ECAC Hockey picks: Week 17

Last week: 6-4

Overall:  74-72-23

It’s the weekend before Beanpot Monday, but the biggest game in the ECAC is happening Saturday night in New Haven when Quinnipiac and Yale meet at Ingalls Rink.  Brian Sullivan and I will both be there, so follow along on Twitter: @Nate_Owen41 and @SullivanHockey.  Once again, all games are 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

Friday, Feb. 1

Colgate at Clarkson

Colgate is coming off a sweep of Brown and Yale last weekend, while Clarkson is just 1-6-1 over the last eight games. I’ll take the hot hand. Colgate wins

Cornell at St. Lawrence

The Big Red have been in rut lately. Cornell has just win over the last seven games, dating back to a 6-4 loss to Maine in the Florida Hockey Classic on Dec. 29.  Scoring has been a problem, as the Big Red have put up three or more goals just twice in that span.  St. Lawrence is starting to come together following a brutal stretch in December, and the emergence of some secondary scoring options behind Kyle Flanagan and Greg Carey has proved beneficial for the Saints. St. Lawrence wins

Harvard at Rensselaer 

Harvard’s wild 6-5 overtime victory against Boston University on Jan. 9  is starting to look more like an outlier than any sort of pattern, as it’s the Crimson’s only win over the last thirteen games.  RPI has Jason Kasdorf back in net for the stretch run and the freshman could be a difference maker the rest of the way. RPI wins

Princeton at Yale

The Tigers return to the rink where they ended their season in the opening round of the league playoffs last season. Princeton has been better this year, but so have the Bulldogs, who only have one loss in the last month and haven’t lost at home since the start of December. Yale wins

Quinnipiac at Brown

Brown has quietly put together a solid 4-3 stretch despite a rash of injuries, especially on defense.  They might not be putting up the numbers of last season, but QU’s Matthew Peca, Connor and Kellen Jones et al certainly can give defenses a handful. Quinnipiac wins

Dartmouth at Union, 7:40 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)

Both these teams have looked a bit more mortal at times in 2013- although the Dutchmen started to slide right before the winter break.  Still, Union has put together a three-game winning streak that could be the start of another second-half surge for the Dutchmen.  This is the first nationally-televised game from Messa Rink. Union wins

Saturday, Feb. 2

Princeton at Brown, 4 p.m.

The Bears opened the season with a 2-1 win over the Tigers when these teams last met way back in October for the Ivy Shootout. Princeton should come back with a win in their second trip to Meehan this season. Princeton wins

Colgate at St. Lawrence

If my prediction from Friday holds true, the Raiders should be facing the Saints in the midst of a three-game winning streak. While Colgate goalie Spencer Finney could steal this one, I think the Raiders head home from the North Country with split.  St. Lawrence wins

Cornell at Clarkson

The Big Red and Golden Knights won one game apiece in the month of January. Cornell should win to secure a weekend split. Cornell wins

Dartmouth at Rensselaer 

The Engineers have been playing better of late and always seem to hang tough, but I like Dartmouth to take this one. Dartmouth wins

Quinnipiac at Yale

The shortest road game of the year might also be one of the best for the Bobcats.  Quinnipiac enters the weekend first in the PairWise rankings, while Yale is tied for fifth with Boston College.  Goalies Eric Hartzell and Jeff Malcolm have been tops in the league to date, and while the Bulldogs’ upper echelon talent has produced, it’s been their improved depth on defense that’s helped them the most this season.  Quinnipiac wins

Monday, Feb. 4

Harvard vs. Boston College, 8 p.m. (New England Sports Network)

It’s basically boiled down to Boston University vs. Boston College for last two decades, but despite that, I still think the Beanpot is the best college hockey tournament in the country.  The Eagles have some injuries on defense and were swept by Maine last weekend, but I still think they’ll have enough to get past the Crimson. Boston College wins