis” precedes the schedule, so look sharp.) Congratulations, Union and (apparently) Clarkson: they’re all yours.

Lots of predictions, so let’s get down to business.*

*Once again, opinions expressed by the guests are not necessarily those of USCHO or this correspondent.

Last week

Me: 5-4-3 (.542)
Mathis: 6-3-3 (.625)

Season record

Me: 25-11-8 (.659)
Guest guessers: 17-10-6 (.606)

This week

All times Eastern

The Four Guys in a Studio Apartment’s picks: Union will instantly regret its participation in this.

Friday, November 12

Harvard at St. Lawrence – 7:00

It’s hard to get a feel for Harvard so early on, but I’ll say one thing: last year’s team probably wouldn’t have had the fortitude to beat RPI the way that they did. Senior Kyle Richter had an outstanding weekend between the pipes, but here comes the long road trip: SLU is 2-1-1 at home and is coming off an immense four-point weekend against Cornell and Colgate, and rookie Matt Weninger is no slouch, either (.928 save percentage). It’s a youth-vs.-youth game, and I like the home team in their big wooden barn: 3-2 Saints.

MM: Harvard played well last weekend against RPI but I’m going to go with SLU(*) this week because I think they’re better. SLU(*) wins this one.

4G: St. Lawrence, 3-2.

Dartmouth at Clarkson – 7:00

This isn’t as long a trip for Dartmouth as it is for some of its leaguemates, but that doesn’t make the destination any friendlier. Clarkson finally found a couple power-play goals way in the back of the maintenance room behind the old nets; now it needs to get back on track fast after getting swept at home last weekend. If they don’t handle Dartmouth, they’ll be in a very tough position only three games into the ECAC Hockey season. 3-1 Knights.

MM: Clarkson is out for revenge on the Ivy League after last week. Clarkson wins this one.

4G: Clarkson, 3-1.

Quinnipiac at Cornell – 7:00

QU went into Lynah a few years ago and taught the Big Red a little post-season humility. Could it happen again this weekend? Possibly, but after finally tasting victory against Clarkson, I don’t think Cornell is going to be bounced around quite as easily as they were by UNH, RIT and SLU. 5-3 Big Red.

MM: As we know I BLEED BIG RED. Thus Cornell continues its awesomeness from last Saturday and beats the ‘Cats. Cornell wins this one.

4G: Quinnipiac, 5-3.

Princeton at Colgate – 7:00

Following two 2-1 losses at the Ivy Shootout, Princeton pinned three goals on Yale in a tight 5-3 loss, then came back from a 2-0 deficit to upend Brown, 4-3. The Raiders have offensive capability, but their results have been a mixed bag with two one-goal productions and three four-plus efforts. One problem that stands out is that when the Raiders offense is clicking, their D seems to take a night off. Can’t happen against Princeton; not with Calof and Arhontas circling. 4-2 Princeton in a semi-shocker.

MM: Princeton surprised me last weekend and were stronger than I was expecting, but I think Colgate will take it. Toothpaste wins this one.

4G: Colgate, 4-1.

Rensselaer at Union – 7:00

Union and RPI always play ’em tight: last year’s matchups were epic, and only got better as the history accumulated. I don’t expect this to be an easy game at all, but with so many variables floating around, I may as well pick the team that flat-out looks better so far: Union, 4-3.

MM: This is the home and home series. Since Union is at home I’m giving it to them Friday night. Union wins this one.

4G: Union, 3-1.

Saturday, November 13

Quinnipiac at Colgate – 4:00

Colgate hasn’t lost when scoring first, but they haven’t won when surrendering the first goal. QU is in a nearly identical situation (4-1-0/0-2-1)… but the Bobcats have demonstrated more pep out of the gate than the Raiders. Until I get a better handle on what kind of team Colgate has this year, it’s these situational micro-figures that I’m going to have to rely on. 3-2 QU.

MM: Quinnipiac will be mad that Cornell beat them on Friday (yes, I’m psychic about these things). Q wins this one.

