ECAC Hockey picks: Jan. 2-6

Last time 4-2

Overall: 29-32-5

This weekend marks the last non-conference games of the season for many ECAC Hockey teams, highlighted by Dartmouth and Brown taking part in the Ledyard Bank Classic and Quinnipiac traveling to St. Cloud State. All games are 7 p.m. unless noted.

Friday, Jan. 2

No. 15 Boston College vs. Brown (Ledyard Bank Classic at Dartmouth), 4 p.m.

As noted in the tournament preview, the Bears could be a team that put togethers a solid second half. Boston College hasn’t been itself throughout most of the first half, but it’s hard to pick Brown until it shows some more consistency. Boston College wins.

St. Lawrence at Northeastern

These teams split last year in Canton, although both are very different from that last meeting. The Huskies are struggling following a late swoon last year, while the Saints have completely turned around its defense this season. St. Lawrence lost four in a row to end the first half, but the Saints should start the New Year off with a win. St. Lawrence wins

No. 6 Miami at Rensselaer

After blanking Cornell in the consolation game of the Florida College Hockey Classic last weekend, Miami travels to Troy for the first time since 2007. RPI got back forward Drew Melanson and goalie Jason Kasdorf Tuesday against Harvard, but were still without forwards Viktor Liljegren, Mark Miller and Lou Nanne. Scoring has been a problem all year for RPI, and it won’t get any easier against a stingy Redhawks team that only gives up 2.11 goals per-game. Miami wins

No. 11 Denver at Dartmouth (Ledyard Bank Classic)

The Pioneers travel to Hanover for the first time since 1998 as part of the 26th Ledyard Classic. Denver has been solid this season, while a veteran Dartmouth team should be poised for a good second half after starting the year 6-4-1. This should be one of the better games of the tournament, and I think the Big Green’s defense and goaltending should give them the edge. Dartmouth wins.

Quinnipiac at St. Cloud State, 8:37 p.m. EDT

The Bobcats have already gotten in two games following the holidays, posting a pair of shutouts in a home-and-home sweep against travel partner Princeton. St. Cloud has struggled this year, and if Quinnipiac can play its usual puck-control game, the Bobcats should come away with a win. Quinnipiac wins.

Saturday, Jan. 3.

Denver vs. Brown, 4 p.m. (Ledyard Bank Classic)

The format of the tournament means that each team has a pre-determined matchup in the second day, regardless of Friday’s outcome. Like I said earlier, Brown is a team that should put things together down the stretch, but it’s tough to count on them until that starts to show. Denver wins.

St. Lawrence at Northeastern

The teams wrap up the series Saturday night, and the Saints should finish off the sweep. St. Lawrence wins.

No. 6 Miami at Rensselaer

Miami is a tough matchup, but if RPI goalie Jason Kasdorf is on top of his game, the Engineers could steal a point or two in the series finale. Tie.

No. 9 Vermont at Yale, 7:30 p.m.

The Bulldogs have shown flashes of being one of the more balanced teams in the league, combining good goaltending and defense with a balanced offense. However, Yale will  likely be without leading scorer John Hayden, who is playing with Team USA at the IIHF World Junior Championship. Vermont brings a six-game winning streak in Ingalls, and should be a tough out for Yale. Vermont wins.

No. 15 Boston College at Dartmouth

Dartmouth knocked off the Eagles’ Hockey East rival Boston University earlier this season. If the Big Green are going to knock off Boston College, they’ll have to take advantage of the  likely absence of goalie Thatcher Demko, who is playing with Team USA at the IIHF World Junior Championship. Dartmouth wins.

Union at No. 1 Boston University, 7:10 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)

BU will likely be without freshman standout Jack Eichel, the nation’s leading scorer who is currently with Team USA at the IIHF World Junior Championship. The Dutchmen are coming off a third-place finish at the Frozen Holiday Classic last weekend, losing to Connecticut before beating Sacred Heart in the consolation game. Surprisingly, this is the first meeting ever between the schools, who have combined to play 3,865 games all-time. Even minus Eichel, the Terriers should have enough to win, especially at home. Boston University wins.

No. 14 Quinnipiac at St. Cloud State, 8:07 p.m. EDT

Road sweeps are hard to come by in college hockey, but I think the Bobcats will do just that against the Huskies. Quinnipiac wins

Tuesday, Jan. 6

Yale at Northeastern

The Huskies face an ECAC team for the third time in as many games. Like St. Lawrence, Yale plays an up-tempo game and has gotten good goaltending and defensive play. That should be enough for the win. Yale wins.