First week of D-I play for ECAC Hockey… time to take some random shots in the dark, and see what we hit!
Friday, October 10
Clarkson at Niagara 7:00
Niagara, like Clarkson, is picked around the middle of the pack in its respective league (Atlantic Hockey). It’s a young team with a couple legitimate goalies, up against a Clarkson team that is praying for someone to step up and deliver on offense. Real hard to pick between similar teams with no game experience, so I’ll just be a homer and say Clarkson.
St. Lawrence at RIT 7:00
Another similar matchup between teams picked to finish low in the standings. There’s not much knowledge to drop on ya that you couldn’t have learned yourself through our season previews (hint hint), but I will pick RIT in its opening game in the fancy new Polisseni Center.
Rensselaer at Notre Dame 7:30 IceBreaker tournament: South Bend, Ind.
This is an underdog game all the way for RPI, which has a lot to prove after a difficult 2013-14 and the departure of a slew of talent. Notre Dame wins.
American International at Union 8:00
AIC is tabbed to finish at the bottom of Atlantic Hockey, whereas Union is… wait, let me check this out… yep, they’re the defending national champions. And they’re playing at home. I predict a Union win, and a running clock in the third period.
Colgate at St. Cloud State 8:30
Big season-opening series for each team. The Raiders are battling extremely high expectations this year, and dropped both games against SCSU in Hamilton last fall. The Huskies have high hopes as well, and these may be the best games of the weekend when all is said and done. Colgate takes Game 1…
Saturday, October 11
St. Lawrence at Niagara 7:00
Ugh, another game between similarly mediocre (well, on paper at least) teams. Niagara bounces back with a Saturday night win; SLU left licking its wounds.
Bentley at Quinnipiac 7:00
Bentley is no slouch, returning a very experienced roster. Quinnipiac may be in for more than it bargained for, but I still like the Q-Cats to take the tilt.
Clarkson at RIT 7:00
Since we know so little about these teams, I’ll again tab RIT solely for its home-ice advantage.
New Hampshire at Union 7:30
UNH and Union each have a lot to prove this season, but for very different reasons. The Wildcats are without their top goaltender (Casey DeSmith, suspended indefinitely) and didn’t accomplish very much last season; Union has to establish “replacement parts” for all those it lost following its title run. Union ekes this one out.
Colgate at St. Cloud State 7:00
… but St. Cloud takes the second tilt.
Sunday, October 12
Minnesota/Minnesota Duluth vs. Rensselaer 12:00 IceBreaker Third Place/Championship: South Bend, Ind.
No matter who they play, RPI faces an uphill battle on Sunday: Minnesota is the top-ranked team in the nation, and Minnesota-Duluth is an experienced squad with some very big bodies. As much as I hate to type it, RPI goes down on Sunday.