ECAC Hockey First Round Picks

Last time: 8-1-3

Overall: 69-51-5

Here’s a look at the four first-round playoff series in ECAC Hockey this weekend. All matchups are best-of-three. Every game starts at 7 p.m., with the exception a 7:30 start  for Clarkson and Rensselaer on Saturday and a potential Quinnipiac and Brown Game 3 on Sunday, which would start at 4 p.m.

No. 12 Quinnipiac at No. 5 Brown

Season series: Quinnipiac, 2-0

This is the first time that the Bobcats have played in the first round of the  ECAC playoffs since the 2012 season, when they beat Brown in three games. QU swept Brown in the first round of the league playoffs in 2011 and 2008.  This isn’t the Quinnipiac team of previous seasons, but I think they should be able to win this series. Brown’s top line of Sam Lafferty, Charlie Corcoran, and Max Willman has combined for 37 of the Bears’ 64 goals this season. That lack of scoring depth is accompanied by an .879 team save percentage in league play. Quinnipiac in two

No. 11 Rensselaer at No. 6 Clarkson

Season series: Clarkson, 2-1

It’s been a tough season for RPI, and the Engineers were dealt another tough blow when forward Evan Tironese was suspended for Friday’s Game 1 due to a game misconduct at the end of Saturday’s game against Colgate. The sophomore leads the team with 20 assists and is tied for the team lead with 27 points. Despite the Engineers’ struggles this season, I think this might be one of the closest series of the weekend. RPI’s power play is 12th in the nation in 2017, while sophomore Chase Perry has been solid in net. The Golden Knights have been a little inconsistent this year, but ended the year with a solid 2-1-1 record. Clarkson has solid scoring depth, but has allowed nearly three goals per game. It should be a tight series, but the Golden Knights should prevail. Clarkson in three

No. 10 Colgate at No. 7 Princeton

Season series: Colgate, 1-0-1

It’s been an up-and-down season for Princeton, but the Tigers accomplished one of their preseason goals by hosting a playoff series. Princeton earned a first-round playoff series thanks to an up-tempo attack that averaged more than three goal per game this season. Senior goalie Colton Phinney saw his numbers drop a bit this year, but the Tigers’ increased puck possession led to less opportunities for opponents. Colgate has struggled mightily this season. The Raiders simply haven’t scored; senior Tim Harrison is the only player who had more than six goals this year. Goalie Charlie Finn is 7-0-1 with a .947 save percentage all-time against Princeton, but the senior split time with freshman Colton Point over the last few weeks of the season. I think the Tigers’ offense is going to be the difference in this series. Princeton in three

No. 9 Dartmouth at No. 8 Yale

Season series: Yale, 2-0

These teams meet in the league playoffs for the second straight year. Dartmouth swept Yale in the quarterfinals last season, but the Bulldogs shutout the Big Green by an aggregate score of 11-0 in the teams’ two regular-season meetings this year. Like Quinnipiac, this isn’t the Yale team of years past, but I think the Bulldogs have enough to get past Dartmouth. Yale in two

Accountability Check

As a seventh grade teacher, I’m always telling my students to take accountability for their actions. Therefore, it’s only fair that I hold myself accountable for my preseason ECAC Hockey picks. Here’s the final standings for the 2016-17 season, with my preseason predictions in parentheses.

1. Harvard (3)

1. Union (8)

3. Cornell (4)

4. St. Lawrence (2)

5. Quinnipiac (1)

6. Clarkson (5)

7. Princeton (9)

8. Yale (6)

9. Dartmouth (11)

10. Colgate (12)

11. Rensselaer (7)

12. Brown (10)

I got three of the top four teams right, with the exception of Quinnipiac. In the past, I’ve waited for the Bobcats to drop off following a summer of important losses, but it didn’t happen until this season. The other notable discrepancy was Union; I picked the Dutchmen eighth, but they ended in a tie for first with Harvard and enter the league playoffs in a good position to make the NCAA tournament.



    • Said the loser whose team didn’t make it to the final game.What’s that now 7 out of the last 8 have come from the East? Cry somewhere else.

      • Coincides well with the number of eastern Frozen Fours in that time. Oh wait, maybe it’s not coincidence.

        ESPN has ruined college hockey.

        • There have been a lot of bad UND commenters I’ve seen over the years. But you my friend, top them all. You need to let it go. Move on like most UND fans have. All the whining is not going change the outcome of what happened. You are an embarrassment to your fellow UND followers.

          • So calling for something resembling fair treatment = whining now? Would like to see the crying if you New Englanders had to go to Minnesota and North Dakota practically every year for the Frozen Four and sometimes for regionals too.

            You don’t get it because you are the privileged class, in more ways than one, and it is you who are spoiled and would cry a flood if the situations were reversed.

          • Sorry pal, I live in MN and follow the Gophers. Were you making this much noise in 2002 when the Gophers won the title in St Paul? I never heard complaints from the eastern fans when that happened. What’s the purpose of this crusade you’re on? From all the articles I’ve seen comments on, you are pretty much the only one crying wolf.

          • 2002 was a long time ago, a lot has changed. I stand by my conviction that if 7 of 8 Frozen Fours were in North Dakota and Minnesota, some eastern people would have a problem with it.

          • Back then the Frozen Four and Regional sites were picked 2-3 years in advance, just as they are now. The one thing I can agree with you on is why the selection committee placed PC in Providence when they were seeded 15th. They should have been sent to Fargo instead of 14th seeded Quinnipiac.

          • The Frozen Four should trade off each year between western (WI, MN, ND, CO), central (MI, IN, OH, FL) and eastern (PA, NY, New England) sites, regionals can be on campus sites and championships need not be in NHL cities (only in a stadium of suitable size, say 10k or more), the regionals should not have two sites in New England practically every year, and efforts should be made to make sure teams earn their way.

            Unless you’re a top 4 seed, you should not get to stay close to home. I remember in small school baseball when a school used to host the championship tournament — they always had to play the regional on the road, so they couldn’t win a national championship without leaving home. And going into a regional where you’re still the team closest to home doesn’t count.

            If I was king of the NCAA, that’s what would happen and it would be a lot more fair and equitable than what happens now. No one could complain then. It’s about being fair to schools and fans, and about providing the best experience for the players — not about bending over backwards for ESPN and being limited only to cities connected to pro hockey for completely illogical reasons.

          • You should start now to figure out your excuses and compaints going forward. Next three Frozen Fours: Tampa, Chicago and St. Paul in that order. God forbid an east coast team wins any one of those years!

          • Yeah, I will apologize for all UND fans for this guy. He is a tool who doesn’t represent the rest of us. He makes it sound like UND was so far and away better than BU that BU didn’t earn their way to the Championship game. Obviously he is a dolt, so please excuse him and know that he is very much the minority of UND fans. I think that most of believe that if UND and BU played a 7 games series it would be awesome and either team could win it. They were pretty evenly matched and BU earned everything they got. Wasn’t their fault they got to play in Boston this year.

  1. Since the NCAA has become simply a step between juniors and the AHL I give credit to BU for making it as far as they did with as many actual 18 year old freshmen as they have. That was a heck of a run. If they can keep them for a couple more years they could easily win it all.

  2. pics look pretty accurate – so union will play princeton – no real worries there – that should guarantee them a spot in the ncaa’s – how they do in placid s/b a direct indicator as to how they do in the big tournament – not sure i would have picked union much higher this year – really a surprise this year – not sure why – would have liked to see them beat n dak, BU, or Harvard twice – i think that would have made them more legit


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