ECAC Hockey picks: Nov. 28 – 30

Last time: 7-5-2

Overall:  16-21-5

With Thanksgiving over, ECAC Hockey gets back into action with plenty of non-conference games this weekend. Here’s a look at what’s scheduled for the next few days.

Friday, Nov. 28

Clarkson at Merrimack, 4 p.m.

The Golden Knights are on a modest three-game unbeaten streak (2-0-1), and have only given up two goals per game this season. Merrimack has been steady most of the year, and is 5-1 at home. This is only the second-ever meeting at Lawler Arena between the teams. Merrimack wins

Michigan State at Princeton, 7 p.m.

The Spartans and Tigers met last year on Thanksgiving weekend in Lansing, with Michigan State sweeping Princeton to push the all-time series record to 5-0. Princeton is on a five-game losing streak after winning its home opener against Cornell on Nov. 7. The Spartans haven’t been particularly impressive this season, but they should be able to push the all-time series record to 6-0. Michigan State wins

Massachusetts at Quinnipiac, 7 p.m.

Quinnipiac had its six-game unbeaten streak ended last Friday by Clarkson, but rebounded with a 3-2 overtime win at St. Lawrence.  UMass has struggled this season and I’m not sure if they’ll be able to keep pace with the Bobcats. Quinnipiac wins

Rensselaer at Michigan, 7:35

RPI has been dealing with plenty of injuries lately, forcing the Engineers to skate a defenseman at forward each of the last two games, going 1-0-1, including a 2-1 win Tuesday at New Hampshire. This is a matchup of contrasting strengths; RPI scores 1.63 goals per game while allowing 2.41 and the Wolverines score 3.64 goals per game while allowing 3.27. I’ll take the stronger defense in the series opener. Rensselaer wins

Union at Notre Dame, 7:35 p.m. (Shillelagh Tournament)

The Dutchmen resume play following a break for exams, taking part in the Shillelagh Tournament for the first time since 2009, when Union lost 3-1 to No.1 Notre Dame.  Neither the Irish (6-6-2) nor the Dutchmen (6-5-1) have been consistent this season, although Union did end a six-game winless streak with a convincing 6-1 win over Princeton on Nov. 15. A win here could set the Dutchmen up nicely for the remainder of the first half. This game will be aired on Union wins

Saturday, Nov. 29

Connecticut at Brown, 4 p.m.

It’s been a nightmarish start for the Bears. Brown has lost six in a row following a 4-2 win in the season opener on Oct. 31. The Bears’ penalty kill has been atrocious, converting at 54.5 percent.  Connecticut isn’t any sort of offensive powerhouse, but has good goaltending and is willing to create traffic in front of the net. Connecticut wins

Colgate at Boston University, 4 p.m.

The Raiders have had some injuries this season, but have kept on rolling. They’ll have their hands full with No. 1 Boston University, who lost 3-2 to Harvard in overtime Tuesday. This might be one of the best games of the weekend, and I could see it going either way. Colgate wins

American International at Dartmouth, 4 p.m.

Dartmouth is looking to break out of a mini 1-3 funk, but I don’t see them losing to the Yellow Jackets, especially at home. Dartmouth wins

Clarkson at Merrimack, 4 p.m.

I think the Golden Knights will rebound and head home with a split. Clarkson wins

Union vs. Ohio State/Michigan State, 4:05 (Shillelagh Tournament)

Assuming Union gets past Notre Dame in the opener, the Dutchmen will either face Ohio State or Western Michigan for the championship. Both teams have struggled this season, and the Dutchmen should be able to handle either one. Union wins

Michigan State at Princeton, 7 p.m.

While I predicted a split for Clarkson, I don’t see that happening for the Tigers. Michigan State wins

Quinnipiac at Massachusetts,  7 p.m.

The venue is different, but I don’ think the result will be any different. QU should get the sweep. Quinnipiac wins

Harvard at Massachusetts Lowell, 7 p.m.

The Crimson had an impressive overtime win against No.1 Boston University Tuesday. Can they continue that against UMass Lowell? The River Hawks have steady on both ends of the ice this year, and while I’m tempted to call for a Harvard win, it will be tough, especially on the road. Massachusetts-Lowell wins

RIT at Yale, 7 p.m.

Yale forward Stu Wilson will have the chance to face his father, RIT coach Wayne Wilson, for the first time in his collegiate career. The younger Wilson’s team has been the better one thus far, and the Bulldogs and goalie Alex Lyon should come through for the win. Yale wins

Rensselaer at Michigan, 7:35

Michigan should come back to get the weekend split. Michigan wins

Penn State vs. Cornell, 8 p.m. (Frozen Apple at Madison Square Garden)

This is the sixth time in eight seasons Cornell has played at Madison Square Garden, but the first time the Big Red have faced Penn State. The Nittany Lions are off to a 7-3-2 start thanks to a high-scoring offense. It should be a good test for Cornell’s defense, which has been strong to date. If the Big Red can carry over its offensive production from last weekend, they should get the win. Cornell wins

Sunday, Nov. 30

Brown at Holy Cross, 1:05 p.m.

Holy Cross has gotten strong goaltending from senior Matt Ginn this season. I think that will be the difference here. Holy Cross wins

Boston University at Dartmouth, 4 p.m.

The Terriers face their third straight ECAC Hockey team, and I think they’ll finally break through with a win. Boston University wins