ECAC Hockey picks: Oct. 21-22

Last week

Josh flew solo (and aren’t we so proud of him?) last week, going 8-1-2. I think I’m in for a dogfight this year… and I’m sure that some of you will prefer his brand of prognostication to my own. Call it a hunch.

This week

Rensselaer at Notre Dame (Friday)
Brian: The Irish split at champion Minnesota-Duluth to open the season, but split at home with Ohio State last weekend. RPI, of course, split with Minnesota State two weeks ago before dropping consecutive shutouts at Ferris State. Getting blanked in three of four games is bad, but having players like Brock Higgs, Marty O’Grady and Greg Burgdoerfer still on the shelf is worse. At least the Engineers are playing well defensively, and can reasonably hope for an improvement in fortunes when they return. Not feeling too optimistic in this matchup, though.
ND, 3-1

Josh: This is not the ideal situation for an Engineers team that’s limping in off a two-loss weekend against Ferris State. They have to travel back to the heartland and be “the other team” when the Fighting Irish open up their new rink, the Compton Family Ice Arena. Rensselaer was taken to school on several fronts against the Bulldogs – it is imperative that the Engineers find some offense after being shut out twice consecutively. The energy surrounding the Papal Gold and Madonna Blue will probably be just too much to overcome on Friday night.
Notre Dame 3-1

Union at Niagara (Friday)
Brian: The Purple Eagles have scored two goals in three games… and both of those came in one loss. Local officials are considering replacing the goal judge with half a tub of leftover cole slaw to save money. They may want to hold off on that until after this weekend though, as I think the Dutchmen are likely to resemble the Army-whoopin’ team of two weeks ago now that they’re not playing a tough CCHA squad.
Union, 6-1

Josh: The Dutchmen lead this series 5-0-0 all-time, and the Purple Eagles’ unimpressive 0-2-1 start, lack of offense (two goals in three games thus far) and the Dutchmen’s 2-1 scoring ratio so far all point to a pretty good win for Union. What will the Purple Eagles’ answer be for Kelly Zajac, who has spread five points over all three of his games so far? One tip for the Dutchmen – don’t draw a penalty. Niagara’s one strength thus far is 14-for-15 penalty killing.
Union 5-1

American International at Clarkson (Friday-Saturday)
Brian: This is a good opportunity for the new readers to acclimate themselves with “The Brown Rule”: if a team has never demonstrated any indication of possessing the mere ability to be a winner, I can not pick them. Don’t take it too personally, AIC – it’s not called “The AIC Rule”, after all. But for the first time, I’m using The Brown Rule in reference to a non-ECAC team. Now AIC can take it personally.
Clarkson, 5-3; Clarkson, 6-1

Josh: Good old Yellow Jackets. They just keep plugging away, trying, often not succeeding, but trying again. They gave Holy Cross a battle last Saturday losing 2-1, and their goalie is performing fairly well despite an 0-3 record to start the season. Ben Meisner has turned away 107 of 116 shots. He’s getting bombarded, so the key for Clarkson is to just fire away and see what gets through. Louke Oakley is hot for Clarkson, scoring four goals last weekend and holding six points so far this season. Paul Karpowich looked great last weekend against Sacred Heart, but gave up seven goals the week prior on 69 shots. Clarkson’s power play and penalty kill are sharp at 30.4 and 88.9 percent, respectively, which will be a big help against any opponent.
Clarkson 4-0, Clarkson 5-2

Quinnipiac at Robert Morris (Friday-Saturday)
Brian: The Colonials dropped the season-opener to Colgate out in Omaha, and now the Bobcats have an opportunity to finish the ECAC portion of RMU’s schedule in depressing fashion. QU has enjoyed the first four of its six straight Atlantic Hockey tilts, outscoring Holy Cross, Canisius and Bentley by a 22-5 aggregate. (This weekend isn’t the end of Quinny’s 2011 AHA Tour, either: they draw Brown Rule sure-bet Sacred Heart in December.) All I’m going to say is, if the Bobcats are going to be accommodating enough as to wax nostalgic with their former league-mates, they’d better be equally gracious to their current colleagues by playing their old role to perfection… by beating the tar out of all the programs they used to dominate back in the AHA and the MAAC.
Quinnipiac, 3-2; Quinnipiac, 5-1

