ECAC Hockey picks: Week 10

Prediction precision

Last week

7-2-1 (.750)

Season record

46-23-10 (.646)
Guest guessers: 32-28-6 (.530)

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This week

All times Eastern

Friday, December 3

Rensselaer at Yale – 7:00

I’m not sure I could get Yale head coach Keith Allain’s birthday out of him in anything under three interviews, so I certainly don’t know what – if any – injuries the Bulldogs are suffering, nor how severe they may be. RPI, on the other hand, is missing a whole line of forwards as well as a blue-liner (senior John Kennedy, no less). That’s not a good recipe for success against the turbo-Dogs. (Might I suggest an advertising opportunity?) 5-3 Yale.

Alabama-Huntsville at Cornell – 7:00

The Big Red might be having a tough year, but nothing like independent UAH. At 2-11-1, the Chargers slogged through an 11-game winless slump (0-10-1) between victories, and now brave the lion’s den and the resurgent Big Red. Be warned, UAH did win its last game against UConn (who has given ECAC teams fits in its own right), and holds a 22 percent success rate on the power play. It’s the general team defense (4.14 goals against per game) and penalty kill (77 percent) that are dooming the Chargers. 5-2 Cornell in Game 1…

Union at Brown – 7:00

Bruno will be playing without captain, leading goal-scorer, and chief punk (to borrow a phrase) Harry Zolnierczyk against the potent Dutchmen, but Union may be thin on the blue line as well. Brown is on a nice roll (2-0-2), and Union’s been off for nearly three weeks. I think this game will come down to special teams, but quite frankly, I’m not sure how that will play out given the injuries. I’m giving Brown the tentative nod, 4-3.

Clarkson at Princeton – 7:00

Princeton has been the better team offensively and defensively. The Tigers have taken fewer penalty minutes, though the squads’ special teams have very similar numbers. The wild card? Princeton has only played two home games (1-1-0), and Clarkson, only one road game (0-1-0). Each side comes to the table on a hot streak, with the Golden Knights 3-1-0 in their last four, and the Tigers 5-1-0 in their last six. This is a tough one, but I’m tabbing the Tigers on the strength of their recent consistency, 3-1.

St. Lawrence at Quinnipiac – 7:00

The Saints are only three games removed (all losses) from their home sweep of Cornell and Colgate, but those were three long games in which SLU was out-scored 13-4. While young and inconsistent, QU is nonetheless 5-2-0 at home and that’s good enough for me: 3-1 Bobcats.

Saturday, December 4

Rensselaer at Brown – 4:00

RPI is only 1-3-2 on the road this year (but a perfect 6-0-0 at home), they’ll be playing with a short roster and on short rest, and Bruno will be getting Zolnierczyk back for this one. I almost can’t believe I’m saying it – it’s been so long since I’ve thought this way! – but I think Brown has a reasonable shot at besting the Engineers, and at wresting the weekend sweep. 4-2 Brown.

St. Lawrence at Princeton – 5:00

I find myself picking the home teams with great frequency lately, and this seems like another obvious candidate for that line of thinking. 4-1 Tigers.

Alabama-Huntsville at Cornell – 7:00

… and 5-3 in Game 2.

Clarkson at Quinnipiac – 7:00

This looks like a “correction” game for each side. QU doesn’t have a great power play, but it still accounts for nearly 30 percent of the team’s offense (which also isn’t exceptional). Clarkson’s power play is absolutely dreadful, but its penalty kill, on the other hand, is superb at 91 percent. Thus, the big difference as I see it is that the Knights have managed to win despite their PP, whereas the Bobcats have been moderately dependent upon the occasional PPG to boost a struggling offense. Advantage ‘Tech, 3-2.

Colgate at Army – 7:05

Sigh… even against a non-league opponent – one the Raiders beat earlier this year, no less – I must respect The Brown Rule. I invoked it, I have to see it through. 2-1 Black Knights.

Sunday, December 5

Union at Yale – 3:00 TV: ESPNU

Hoowee, if this ain’t the game of the week! Will the UC D be able to stand up to Yale’s blistering attack? Will Yale goalie Ryan Rondeau be up to the Dutchmen challenge? Union is very good, but I think Yale is even better than they were last year, and this will be put to the test Sunday afternoon. 5-3 Bulldogs.

Tuesday, December 7

Providence at Brown – 7:00 25th Mayor’s Cup

Good Lord, could Brown be seeking a six-game unbeaten run by Tuesday night? If so, they’re more than capable of taking down a tough but surmountable Friars team. The PC special teams are awful, but they’ve been playing elite competition and will have experience in tight games. Here’s to Bruno reclaiming the Cup, 4-1.

Wednesday, December 8

Quinnipiac at Harvard – 7:00

Two teams who can’t find the goal department converge on Bright Arena. The problem is for Harvard is that they’re not even looking in the right area code. 3-2 Bobcats.

Vermont at Yale – 7:00

It might not register too strongly on the radar, but the Bulldogs’ 1-0 loss at Vermont last year was a bitter one, and one that Yale will like to avenge in the team’s last major non-conference game of the season. 5-2 Yale.

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