Six ECAC Hockey teams are in action Friday and Saturday, with each of them facing the same opponents both nights. Here’s a look at the matchups.
Northeastern at No. 6 Colgate
7 p.m. Friday/Saturday
The Raiders opened with a two-game split at St. Cloud State last weekend, while the Huskies lost to Vermont 6-2 Saturday. Northeastern lives and dies with goalie Clay Witt. He might be enough to steal one of the games this weekend, but I think Colgate is too deep for the Huskies and have a pretty solid goalie of their own in Charlie Finn. Colgate sweeps.
No. 2 Union at Maine
7:30 p.m. Friday; 7 p.m. Saturday
Last weekend, Union once again displayed its quick-strike offense that was a staple of last year’s national championship team. The Dutchmen scored three goals in just under three minutes late in the second period to beat New Hampshire 3-1 after rallying for a 7-3 win over American International Friday. Maine has a mostly veteran team, but is relatively inexperienced in goal, while Union has senior Colin Stevens in net. Suspended Union forwards Matt Wilkins and Nick Cruice are eligible to return Friday. I’m tempted to pick the Dutchmen to sweep, but the Black Bears should be good for a win in their home-opening weekend. Union wins Friday; Maine wins Saturday.
No. 4 Ferris State at St. Lawrence
7 p.m. Friday/Saturday
Where did that come from? After losing much of its offensive production in the offseason, the Saints exploded for ten goals Saturday against Niagara. Don’t expect that to happen against Ferris State’s CJ Motte. St. Lawrence head coach Greg Carvel made it clear this season more about getting his young team to play the right way as opposed to winning; there should be some teachable moments this weekend, but I don’t see any wins for the Saints. Ferris State sweeps.
Clarkson vs. Vermont
At Vermont Friday; at Clarkson Saturday, both games are at 7 p.m.
Clarkson is looking for its first 3-0 start since 2006-07. The Golden Knights were tight defensively last weekend, only giving up 34 shots in two games. Even though Vermont scored six goals against Northeastern last weekend, I don’t expect there will be a lot of scoring in this series against former ECAC member UVM. Tie Friday; Clarkson wins Saturday.
No. 13 Quinnipiac vs. No. 9 Massachusetts-Lowell
At Massachusetts-Lowell Friday, 7:15 p.m.; at Quinnipiac Saturday, 7 p.m.
The Riverhawks opened some eyes with a 5-2 thrashing of Boston College in the season opener for both teams. Quinnipiac scored five goals as well last Saturday in a win against Bentley, outshooting the Hawks 37-17. That’s the good news. The bad? QU goalie Michael Garteig let in three goals on those 17 shots. He’ll have to do better against a good River Hawks team. The Bobcats swept both early season games last year against UMass-Lowell, but this should be a split, with each team winning at home. Massachusetts-Lowell wins Friday; Quinnipiac wins Saturday.
Rensselaer at Denver
9:30 p.m. ET Friday; 9 p.m. ET Saturday
There are plenty of coaching connections amongst these two teams. RPI head coach Seth Appert was an assistant at Denver when the Pioneers won national titles in 2004 and 2005, while Engineer assistant Bryan Vines was a defenseman at Denver, captaining the team as a senior in 2001-02. Denver head coach Jim Montgomery was an assistant coach for Appert and the Engineers from 2006 to 2010. On the ice, RPI is 1-12-1 all-time against the Pioneers, the school’s worst mark against any Division I team. If RPI can play like they did last Friday against Notre Dame and support Jason Kasdorf, they should be able to come home with at least one win. Tie Friday; Rensselaer wins Saturday.
Tuesday, Oct. 21
Connecticut at Quinnipiac
7 p.m. – Webster Bank Arena (Bridgeport, CT)
This is a considered a home game for the Bobcats, even though it’s held roughly a half hour away in Bridgeport, where QU was eliminated by Providence in last year’s NCAA tournament. The Huskies are in a similar spot as Quinnipiac was a decade ago – moving up to a new conference in an attempt to strengthen the program. Connecticut should be competitive down the road, but a young Bobcats team is too much in this matchup. Quinnipiac wins.