Josh: “Oh, great. Langlois again?” Let’s just pretend those were the words of Robert Morris goaltender Brooks Ostergard when he heard his old Eastern Junior Hockey League nemesis was making the trip this weekend to Pittsburgh. Langlois, who played for the Jersey Hitmen in the “EJ” faced Ostergard while the goalie was on the Bay State Breakers. Now, Ostergard and the Colonials are facing an EJ alum who is the leading scorer in the nation at 1.83 points per game (11 points in six – really, all six games). Good luck, Brooks. You’re on, Jeremy. Add to the EJ alumni party Trevor Lewis (Syracuse Stars), who has points in each of his first three games this year.
Quinnipiac 4-1, Quinn. 2-1

Union at RIT (Saturday)
Brian: The Tigers are likely one of the top two teams in Atlantic Hockey, but they’ve had some struggles early on, including Thursday’s first loss to Canisius in nine games. They have a lot of jump and the ability to score in bunches, but consistency (including a sub-70 percent penalty kill) have been the thorn in the Tigers’ paw so far. Union looks sharp, but can’t afford to slip up if it wants to hold onto its totally useless USCHO Poll ranking.
Union, 4-2

Josh: Game of the weekend for ECAC teams? Probably. After the show RIT put on against St. Lawrence (tying the game with nine seconds and winning it 14 seconds into OT) in front of 10,556 at Rochester’s Blue Cross Arena, the Tigers are operating on pure energy. Union just gave up two games it was winning to allow Western Michigan to come away with two ties. RIT is 12-5-3 overall in the all-time series, but Union is 3-1-1 in the last five. Cam Burt scored five points in the one game against the Saints, while Union’s Kelly Zajac has five in each of three games. Don’t call a tie, Josh. That’d be the easy way out. OK. Here goes:
RIT 3-2

Army vs. Colgate (Saturday)
Brian: Army is 0-3-0, outscored 16-3. Perhaps a tight 3-2 loss at Merrimack bodes well for the Cadets, but I’m not banking on a massive upswing in Army’s fortunes this weekend. This game is out on Cape Cod, in Hyannis, Mass, so if you’re in the area give it a look! It’s a heck of a lot closer to you coastal alumni than Hamilton.
Colgate, 4-1

Josh: The Raiders return to Hyannis, Mass., (why are two New York-based teams in Hyannis, again?) for the second annual Cape Cod Collegiate Classic. Colgate is the absolute favorite, with the Black Knights just not showing much of any power yet. It’s more than just a flesh wound. The Raiders may take off another limb thanks to potent scorers like Austin Smith (four-game scoring streak, three-game goal streak) and Chris Wagner (three-game point streak). Will Don Vaughan go with Eric Mihalik or Alex Evin in net? Mihalik’s stats aren’t exactly shining (.877, 2.96), but it shouldn’t matter against a team that’s scored three goals over three games.
Colgate 6-2

Josh is still new enough to this gig that he thought we care enough about exhibition games to add them to our workload. Cute, right?

Josh: Whole bunch of exhibitions for Ivies
Cornell’s Saturday opponent, Carleton, has had some success against ECAC opponents, tying Colgate 3-3 and beating St. Lawrence, 5-2. They’re tested and could be trouble for Cornell, but the Big Red are always a tough date. Cornell, 2-1 in that one.

Western Ontario took some beatings against Notre Dame and Michigan State, and now they have Harvard and Dartmouth. Both ECAC teams should win fairly easily.

Guelph has been struggling in its Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) schedule, and now they’re going up against Cornell and Princeton. Again, easy ECAC wins in both.

Only Carleton has beaten Waterloo, who travel to New Haven to face ever-powerful Yale. Waterloo has some offense at its disposal (21 goals in four games), and Yale is inexperienced in net and hasn’t faced opposition yet. Yale, 3-2.

Princeton and Dartmouth face Neumann College and Norwich University, respectively, in a pair of D-1 vs. D-3 scrimmages. The depth and overall skill of Division 1 should shine through in both and they should be at least three-goal wins for the Tigers and Big Green.

