ECAC Picks: Feb. 10-13

Come Monday morning there will be just two weekends left in the regular season of ECAC play. Seems hard to believe, doesn’t it? Here’s a look at what’s on tap for this weekend.

Last week: 4-7

Overall: 48-48

 Friday, Feb. 10

Brown at Cornell

With Union playing just one game, Cornell has a chance to make up some ground, as the Dutchmen currently have a game in hand and a three-point lead over the Big Red for first place. Cornell starts the weekend with a Bears team that has hit the skids lately, losing four in a row following a 3-2 win over Union on Jan. 21. Cornell, 4-1

Princeton at Clarkson

The Golden Knights have quietly pushed their way into the picture for a first round bye, as they’re currently two points out of fthird and can make up ground on Harvard, who plays one conference game this weekend.  Princeton can score, but they’ll face a tough test in senior goalie Paul Karpowich, who set the school’s career saves record last weekend. And oh yeah, Clarkson is 8-2-1 at Cheel Arena and hasn’t lost at home since November. Clarkson, 4-3

Quinnipiac at St. Lawrence

The Saints were the only team to sweep last weekend and they’ll face a solid Bobcats team that’s looking to claim one of the top four spots.  Kyle Flanagan’s overtime goal gave St. Lawrence a 1-0 win in Hamden in November. The senior has missed time this year, but still leads the team in goals (11) and assists (18).  Give this one to the home team. St. Lawrence, 3-2

RPI at Harvard

The game between Beanpot rounds is often a trap game. But unfortunately for the Crimson, they’re no strangers to prepping for the early game at the Garden.  The Engineers are 4-3-1 over their last eight games and could move back out of last place with a good weekend. Harvard is tied for third but could have a firmer grasp on things if not for a league-high seven ties. Anyone feeling an eighth here? Harvard 3, RPI 3 (OT)

Union at Dartmouth

Union can clinch their first series sweep of Dartmouth since 1996-97 and lock up home ice in the process.  I’ll take the Dutchmen’s consistency over the Big Green’s up and down play this year.  Union, 5-2

Yale at Colgate

The Bulldogs are ninth in scoring but 38th in the country in defense.  Colgate can put ’em up as well, so look for a lot of scoring here. Colgate 5-4

Saturday, Feb 11

Princeton at St. Lawrence

Tigers head coach Bob Prier returns to his alma mater, where he spent nine seasons as an assistant coach. As Brian detailed earlier, this is a crucial time for both teams, as time is running out to move up the standings. A win here would give the Saints four in a row, but the Tigers may have something to say about that. Princeton, 3-2

Brown at Colgate

After facing Cornell Friday, it doesn’t get any easier for the Bears Saturday. Shutting down the duo of Austin Smith and Chris Wagner on the Raiders’ top line has been easier said than done, so look for them to help Colgate emerge here. Colgate, 5-2

Quinnipiac at Clarkson

Both teams are neck-in-neck in the standings, and both have solid goaltending as Clarkson’s Karpowich and Qunnipiac’s Dan Clarke and Eric Hartzell have all been steady. Two points by either team would create a little space heading down the stretch run, and the Bobcats should do just  that to ensure a split in the North Country. Quinnipiac, 4-2

RPI at Dartmouth

A year ago, these were two teams with NCAA tournament hopes. Now they’re jockeying for playoff seedings as the season winds down. The Big Green have a balanced offensive attack but Bryce Merriam and the Engineer defense are definitely up to the task.  But can RPI score enough to keep up with Dartmouth? That’s the question. Dartmouth, 4-1

Yale at Cornell

The Bulldogs have won eight of the last nine against Cornell, but those were much different Yale teams. Cornell snapped Yale’s eight-game winning streak with a 6-2 win earlier in the year. Here’s a fun fact: The Big Red defense pair of Branden Birch and Sean Whitney have only been on the ice for one five-on-five goal all season. Talk about a nifty +/- rating. (They’re a combined +18 on the year).  Cornell, 5-2

Monday, Feb. 13

Harvard vs. Northeastern, (Beanpot Consolation, 4:30 p.m.)

It’s the dreaded early game that these teams are all-t00-familar with. The Crimson didn’t look terrible against No. 1 Boston University last week while the Huskies folded against Boston College in the second game.  Harvard’s power play has been a strength all year; it’s been just the opposite for NU. Northeastern gave up two shorties last weekend and they’ve scored fourteen times on their power play while allowing eight shorthanded goals. Eight.  Harvard, 5-3