ECAC Hockey picks, Dec. 11-12

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

Arizona State at Rensselaer (Friday and Saturday)

RPI is winless in its last three games, including a 2-1 loss to Dartmouth and a 0-0 tie to Harvard last weekend. Two games against Arizona State, winless in its last four, might be just what the doctor ordered to help RPI with its offensive woes before Christmas vacation.

Prediction: Rensselaer 3, Arizona State 1; Rensselaer 2, Arizona State 0

Boston University at Yale (Friday)

Game one of two between ranked powerhouses this weekend. No. 15 Yale comes into this matchup pretty desperate, falling in its last three games, including a 4-2 loss to Princeton last Saturday. No. 12 Boston University is coming off a split with Vermont, but is a respectable 8-5-3 so far this season. Something has to give Friday night. Maybe the fact that this is a rematch of last year’s Northeast Regional matchup, a 3-2 Terriers win, will help light the fuse.

Prediction: Yale 4, Boston University 3

Union at Massachusetts (Friday)

The Dutchmen may have finally turned things around. Union is 3-2-1 in its last six games, including a convincing 3-0 win over Dartmouth and an impressive 4-4 tie against Harvard last week. A test against UMass will certainly give us a good indication of if they’ve started to turn things around.

Prediction: Union 3, UMass 2

St. Lawrence vs. Vermont (Friday and Saturday)

The No. 13 Saints enter the weekend before Christmas break with a 9-4-2 record, including a 2-1 loss to Cornell and a 6-3 win over struggling Colgate last weekend. The Catamounts have had their own share of problems, coming into this weekend with a 4-10-2 record and a struggling offense that has scored only 10 goals in the last five games. St. Lawrence should have no problem taking this home-and-home series.

Prediction: St. Lawrence 5, Vermont 2; St. Lawrence 6, Vermont 3

Princeton at Penn State (Friday)

Holding a 4-8 record isn’t as bad as it looks when you’re in full rebuilding mode like Princeton is. But wins against Brown and Yale last week certainly raised the eyebrows of more than a few. The 4-2 win over Yale was particularly impressive, as the Tigers took a 2-0 lead into the third period and extended it with two late goals to seal the victory. Colton Phinney was great, making 37 saves in the win. Penn State will offer a different challenge, but it’s a good chance for Princeton to string some wins together heading into Christmas break.

Prediction: Princeton 3, Penn State 1

Dartmouth at New Hampshire (Friday)

It’s hard to get a read on whether Dartmouth is floundering or if it’s just inconsistent. The 3-0 loss to Union last Sunday was ugly, but it followed an impressive 2-1 win over RPI. The Big Green are 3-6-1 so far, and a matchup with New Hampshire could honestly be a disaster or an impressive victory given the way this team has played this season.

Prediction: Dartmouth 3, New Hampshire 0

Boston University at Quinnipiac (Saturday)

Game of the week, in many respects. No. 2 Quinnipiac continues to climb the rankings as its 15-game unbeaten streak gets longer and more impressive. In fact, it’s the longest winning streak to start a season in NCAA Division I since Colorado College opened up the 1995-96 season 15-0-3. No. 12 BU will be coming off an emotional rematch against Yale on Friday. It looks like the Bobcats have them right where they want them. It seems like they always do.

Prediction: Quinnipiac 4, Boston University 1