95 COMMENTS

  1. “Hot goaltending, opportunistic scoring, and great penalty killing”.  Wow so that’s the template for beating UMD.  Newsflash that’s the template for beating ANY team. Its almost comical to read that quote.  Oh..you also forgot to mention it’s really important to score more goals than your opponent. 

    • What is truly comical is your failure to recognize something written tongue-in-cheek. Obviously that’s the way to beat anybody, I was trying to have some fun with it. Life is too short and your ‘Dogs are too good to be so serious.

      • I’m too serious?  I was laughing when I wrote that comment. Trust me I’ve followed these Bulldog for a long time and remember so incredibly long seasons so I’ve learned not to get to worked up over the ‘Dogs.  My comment wasn’t an attack on your article it was more of an observation of the obvious.    

    • I would rather see the Bulldogs and Gophers play every year in a home and home series.  Let BSU, Mankato and St. Cloud play the Gophers in the Minnesota version of the Beanpot.   

      • All MN tournament! Would be a blast! Could you expand to six teams and still get it done in a weekend? Next problem is world juniors always takes players!

        • I still don’t think MSU-Moorhead will be starting a program.  I hope I’m wrong but I just don’t see it so I think your stuck at 5 teams.  With SCSU and UMD going to the National they will already be seeing each other 4 times in league play.  Plus, I would assume this tourney would be played at the “X” so the Gophers can claim its a neutral site, which in reality it’s not.  My guess is most Bulldog fans would agree they would rather see a 2 game series against the Gophers than a MN tourney with the Bulldogs involved. 

          • Couldn’t agree with you more.  As a Bulldog fan I have very little interest in this type of set up.  Sorry, but I’d like to see those teams in Duluth instead of at the X. 

          • No offense to the other MN teams but a tournament without the Bulldogs would be a soft tournament. Think of the revenue stream if there was a tournament at the Xcel.. or even outdoors at Target Field. 

          • Good point GoldyTheGreat!  Everything boils down to revenue!  (Big Ten)  Sorry!  Without Duluth or UND, the Xcel and Target Field would both laugh at the idea!

          • My point about the Revenue Stream was alluding to the benefits of all teams involved in a tournament. The Gophers have money already but other Universities would definitely benefit financially from a tournament. Oh and trust me.. We don’t need UND involved for a successful tournament at XCEL or Target Field.

          • Lol. I’m not from Edina and anyone who’s from the Twin Cities knows Edina is no different from any other suburb. It’s well documented that smaller Universities like Mankato/Bemidji will lose revenue without the Gophers/Badgers/Bulldogs etc. visiting their arenas which is unfortunate in tough Economic times. This is echoed by my close friends and coworkers who are Mankato, Bemidji alumni that I talk to regularly. I take a lot of pride in Minnesota Hockey and like to see all Minnesota teams succeed except for when they play my hometown team that I’ve followed for 25 years which is only normal. That’s what I was alluding to when talking about revenue but it’s obviously been misconstrued.

          • I heard from a un-linkable source that there are goalie helmets already being made to show off what the Dragons (what the hell) will look like.  I don’t now what water that holds but I think it’s more of a real possibility than we might think!

  2. Where is scott reed when I need to say I told you so. Or at least I said it before and UND vindicated me. Great series out of the um/und schools this year. It will be missed.

  3. Replace the Mariucci Classic with a Minnesota College Hockey Showcase.  Play it over a holiday weekend.  It would be a great fundraiser for all schools involved.  There are enough alumuni and current students from all schools that live in the Twin Cities so it would be a  pretty good draw.  It would be better than the Gophers vs Niagra  There’s the Bean Pot and the GLI so why not make something like this work in MN.  Easier said than done.  I’m sure the MN schools not in the same conference will probably end up playing each other anyways on fairly regular basis – but it would be nice to get the gang together for bragging rights. 

