ECAC Hockey picks: Week 16

Our good friend BD – Mr. Benjamin Davis – is back again, and why not? He can’t help but beat me. He rolls out of bed each morning a better prognosticator than I, and the rest of the day is just downhill from there.

Prediction precision

Season record: Me: 91-46-15 (.648)
Guest guessers: 70-45-12 (.598)

Benjamin Davis vs. Brian Sullivan: 2-0-1

Head to head: Sullivan 6, Guests 4*, with 1 tie.

This week

All times Eastern

Friday, January 21
St. Lawrence at Brown – 7:00

This is actually an interesting game: Brown only has a single home win in six games this season (last week against Yale, of all teams); St. Lawrence has to be feeling good after last weekend’s 10-goal win and tie weekend at Michigan Tech; and with Yale being Yale, Brown is now considered the must-win half of the weekend if a team hopes to grab any road points at all from the trip. I’m liking the direction Brown is heading, but this is a very difficult game to call. I’ll give it to Bruno, but really, who knows: 4-3 Brown.

BD: Brown is coming off a huge upset win vs. #1 Yale, and the Saints are coming into this game with a winning month so far (3-2-1). SLU has a game in hand on the Bears in the ECAC race but in order for St. Lawrence to have a chance at getting a home ice spot in the playoffs they need to start now. Saints win 4-2

Harvard at Rensselaer – 7:00

Harvard hereby becomes the fourth team, if I’m not mistaken (Brown, Clarkson, Colgate, now Harvard), for whom I’ve had to invoke The Brown Rule. 3-1 RPI.

BD: Harvard is coming off a shutout loss at Northeastern (Thank you Huskies it gained me my tie vs. Brian) and traveling to Houston Field House is no easy task. The only 2 league wins that are against an above .500 team are Union in OT and Dartmouth. I am not convinced yet that Rensselaer is worthy of their #14 national ranking. I will take RPI over the Crimson because Harvard just isn’t doing good. Engineers 4-3

Dartmouth at Union – 7:00

Not only are the Dutchmen unbeaten at home (9-0-1, 3-0-0 in the ECAC), but eight of their remaining 12 league games are at Messa Rink. As though Schenectady weren’t challenging enough as it is… 4-2 Union.

BD: #18 @ #12 nationally. In order for Dartmouth to have a chance at a top 3 spot in the league they must win this win. Union has outscored their opponents in the last 4 games 18-4. This will be a goaltenders dual with Kinkaid (Union) and Mello (Big Green) both posting GAA’s of under 2 goals per game. I am going to say the Big Green will cool down the Dutchman’s offense but not enough to score the win. Union in this one 2-1

Clarkson at Yale – 7:00

A popular saying holds that you learn more from your failures than your successes. Yale dropped the ball in the third period at Air Force, and then reeled off 10 straight wins. What will the split with Brown portend? Probably not a second consecutive loss, I’ll tell you that. 5-2 Bulldogs.

BD: Yale is coming off their first league loss of the year to Brown. Even with that loss they didn’t lose their #1 ranking. Clarkson is coming off a week off and their last game being a 8-1 shellacking from Union. Clarkson is once again no doubt the “underdog” in this one and hopefully like back in February 2002 (when Clarkson scored 5 straight in the 3rd to beat the bulldogs 7-5) they will leave the Yale Whale winners and the Bulldog fans shocked again. Knights win this one 4-2

Cornell at Colgate – 7:00

Brown Rule… two teams at once? Hey, it’s a rough year in Cambridge and Hamilton. 3-2 Cornell.

BD: The Central NY rivalry isn’t as exciting in my books as previous years. The 7th place Big Red vs. the 12th place Raiders. The weekend might provide some good games from some mediocre teams. Cornell in the weekend opener 3-2

Saturday, January 22

Clarkson at Brown – 4:00

Believe it or not, the young Golden Knights have a better road record (4-2-0) than home (4-5-2, 3-1-0 ECAC). Brown will have its hands full, as long as ‘Tech can rebound from the Yale game quickly enough for Saturday’s early start. 4-3 Clarkson.

BD: Hopefully if my predictions from Friday are right the Knights come out with a road sweep. Clarkson 3-1

Dartmouth at Rensselaer – 4:00

I have a real hard time believing that Dartmouth would lose both games this weekend… but I have an equally difficult time seeing either of the Capital District teams losing at home (combined 17-1-1; 5-1-0 ECAC). Betting on the hosts here, 4-2 RPI.

BD: Dartmouth has a winning record in league play. RPI did beat Dartmouth this year but it was only Dartmouth’s 3rd game of the year. Big Green are going to Troy and leaving with a split on the weekend. Dartmouth beats up the Engineers 5-1 (sorry RPI: no disrespect; prove me wrong)

U.S. Under-18 Team at Quinnipiac – 7:00


Colgate at Cornell – 7:00

Brown Rule. See, not only does it mean its invokee is terrible, but it also deprives you all of any formal write-up on the game! It’s just bad news all around. 3-2 Red.

BD: Colgate remains winless in the league but this one a little more of a blowout @ Lynah. Big Red 4-1

St. Lawrence at Yale – 7:00

This looked to be a pretty big mis-match, by ECAC standards, except that SLU may have flipped the switch on its goal machine: freshman Greg Carey has seven goals in nine league games, and 14 goals overall. He and sophomore Kyle Flanagan (five league goals) have combined more more than half of the Saints’ conference output. If they’re not kept in check, we could be in for a wild one in New Haven. That said, can’t pick against Yale this year: 5-3 ‘Dogs.

BD: If my predictions prove out right Yale will be losers of 2 straight. Sorry St. Lawrence but they have to take their frustration out on someone and you are next. Yale 3-1

Harvard at Union – 7:00

Brown Rule. Especially at Messa. 4-1 Union.

BD: Nothing on paper shows anything good for the Crimson. Union 4-1

Tuesday, January 25

Sacred Heart at Princeton – 7:00

Princeton is 2-0-0 at home against non-conference opponents (both UMass-Lowell). Sacred Heart is 0-6-0 against ECAC Hockey foes; 0-4-0 against ’em on the road. Tigers roar in a tune-up game, 5-2.

BD: The ECAC has just been downright brutal to the Pioneers this year. They have been outscored 40-8 in six games surrendering an average of 6.66 goals per game. Princeton wins this one and in a “below average” goals against. Princeton 6-2

It’s almost uncanny how often readers will ask questions that I’ve only recently addressed on Twitter, but not in an USCHO blog or article. Maybe more of them should be following me on Twitter then, eh?