ECAC Hockey picks: Week 5

These are Nate’s picks for the weekend; check back for my own as soon as I can post them! -Brian

Friday, Nov. 2

Alabama-Huntsville at St. Lawrence
There’s a lot going on for the Saints in their home-opening weekend. St. Lawrence is ranked No. 16 in the latest USCHO poll, their first appearance in the top-20 since 2009. The Saints will also honor former coach Joe Marsh, who retired last spring following a medical leave of absence. This is the first-ever meeting between Saints and the Chargers. St. Lawrence 5-1.

Brown at Harvard
There were some encouraging signs for the Bears last weekend, but they’ll have their hands full with the Crimson, who return five of their top six power-play scorers from the country’s No.1 unit last season. I think Harvard’s skill is too much here. Harvard 4-2.

Colgate at Cornell
These rivals meet in the ECAC opener for both, and then won’t see each other again in the regular season after this weekend. The young Raiders have been streaky thus far, while Cornell looked rock solid in a season-opening sweep of Colorado College. Cornell 3-0.

Union at RPI
Like Cornell and Colgate, these rivals and travel partners get started early, as this is the league opener for both. They’ll only meet once more in the regular season after this weekend, a non-conference matchup at the Times-Union Center in January. Neither can be too happy entering the series: Union settled for a 2-2 tie at Connecticut last Saturday, while RPI blew two third-period leads at Minnesota State two weeks ago. Union is looking for its ninth straight Capital Skates Trophy, awarded to the team that accumulates the most points in the season series. Union 3-2

Yale at Dartmouth
Dartmouth snapped a ten-game skid against the Bulldogs a week ago in Ivy Shootout opener. They’ll get right back at in the ECAC opener for both teams. Big Green head coach Bob Gaudet is impressed with the skill level of his team, and is crossing his fingers that forward Dustin Walsh will play this weekend, although nothing is set in stone. Yale 4-2

Saturday, Nov. 3

Clarkson at Canisius
The Griffins are giving up under two-goals per game, yet are being outscored on the season. That’s what five goals scored in six games (.083 per game) will do. Clarkson might be scoring more (2.6 goals per game), but they’re letting ’em in as well (3.8 goals allowed per game). What’s going to give? I think the hosts take this one. Canisius 2-1.

Alabama-Huntsville at St. Lawrence
I like the Saints to get it done here to complete the sweep. St. Lawrence 4-1

Brown at Dartmouth
Call this weekend “Groundhog Day” for the Big Green, as they’ll play Yale and Brown in the same order for the second straight week. Freshman Charles Grant blanked the Bears in his first career start last Saturday, Dartmouth’s first shutout in 46 games. Grant was the first Big Green goalie to record a shutout in his collegiate debut since Wesley Goding in 1936. Dartmouth 4-1

Colgate at Cornell
The rivalry continues at Lynah Rink, where the Raiders took a 2-1 win last year en route to a regular season sweep. I don’t see that happening again. Cornell 3-1

RPI at Union
This is the first home game for the Dutchmen since season-opening 4-1 loss to Merrimack on Oct. 6. I don’t see them starting 0-2 at Messa. Union 4-2

Yale at Harvard
These teams met five times last season, and three of the games were decided by one goal, including two that went to overtime. The other two were six-goal blowouts, one for each team. This game should be more of the former. Harvard 4-3

Sunday, Nov. 4

Clarkson at Canisius
The Golden Knights should head home with their first win of the season in the series finale. Clarkson 4-1

Tuesday, Nov. 6

American International at Quinnipiac
The Bobcats are off this weekend, with their only action a midweek game against the Yellow Jackets. Union rolled over AIC 8-0 last week, and while I don’t think Quinnipiac is on par with the Dutchmen, they shouldn’t have much trouble here. Quinnipiac 6-1