    • my thoughts as well. mariucci classic is really boring overall. get a little tournament with duluth, UND and bemidji or nebraska-omaha. maybe even do it outdoors like they do out east every year. would be awesome and tickets would fly like hotcakes but yeah them other teams may be bored with that idea after playing each other alot so maybe toss in wisconsin too then

  4. oh and anything that happens on the ice is here say. so to these bafoons who write the wcha articles, you guys need to watch the tape. Blood only retaliated to a gopher who got in a cheap shot after time expired. The handshake ordeal could have amounted from anything, but to just simply point blame and call out Ben Blood is ridiculous.   Long Live The FIGHTING SIOUX!!!!!!!

    • Regardless of what did or did not happen before the handshake line, nothing like that should have occurred during the line.  Ben Blood is a classless goon.  He fits right in at The University Formally Known as the Sioux.

  5. “…the Mavericks scored on three of their 15 shots on Kenny Reiter…”

    I believe there was an empty net goal that was scored by the Mavs on Saturday night.

  6. At the end of the day ask yourself if it really matters.  Maine swept the then number 3 team in the nation and now they’ve swept the number two team.  Now those two Boston based teams are rank 5th and 3rd respectively after being swept by Maine, but where does Maine rank?  15th.  Yes.  15th. Pairwise puts Maine at 10th – and that’s with the early season let downs that you can make the case could be taken into consideration when ranking the team, but really shouldn’t rankings be based on both pairwise rankings and team performance today?  Ohio State has completely collapsed and they still outrank Maine. Cornell wouldn’t be mid-pack in Hockey East and they’re ranked above Maine.  This Maine team is the hottest in the country right now – it should be top 5 ranked.  Whitehead haters should be less concerned with him and more concerned at who’s phallus needs attention in order to get a decent ranking in College hockey.

    • Regular season “rankings” do not matter, especially the swings caused by four games played.

      Maine at 10th in the Pairwise is a good place to be. If the Black Bears maintain that, they make the NCAA tournament, where the only rankings are determined at the end of the game. Maine beat BU twice at Agganis, with a couple of well-played low-score results. BU has FIVE first place votes in last week’s polls, which was five too many in this BU fan’s opinion. Then, with all the “dominant” talk from the writers, you just knew it would not be the case. There is no “dominant” Hockey East team this year. There are five really good teams.

    • I was surprised as you were that Maine did not garner more respect in the online poll. BU, BC, and MC in the 3,4,5 slots… Really?? BC has been skidding horribly and barely beat the 8 seed HE team this weekend. Cornell is a joke, which the pairwise reflects, but to put them ahead of Maine anywhere is ludicrous!
      We should have won 2 of the 3 games against Merrimack which would have made a big difference in the pairwise. But the 10 slot is a good spot I think as more than one of the teams ahead of them are overrated and our boys will still be hungry to prove that they belong in the top 5…..

      • Belong in the top 5?  I hope you’re talking about being top 5 Hockey East and not the country.  Maine top 5 in the country?  LOLLOLOLOLOLOLOL.

  7. Thank you, Tim Low and Jack Millea!  The BC hockey program was heading South quickly, then you two helped out.  Right after UNH scored to take a 3-2 lead on Friday night and we were staring another loss in the face, stripes to the rescue.  With 3+ minutes left, a penalty, allowing us to tie the game and eventually win.  Then Mr. Millea went one step further, on Saturday.  Putting the whistle away from the half way mark of the third period until 2:17 gone in OVERTIME, then you again saved us with the PP.  Luckily we didn’t let you down and scored on it.
    Both were tripping calls (not something like boarding, hit from behind, contact to the head, etc…) and could have easily been let go, as many had been until then.  Though, they were legit penalties.  But, after a couple of well played games and the calls stopping as the time wound down, they were made at just the right time!
    Thank you again.
    Yours Truly,
    Jerry York

    Sorry for the rant, the FRUSTRATION is setting in and even when this team comes to play and does what it takes to get a win, it just doesn’t happen.  I am not a sore loser, nor am I one to blame the refs, it’s just getting old this year.  I am also not trying to take anything away from BC as they did play well both nights too.

    Congrats to Maine and keep up the good work.

    • Oh no, the refs called a penalty on the UNH Skating Mother Theresas!  Give me a break.  Both late calls on UNH were the right call.  Do the rules not matter after 50 minutes?  55 minutes?  10 minutes?

