ECAC Hockey picks: Jan. 24-25

Friday, January 24

All games at 7pm

Yale at Brown
Bruno is 4-1-2 since December, with the sole loss being a very forgivable 3-2 stumble at 15-7-2 Clarkson. Freshman Tyler Steel has started all but one of those last seven games, taking over – at least for the time being – for senior Marco DeFilippo. The Bears haven’t allowed more than three goals in a game since before Thanksgiving, and downed Yale 4-1 in both squads’ season-openers. Yale is keeping its head above .500 in league play (4-3-3), and has been alternating strong defensive performances with not-so-strong outings. The offense has been clicking though, and this should be a very entertaining set of games. I’ll go with the home side Friday: Brown, 3-2.

Clarkson at Colgate
Two of the hottest teams in the league square off in Hamilton Friday night. The Raiders haven’t lost since Christmas, allowing barely over a goal a game in their last five (4-0-1). Clarkson is 8-2 in league play and 3-1 in its last four, winning three squeakers but bowing out 4-0 to Merrimack in the loss. The Knights boast six players with at least five goals, bolstering adequate goaltending (a team .903 save rate). Four of Clarkson’s next five games are against teams currently in the top half of the league standings (Colgate, Cornell, Union and Quinnipiac), so it’s time for Clarkson to walk the walk… I’m not sure they have earned the swagger just yet. Raiders, 3-2.

St. Lawrence at Cornell
SLU: You have been Brown Ruled. Cornell, in its own right, is 6-1-3 since mid-November. Big Red, 4-2.

Dartmouth at Rensselaer
There is no way the play can be as bad as the scores, but my word, RPI’s goals-against are horrifying of late: The Engineers surrendered six goals thrice in their last four games, giving up 20 goals in total in four straight losses. (They’ve scored seven, by the way.) Dartmouth isn’t looking much better, so it’ll be a matter of something’s-gotta-give: Will Dartmouth’s offense finally show up, or will RPI’s defense? Is there some third option that doesn’t involve an act of God? I’ll take the home side, because I just can’t imagine a Seth Appert team not bouncing back at the Field House. 4-3 Engineers.

Harvard at Union
Oy. I always look for Harvard to put it together, but it’s not March yet, so it’s not happening tonight at Messa. Oh, Union is on a 14-2-2 run, so that’s nice. I see that getting better. 3-1 Dutchmen.

Saturday, January 25

Clarkson at Cornell 7:00
Better late than never: I’m benefiting here by knowing Friday’s results, but because of them, I think Cornell is looking shaky after a 4-4 draw with SLU, while Clarkson played well at streaking Colgate despite the unfavorable result (a 3-2 loss). Knights on the road: 3-2.

St. Lawrence at Colgate 7:00
Brown Rule. Raiders run on… 4-1 Colgate.

Brown at Yale 7:00
Home team evens the weekend: Yale is 4-1-2 at Ingalls, and Saturday will make it win no. 5. 5-2 Bulldogs.

Union vs. Rensselaer 7:30 Mayor’s Cup – Times Union Center (Albany, NY)
It’s a rivalry, so throw the records out… but not really, because Union hasn’t lost to RPI since the fall of 2010 (9-0). Yeah, it’s getting ugly… 4-1 Dutchmen.