4G: Colgate, 4-3.

Harvard at Clarkson – 7:00

The Knights are only 2-2-2 at Cheel this year – a far cry from only three or four years ago, when it was one of the most intimidating venues in the nation. This trip is a good early-season indicator of what Harvard’s really got under the hood, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they pulled it out in Potsdam. That said, however, I think Clarkson has the edge in experience and comfort, so I’ll pick the Knights, 4-2.

MM: Clarkson is still out for revenge against the Ivy schools, and it’s Harvard in the North Country. Clarkson wins this one.

4G: Clarkson, 2-1.

Dartmouth at St. Lawrence – 7:00

Dartmouth’s whole weekend is like a 48-hour game of “who hates power plays?” These two teams’ power-play percentages combined (18.1 percent) barely make for a good unit. Each team is looking at about five penalties a game, so at least we’ll have two periods of clean, competent hockey in between. The Big Green are an almost-completely unknown quantity to much of the league right now, with very opposite campaigns in the rear-view and only four games under its belt. Until I get a better feel for them, I’ll have to take SLU by the score of 4-3.

MM: SLU(*) is at home and has a very strong offense. I expect they’ll sweep the weekend. SLU(*) wins this one. (And I refuse to self edit, you must edit the * into place). [Sullivan’s note: yeah, thanks for that…]

4G: Dartmouth, 3-1.

Princeton at Cornell – 7:00

I can’t pick against Cornell against such a young opponent. (Not yet, in any case.) 4-1 Big Red.

MM: Red is better than orange. Even if I don’t like the new Cornell style for this season, they’ll look better than Princeton as they win. Cornell wins this one.

4G: Cornell, 5-1.

Union at Rensselaer – 7:00

Another big test for Union, who will have to fight continuously for national recognition. Can’t take a night off if you want to play with the big boys. Tough slog for RPI, as the Dutchmen pull it out 2-1.

MM: Again home and home series. This time’s in Troy, so I think the Engineers will take this one since they’ll want to get even for the night before (again, I’m psychic about these things).

4G: Union, 3-2.

Yale at Colorado College – 9:00

Picking CC at home seems like the “safe” selection, but Yale is the No. 3 team in the nation (on my ballot as well as the final poll), and they are playing more impressive hockey than the Tigers. It’s one of Yale’s very few opportunities to make a statement in a big non-conference game, as nobody outside the league seems to pay any attention to what happens in ECAC contests. 4-2 Bulldogs in a big one.

MM: This is one of the tougher ones to pick for the weekend. CC is always a contender and they play differently than the ECAC. I expect it’ll be close, but I also expect Yale won’t be able to keep up with the sheer speed of a Western team. CC wins this one.

4G: Yale, 5-3.

Sunday, November 14

Yale at Air Force – 8:05

Don’t waste all your energy at CC, boys… save some for the cross-town cadets. 5-4 Bulldogs.

MM: I really don’t know much about Air Force. I think that Yale is a strong team (yes, I even think they’re better than my beloved Big Red). I’ll call this one for Yale since they can’t go out to Colorado and come back without a win.

4G: Yale, 6-1.

See also:

ECAC Hockey has put together a really nifty series to celebrate the league’s 50th anniversary (or is it a 50th birthday-season?), naming the league’s top 50 players. To quote the league web site, “The top 50 players were determined by a selection committee made up of former coaches and media members. These honorees were tallied from 145 players (47 defenseman; 73 forwards; and 25 goaltenders).”

Wanna know the best part? I wasn’t one of the media members… so none of your complaints about any of the selections can be directed at me! Sweet, sweet reprieve.

But seriously, check ’em out, trade ’em, share ’em with your friends. Go ECAC Hockey!

Next week

Colgate gets its chance to set me right next week, as Stephen Shablak of Fan Forum fame drops by to battle myself (and, potentially, Mathis or the Four Guys) for Week 8 pick supremacy. I’m still on Twitter, and still posting updates that don’t justify full blog entries at SullivanHockey.