ECAC Hockey picks: Feb. 27-28

Last time: 6-4-2

Overall: 46-55-13

My season record for picks this year is pretty much shot, but there’s still a lot at stake in the final weekend of the regular season in ECAC Hockey. Only three teams are locked into a specific place in the standings and five teams  are still competing for the last two first-round byes.

I broke down the standings and the ensuing possibilities earlier this week. Here’s a look at how the regular season concludes this weekend.

All games are 7 p.m. unless noted.

Friday, Feb. 27

Cornell at Brown

Brown is the hottest team in the league, as the Bears are on a 4-0-1 run heading into the final weekend, while Cornell has a shot at finishing in the top-four.  This should be a pretty physical game, one that that I think Brown should win. Brown wins

Princeton at Dartmouth

This looks like a mismatch, as I don’t think the Tigers have the offense to keep up with the Big Green. Dartmouth wins

Clarkson at Rensselaer

Don’t expect a ton of scoring; neither school has a 10-goal scorer, while both the Engineers and Golden Knights are averaging just under four goals a game – combined.  I think the difference is Clarkson’s defense and goaltending, which has been pretty solid this season. Clarkson wins

St. Lawrence at Union

There’s not a lot to play for in this game except for seeding. St. Lawrence has already clinched a first-round bye, while the Dutchmen are guaranteed to be on the road for the first round. With that being said, look for the Saints to take advantage of a shaky Union defense. St. Lawrence wins

Colgate at Yale

The Raiders and Bulldogs have been known for offense over the years, but both have played outstanding defense this season. Colgate has a shot at a first-round bye despite an inconsistent season marked by plenty of injuries, but I think Yale’s defense and goalie Alex Lyon are too tough to overcome. Yale wins

Quinnipiac at Harvard

With the top overall seed and a share of the Cleary Cup already wrapped up, the Bobcats have nothing to play for this weekend. Quinnipiac was in this situation two years ago, and coach Rand Pecknold opted to keep his top players in the lineup. I’d expect the same this weekend against a Harvard team that’s desperately seeking some momentum heading into the playoffs. Quinnipiac wins

Saturday, Feb. 28

Colgate at Brown, 4 p.m.

Yes, the Bears are on a hot streak, as mentioned above. But something tells me that comes to an end Saturday against a Colgate team that’s in the hunt for a first-round bye. Colgate wins

Quinnipiac at Dartmouth

These teams went to overtime last time they met, with the Bobcats winning 2-1 on Dec. 5. The Big Green are playing for a first-round bye, and would seem to have more incentive than Quinnipiac, who will be looking to end the night healthy for the quarterfinals in two weeks. Dartmouth wins

Princeton at Harvard

The Crimson may be in a free-fall, but it would take a massive upset for the Tigers to pull off the win. It’s possible, especially if goalie Colton Phinney and the Princeton defense can contain Harvard’s scoring threats, but I don’t see that happening. Harvard wins

St. Lawrence at Rensselaer

Again, this looks like a mismatch, as the Saints are excellent defensively and have a balanced offense, while RPI is getting outscored by nearly a goal-and-a-half per game. Still, it could be close, if only for the fact that Saints can’t move from their spot in the standings and could look to rest some players. St. Lawrence wins

Clarkson at Union

The Golden Knights can’t score, while the Dutchmen can’t keep goals out of their own net. But lately, Union has had trouble scoring as well, getting shutout in three straight games before scoring once against Cornell Saturday. Clarkson wins

Cornell at Yale

If either one of these teams could find some offense, look out. The Bulldogs and the Big Red are first and third in the nation, respectively, in defense. While goals will be hard to come by, I like the way the Bulldogs are playing right now. Yale wins





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