ECAC Hockey picks: Oct. 24-25

My record thus far: 7-3-0.

Friday, October 24

Bowling Green at Clarkson 7:00
The Falcons are a happy 3-1 to start the year, including a season-opening home-and-home split with Miami. Clarkson stepped into the season on the right foot, but stumbled with consecutive losses to former league-mate Vermont last weekend. The Knights have to establish their offense off of their defense, and that is not a simple task… BGSU can score, and this will be no cakewalk for Clarkson. Knights win the opener…

Bentley at Rensselaer 7:00
Provided the Engineers don’t try to look past the Falcons, this Bentley matchup may offer just what the doctor ordered for RPI. Bentley has been porous on the back end so far this fall, and RPI is dying for an offensive spark. That said, any lapse in focus or intensity could put the Engineers in a hole from which their offense can not dig out. RPI wins Friday.

Colgate at Sacred Heart 7:00
With all due respect to the Pioneers, this weekend ought to be a massive mis-match. SHU split series with Army and Bentley – scoring 13 goals, including games with five and six scored – but Sacred Heart is not playing at Colgate’s level at this time. Raiders romp.

St. Cloud State at Union 7:00
In much the same vein as the Colgate @ SCSU series a couple weeks back, this matchup should to be terrific. Union is slowly silencing the skeptics (myself included) one weekend sweep at a time; NCAA hopeful St. Cloud hits the road for the first time this year with a statement on its mind. Not much to say about the Huskies just yet – they’ve only played twice – but Union has got to be riding high, with a 21-game unbeaten run (20-0-1) and a 14-game home winning streak. Will the Dutchmen rise to the challenge? I’d like to say sweep for Union, but realistically, I’m leaning toward a split. UC takes Friday.

St. Lawrence at Miami 7:30
The Saints face an uphill climb in Oxford this weekend, squaring off against the 10th-ranked team in the nation on its home ice. Miami has only allowed seven goals in four games (two games each against Ohio State and Bowling Green) while scoring 12 of their own. SLU has shown flashes of offense – specifically in the 10-2 demolition of Niagara two weeks back – but the defense is suspect, allowing north of 33 shots on goal per game. Freshman goalie Kyle Hayton is off to a hot start, but it’ll take more than a good goaltender to take down the RedHawks. Miami on Friday…

Saturday, October 25

Colgate at Sacred Heart 3:00
Same song, different verse. No predictable reason for the Raiders to drop a game this weekend.

Bentley at Rensselaer 7:00
My gut tells me to be wary of Bentley, but by all metrics, RPI should be the favorite each night. RPI sweeps.

St. Cloud State at Union 7:00
… and SCSU ends Union’s streaks on Saturday.

Bowling Green at Clarkson 7:30
… but I don’t have faith in Clarkson’s defense to hold it together for both ends of the weekend series. Falcons take Game 2.

St. Lawrence at Miami 8:05
… and once more Saturday, for a Miami sweep.