ECAC Hockey picks: Feb. 6-9

Season record: 44-30-5. Meh.

Friday, February 6

Dartmouth at Brown
How fitting that the two Brown Ruled teams – Brown and Princeton – tied last Saturday, in their first meeting of the year? Doesn’t matter; Brown is still playing under its eponymous Rule. Dartmouth wins.

Union at Clarkson
Clarkson’s offense looked pretty decent for a hot minute there… and then, not so much. The Golden Knights haven’t scored goals (meaning the plurality of goal) in either of its last two games, winning 1-0 and losing 2-1. Union’s hot-and-cold act continues as well, with neither Dutchmen goalie holding a conference save rate of .900. Toss-up; edge goes to the defensive-minded home team. Clarkson wins.

Princeton at Colgate
Apart from Army (6-18-2; 0-4 out of conference) and the Russian Red Stars, Princeton hasn’t won since the day after Thanksgiving. No reason to expect another win now, unfortunately. Raiders roll.

Quinnipiac at Cornell
Enticing matchup: Cornell is 4-2-1 in its last seven, while QU is 5-0-1 in its last six league contests. The advantage definitely rests with the Bobcats however, as Cornell’s offense – with nine goals in its last five games – is about as reliable as a pre-owned Mini Cooper. QU wins.

Rensselaer at St. Lawrence
Just as things were looking up in Troy, on came the Mayors Cup… and we’ll spare you the rehash of that particular debacle. RPI is 2-5 on the road at ECAC opponents, with wins at Union (in OT) and Princeton. SLU is not exactly dominant at home – 4-3 against the league foes at Appleton – but the Saints are on a 6-1 run, having not allowed more than two goals in a game since January 3 in a 4-2 loss at Northeastern. This is a game that SLU should win.

Harvard at Yale
Well hmm, last time these teams met – at Madison Square Garden – I posited that a strong, one-loss team like Harvard couldn’t possibly lose to the same team twice. I was wrong, and Harvard is 2-5 since I made that prediction. Could the Crimson, who played such a promising opening 30 minutes against BU on Tuesday, tumble once more to the hated Bulldogs? Precedent says yes, and fatigue would be a factor… I’m almost definitely going to be proven wrong, but I can’t think of any good reason why Yale should lose to a team that it’s already defeated twice this season. Bulldogs win.

Saturday, February 7

Harvard at Brown 4:00
Brown Rule. Is it lazy? Yes. Is it right? Also yes. Harvard wins.

Rensselaer at Clarkson
Was RPI’s three-win run a dead-cat bounce, or a ray of sunshine peeking through after the 0-9 storm? This weekend will be a good indicator of one or the other. My gut says Clarkson… but – to steal a phrase – I’ve come to the conclusion that my guts have **** for brains. (500 imaginary points if you can name the film**.) Knights win.

Quinnipiac at Colgate
The Bobcats have demonstrated remarkable consistency insofar as their ability to take at least two points from each ECAC weekend this season. This is no easy deuce, but Quinnipiac has the Cleary Cup in its sights, and that’s a pretty good incentive. QU wins.

Princeton at Cornell
Brown Rule, Cornell wins.

Union at St. Lawrence
The Dutchmen have struggled to win on the second night of consecutive games, going 0-3 in such situations in 2015. Maybe this is a meaningless stat, but maybe it indicates an issue with fatigue in all or some of Union’s game. Goaltender Colin Stevens is 2-4 in his last six starts, allowing 20 goals in just under 330 minutes for a 3.7 GAA and .883 save percentage. Perhaps it’s time to ride sophomore Alex Sakellaropoulos? He has allowed just 11 goals in almost exactly the same amount of playing time since the holiday break; he also has .907 save rate. Beyond all that, SLU is rolling and I’m not sure Union is in the right place to stop the surging Saints. SLU wins.

Dartmouth at Yale
Don’t look now, but Dartmouth is unbeaten in its last four (3-0-1), out-scoring those victims 13-7. That said, I’m not sold on the Big Green’s superiority over the vastly more consistent Bulldogs at this point in time… especially at Ingalls, where the Blue are 5-1-1 since early November. Yale wins.

Monday, February 9**

Harvard vs. Boston College Beanpot Consolation; 4:30
Gah, do I seriously have to do this? Harvard could not be more frustrating this season. If they’re healthy, they can definitely win… if not, the Crimson will absolutely lose… I don’t know. Whatever. BC wins, because why not.

* – High Fidelity, you philistine.
** – weather permitting?