ECAC Hockey picks: Jan. 15 and 16

Last time: 4-6-3

Overall: 33-38-8

So much for starting the new year off on a hot streak…

The non-conference schedule is winding down for the ECAC, as every team except Quinnipiac faces a league opponent this weekend. Each game is at 7 p.m., unless noted.

Friday, Jan. 16

St. Lawrence at Dartmouth

Each team has slumped a bit lately, but don’t blame the goalies. The Saints’ Kyle Hayton (.934 save percentage) and the Big Green’s James Kruger (.924) have been outstanding thus far.  The Big Green played well against Vermont last weekend, but couldn’t come away with the win. I think they’ll get their first win of 2015 against the Saints. Dartmouth wins

Clarkson at Harvard

Both teams have been pretty tight defensively this season, but I think the Crimson have the offense to break through. Harvard wins

Colgate at Rensselaer

The Engineers are mostly back to full strength after a bout of injuries and suspensions. But RPI is catching Colgate at the wrong time, as the Raiders have won four in a row and are beginning to look like a dangerous team down the stretch. Colgate wins

Cornell at Union

Union is playing its first home game since Nov. 15, and the Dutchmen will likely have some reinforcements when the Big Red come to Messa Rink. Per Ken Schott of The Daily Gazette, defenseman Sebastien Gingras and forward Michael Pontarelli may return against Cornell.  That would be a welcome boost for Union as the Dutchmen look to improve its 4-5-1 league record.  Offense mostly hasn’t been a problem for Union, but the same can’t be said for Cornell. The Big Red have scored 25 goals in 15 games but only allowed 24. I think Union should put together enough offense for the win. Union wins

Quinnipiac at Merrimack

Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold noted earlier this week how this was a big series for both teams. With non-conference games concluding, it’s one of the final chances for teams on the edge of the PairWise (like the Bobcats and Warriors currently are) to boost their out-of-conference resume.  The Bobcats will need to avoid the lapses that have plagued them at times this season, as playing catch up against a solid Merrimack team will be hard to do. Merrimack wins

Yale at Brown, 7:30

The Bears showed some signs of life last weekend, winning the Mayor’s Cup against local rival Providence, while Yale rebounded from a disappointing loss at Northeastern with a solid 4-1 win over Harvard at Madison Square Garden. Each team has won its last two conference home games in the matchup, and I think that trend will continue, as the Bears pick up where they left off against the Friars and put together enough offense for the win. Brown wins

Saturday, Jan. 17

Clarkson at Darmouth

It will be another good defensive and goaltending matchup, as Clarkson’s Steve Perry enters the weekend with a 4-1 record and .960 save percentage in ECAC play, although Ville Runola started both games last weekend. I’m not sure if the Golden Knights  have enough offense to keep pace with the Big Green.  Dartmouth wins

St. Lawrence at Harvard

These teams fit the ECAC stereotype in that they play sound defense, but can get up the ice with a lot of speed. It should be a close game, but it’s hard to pick against the Crimson, especially since no one besides Yale has beaten them this season. Harvard wins

Cornell at Rensselaer

Neither of these teams is scoring prolifically this season, but the Big Red is the top defensive team in the country. Cornell wins

Colgate at Union

The Raiders are on a roll right now, and a couple wins this weekend would put them in good position in standings. It seems like the Dutchmen could breakout any weekend, but I don’t think that will happen against a stingy Colgate team that is giving up under two goals a game. Colgate wins

Brown at Yale

Look for the Bulldogs to rebound and split the weekend series. Yale wins

Merrimack at Quinnipiac

These are two pretty solid teams, and I’d be surprised if either one swept this weekend. Quinnipiac wins