ECAC Hockey picks: Oct. 30-Nov. 1

Here’s a look at this weekend’s games involving ECAC Hockey teams:

No. 16 St. Lawrence at Penn State (Friday)

For the first time, St. Lawrence will face a Big Ten team in Penn State this weekend. After playing to a 2-2 tie on Thursday night, the Saints look for some road success after starting the season 1-1-1 away from Appleton Arena. St. Lawrence has five players with four points and 15 players with two points this season — a balanced offensive roster that has posed well for the Saints so far. But they need to do better on the power play, having scored only twice out of 30 opportunities.

Prediction: St. Lawrence 3, Penn State 2

Rensselaer vs. Union (Friday at Union, Saturday at RPI)

Both ECAC teams will begin conference play this weekend, but it seems RPI already has the historical advantage. The Engineers have won three of the last four meetings against the Dutchmen and will look to take advantage of a floundering Union squad as the team continues to struggle this season. After taking down No. 3 Boston University on Oct. 10, Union has gone 1-1-2, including losses to New Hampshire and Maine while tying ranked Michigan 5-5 on Oct. 23. It might be a while before we can figure out who the Dutchmen are this year.

Predictions: RPI 4, Union 3
Union 2, RPI 2

Yale, Princeton at Capital City Classic (Friday and Saturday)

The Ivy League teams will begin their season at the Capital City Classic in Trenton, N.J., this weekend, playing each other in the first round. Massachusetts and Maine are in Friday’s other semifinal. Princeton begins the season with many more questions than answers, as it tries to find its way under second-year head coach Ron Fogarty. Yale, however, heads into this season with high expectations — with many pundits choosing the Bulldogs to emerge this season with the ECAC crown.

Predictions: Friday — Yale 5, Princeton 1
Saturday — Yale 4, Maine 0 or Yale 3, UMass 2
Maine 4, Princeton 2 or UMass 2, Princeton 0

No. 3 Providence at Colgate (Friday and Saturday)

Colgate has started the season off on as big of a roller coaster as any, with a split on the road against Mercyhurst (including a 9-7 loss), a 2-1 nail biter against Northeastern and a two-game sweep vs. Rochester Institute of Technology. Now, the Raiders have a chance to prove themselves against a highly ranked opponent. The third-ranked defending champs come in as clear favorites, but Colgate has a golden opportunity to surprise some people early.

Predictions: Providence 2, Colgate 1
Colgate 3, Providence 1

Dartmouth vs. No. 11 Harvard (Saturday at Dartmouth, Sunday at Harvard)

The Big Green begin their season against Jimmy Vesey and the 11th-ranked Crimson. Both teams begin ECAC play this weekend, and everyone is expecting Harvard to begin its season on the right foot.

Predictions: Harvard 2, Dartmouth 0
Harvard 3, Dartmouth 1

Holy Cross at Brown (Saturday)

The Bears begin their season against a struggling Holy Cross team that has won only once so far this season. All things considered, Brown’s Mark Naclerio and Nick Lappin should give their team a big offensive boost.

Prediction: Brown 4, Holy Cross 1

Niagara vs. Cornell (Friday at Niagara, Saturday at Cornell)

Cornell will begin its regular season with a two-game series against Niagara, which has seen its fair share of ECAC competition so far this year. The Purple Eagles are 0-3-1 this season and will look for their first win against a Big Red team that looks to get off on the right foot.

Predictions: Cornell 4, Niagara 1
Niagara 3, Cornell 0