Semifinal picks

It’s down to the final four in ECAC Hockey. Colleague Josh Weinreb broke down the weekend here, so I’ll keep this brief. Be sure to check back this weekend, as St. Lawrence arena reporter Jack Lyons and myself will be in Lake Placid. Here are the picks for Friday’s games:

No. 7 Dartmouth vs. No. 1 Quinnipiac, 4:06 p.m.

Season series: 2-0 Quinnpiac

It’s been 36 years since the Big Green have made the NCAA tournament and Dartmouth is in search of the program’s first Whitelaw Cup. Quinnipiac is a lock for its fourth straight NCAA tournament appearance, but are also looking for its first Whitelaw Cup as well. While goalie Charles Grant was outstanding last week and Dartmouth’s offense has picked up in the second half, I think Quinnipiac has the depth to advance to the league title game on Saturday However, this comes with the caveat that I expected Yale to sweep Dartmouth last weekend – so we’ll how this turns out. Quinnipiac wins

No. 4 St. Lawrence vs. No. 3 Harvard, 7:36 p.m.

Season series: 2-0 Harvard

There should be plenty of speed in this game, as both teams can really move up and down the ice.  St. Lawrence gets a lot of attention for its defense, while Harvard is known for its offense, but both teams have been strong on the opposite ends of the ice as well. The Saints average nearly three goals per game and have a lot of depth in the lineup, while the Crimson allow 2.29 goals per game thanks to a strong season by goalie Merrick Madsen. One thing to keep an eye on will be offense generated by St. Lawrence’s defense. The Saints’ top three shot leaders are all defensemen, meaning Harvard’s forwards will need to be alert in their own zone. I expect this to be close, but the Saints should have plenty of crowd support in the stands and I’ve think they will pull out the win. St. Lawrence wins