      UNH scored their 2nd goal after a terrible missed tripping call as a BC player was about to skate out of the zone.

      And UNH had a golden opportunity on a terribly BLOWN call on Alber with 10 mins left in regulation.  UNH blew it with a bad PP. 

      So sorry.  Better luck next year.

      • Just looking for consistency and, unless it’s brutal or changes a scoring possibility (which it didn’t), they are not called in overtime.  That is the one that really bothers me, not so much Friday night.
        I never said the rules change after 50+ minutes, but there were a number of potential calls both ways in the last 10 minutes on Saturday, not called, that to call one in OT is ridiculous.
        It works both ways, but that call was awful.
        And I apologized for the rant, so thanks for your input, Blinky.

        • And, not to get into the Boston vs. the rest of HE war, but I am certainly not the only person that sees Mr. York and Mr. Parker get some calls at opportune times.

        • Let me put it this way.  The 2nd UNH goal was called because a BC player was tripped coming out of his zone with the puck

          The two late calls on Fri and Sat vs. UNH were… you guess it… BC players coming out of the zone with the puck and both got tripped.

          So it’s not a stretch to suggest it could lead to a scoring chance for UNH and needed to be called.

          • As I said, I am OK with Friday’s, but on Saturday, I believe the puck was already gone.  Still a penalty and in my first post you will see, I said they were legit penalties, but after letting so much go, to call that at such a crucial time was tough.
            I also gave credit to BC and I hold nothing against them, I am fine as long as a HE team wins the NCAA’s and keeps the WCHA quiet.
            It was merely a rant of frustration at the way the entire season has unfolded.  I know UNH doesn’t have the National Championships to show as others do, but we are also not used to being in 9th place in HE at this time of the season.

          • Anyways, it is what it is and it’s over.  We will never agree, so good luck with the season.  On the even brighter side, Milner played pretty well after the first goal on Friday… maybe they will finally stick with one guy.

  8. BU was over-ranked at number 2 in the country with 5 first place votes last week. They got there because so many other teams had a bad weekend. Then they had a bad weekend, getting outplayed by Maine. Maybe my Terriers were too busy getting ready for the Beanpot, but give full credit to the Black Bears. As much as I love BU, they were not the dominant team being written about the past two weeks. They are a very good team with flaws, just like BC, Maine, Merrimack and Lowell, in no particular order. 

    The top of Hockey East this year truly is an old-fashioned cage match, with Maine returning to the group and Lowell/Merrimack filling the void left by UNH. Any of the five top teams could run away with the regular season title, or get bounced in the first round of the Hockey East tournament. The regular season could also end with a bunch of teams separated by 2-4 points, with tournament winner possibly being the 4/5 seed.

  9. Even if Maine wins out, which this team is definitely capable of, they have just one game remaining against a TUC; combined with their early-season losses to TUCs, they are not likely to stay in the top-16 PWR.

    They are probably going to need to advance to the HEA championship game to make the PWR math work.  That’s gonna be very difficult if they don’t snag home ice for the playoffs….

    • Remember Merrimack still has 3 games with Lowell and two with BC left to play. I think there will be some shaking up of hockey east before the end of the regular season…..

  10. Umile might get a call in his favor (outside the Whit) now and then if he wasn’t such a loudmouth jerk.  I thought he was going to have another coronary 5 minutes into the game friday night over a no call.  Jerry York is and has always been the epitome of class behind the bench.
    Looks like there will be no Univ. of No hardware chants this March as the wildcats will be golfing (or farming) early

    • Original… never heard that no hardware thing before, must have thought it up yourself.
      You can chant it all you want, they won’t be playing for any of us to hear it!

      • However, I can’t argue with you at the way Umile acts… this year is worse than most too, I think the team doesn’t show up half the time, so he is becoming extremely frustrated too.  York is definitely a class act.

  11. What are the expansion plans? Is Arizona a possibility, are other schools seriously interested in adding hockey? The attendance for the playoffs has been poor so what ideas do they have to make it better? Are there any other proposals in the works like the current age proposal? Specifically have they ever considered proposing to put an age limit on when you can start recruiting a kid?

