OK, it’s time to throw my hat in the ring – picks time. Never been a big prognosticator, at least not a good one. Terrible at poker, OK at roulette, never played the ponies. Wish me luck, or comment below to vote against me.
Miami at Colgate (Friday-Saturday)
I like Colgate in both games on this one. That said, it’ll be close, probably a couple one-goal games. True, the Redhawks, who just split a series at home against Bemidji State, have always been a good road team (especially in 2009-10, when they went 12-1-5 away from Steve Cady Arena).
However, it was the Raiders that had the real show of power last week. Robbie Bourdon, John Lidgett and Kurtis Bartliff each had three points in leading the Raiders to the Mutual of Omaha Stampede title. An added bonus – they each scored both nights.
Colgate goalies Eric Mihalik (Goalie of the Week) and Alex Evin each had a win, while it was really a mixed results type of weekend for the Redhawks’ backstops. Cody Reichard gave up four of the Beavers’ five goals in the third period alone. Colgate knows they can get in the Redhawks’ heads.
Colgate, 4-3; Colgate, 1-0.
Sacred Heart at Clarkson (Friday-Saturday)
I’d like to ask Clarkson to be gentle to a Pioneers team that came back from getting whupped a combined 15-0 at Minnesota. The Golden Knights still need a win themselves, so here’s their best two chances possibly all season, especially against an opponent that has won 10 total away games the last two seasons (and are obviously 0-2 this year).
Louke Oakley is the only Clarkson player with points in two separate games, but first-year head coach Casey Jones has to like the fact 10 skaters put up points during the Knights’ trip to Alaska for the Kendall Hockey Classic. A power play that went 3-12 on the weekend is a nice confidence-booster as well.
Clarkson, 5-1; Clarkson, 6-2.
Western Michigan at Union (Friday-Saturday)
This could be one of the toughest series to call this weekend, because both teams are getting here via clear routs of their opposition last week. The Union Dutchmen beat Army, 8-1, and the Western Michigan Broncos beat Alabama-Huntsville, 7-1 and 4-0.
Neither defense was really tested last week, the Dutchmen seeing 18 shots in their game and the Broncos seeing 22 over two contests. That could be the clincher – whichever defense wakes up first wins. I’ll call my first split.
Western Michigan, 3-1; Union, 2-0
Rensselaer at Ferris State (Friday-Saturday)
The Engineers will have to boost their power play production from an unimpressive 2-for-16 performance the first weekend of the season. St. Lawrence made Ferris State look like a world-beater last week, as the Bulldogs scored four power play goals and went 9-for-10 on the penalty kill.
Ferris State, 3-0; Ferris State, 2-1
Canisius at Quinnipiac (Saturday-Sunday)
All signs point to a Quinnipiac sweep – Canisius hasn’t played a regular season game yet and only managed a tie against Queen’s University in exhibition play back on Oct. 2. The Golden Griffins have to find a way to stop Jeremy Langlois, who has four points and has scored in each of his three games this year. The Griffs could try to exploit a goaltending tandem (of Eric Hartzell and Dan Clarke) that is still trying to find its feet, holding save percentages of .875 or worse out of the gate.
Quinnipiac, 4-2; Quinnipiac, 7-4
St. Lawrence at RIT (Saturday)
Sorry, Saints, it’s another tough draw for you as you seek win No. 1.
St. Lawrence comes off a heart-wrenching trip to Ann Arbor that saw the Michigan Wolverines hit the Saints with a 10-3 defeat. RIT didn’t show great guns when they opened the season on Saturday with a scoreless tie against Niagara, but goalie Shane Madolora was impressive in net with 32 saves. Watch out for Cameron Burt, with 107 points in 110 career games. RIT has won 25 games at Ritter Arena the last couple years, as well. This game, however, will take place at a sold-out Blue Cross Arena in downtown Rochester (thanks, Jen).
The Saints should be able to get a point (or more?) out of junior Kyle Flanagan, with five points in three games, including two multi-point games. Associate head coach Mike Hurlbut needs everyone to get going, though, and soon.
RIT 3, St. Lawrence 1
So, professor(s), what do you see happening this weekend?