  12. The big ten conference needs more teams and unfortunately when Penn State came in it broke up some great rivalries such as Minn vs ND-Mich vs Notre Dame and others. Those rivalries are missing and the big ten should of bypassed rules of if a school was in big ten sports as could of gotten several teams from the nchc–wcha and old teams from the ccha. As a result the big ten is not that strong in Hockey and that should be addressed. Also get rid of the shootout all together as the 3 on 3 is exciting and if no winner then just have a tie like hockey East. Expand the time for the overtime from 5 minutes to a full period of 20 Minutes. If you don’t want ties then just play until a winner. Also you might have the big ten tournament in a smaller venue like yost arena or others as the joe and st paul won’t draw the same as for example the old wcha tournament. The fan base in these areas is not as large as others and not the same passion. The only thing that did work out is that my minnesota and my wifes Michigan are in the same conference and play eachother more which is good.

  13. The Joe Louis-Xcel tournament system ends it’s first contract run next year. What are the tourney location plans after that? Staying with the rotation, keeping it only in Hockeytown/’state of hockey’, taking it to other cities, moving it to another city…?

  14. Any chance of adding northeastern schools to the B10, like Harvard, BU, Princeton, Cornell, Rutgers, etc? Any SEC schools interested, say Tennessee?

  15. My questions being-1. Will you get more teams in the big 10 conference or are you basing it only if they belong to the big 10 conference-It definitely needs more teams. 2. Can you get rid of the shootout and just play overtime–and expand the ot.
    3. finally can you get the big 10 tournament in smaller arenas–as it won’t work at the Joe and others like the old wcha at the excel center that did work because of that conference.

    • Not get tied by Arizona State. In all seriousness though, this is a three things blog, and there are eight teams, so regardless some teams will be left out.

          • I don’t expect, nor would I want, Denver to be mentioned every week. I hardly think DU “earned” a tie with Lake Superior, though. LSSU goalie, Nick Kossoff, “earned” the tie. Since Candace was at Magness, I’m sure she can verify my statement. SCSU looks like the real deal, good for them and our league. I am sure BC is not happy and will be ready when we play them, and BU, this weekend. I will save my powder to see how St. Cloud reacts to a “hot” goalie, one I am sure they will face in the NCHC. That will be a good measuring stick on what kind of team they are.

          • Chris Terreri with Providence (then went on to the Devils)came into the old DU Arena and beat us 1-0, I believe, in @ 1986. That came close.

          • As a twins fan…..I can say I was thoroughly enjoyed by the outcome……as we always get crushed by them no matter if it is regular season or playoffs.

          • Kind of unfortunate they had to play the Yankees in the WC game. Would have been much better for the Twins if Yanks beat Boston for title, Twins match up better playing Red Sox.

          • You a Yankee fan, DU? Yes sir, still hurting from that. Saturday’s win over the Gophers was helpful haha.

          • Sure am. Wife and I grew up 3 miles north of West Point, attended a lot of Yankees and Ranger games. Went back to visit and saw a couple at the new stadium. I didn’t have to go through the agony of watching Friday and Saturday, luckily had DU home games. :-)

          • I chose to watch Friday and Saturday and then kept my phone off and stayed off the computer and DVRed the Sioux/Gophers. Friday was an awful, awful night.

          • I feel your pain. Future looks bright, though. Waiting for Cashman to resign Girardi. His calm demeanor helps with young players.

  16. Candace: Consider coming to St. Cloud for the Nov. 3-4 series with Minnesota Duluth. It won’t disappoint! Seeing is believing.

    • Candace should probably head to Madison that weekend to watch the Sioux play Bucky…….her biggest fan, #1Wisco will probably be in attendance. That is, if they can escape the madhouse known as the East Madison Home Depot….

  17. Candace, is Colorado College still a member of the NCHC? Or is it policy to ignore the Tigers? A big OT win on the road vs. #17 (now #14) UNH should be worthy of making the top 3 things of the weekend. Add to the nature of the victory the fact that CC didn’t win its 4th game last season until late December, CC should have easily earned a spot in your top 3 things.

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