ECAC Hockey picks: Oct. 27 to 29

Here’s a look at the upcoming games this weekend. All of the Ivy League teams open their seasons this weekend, while the first conference games of the year also take place this weekend. All games start at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

Last time: 5-3-3

Overall:  2-0

Friday, Oct. 27

Rensselaer at Union      

The Dutchmen rebounded from a 0-5 start with two wins last weekend. That’s a good way to head into the rivalry weekend with the Engineers, who beat RIT 8-3 last Saturday to give Dave Smith his first win as head coach at RPI. Union swept a three-game series last year, but this is a very different Dutchmen team, and Engineers goalie Chase Perry has played very well so far this season. I think that gives RPI the edge. Rensselaer wins

Brown at Yale  

It’s odd to think that the Bulldogs and Bears might not meet until next season after this weekend. The travel partners open with a home-and-home series. Each team has several question marks, but I think Yale has enough to start the year with a win. Yale wins

Arizona State at Colgate              

After getting swept by New Hampshire, the Raiders rebounded with a tie at Canisius last Saturday. Goalie Colton Point got his first collegiate win last year against the Sun Devils, and has been outstanding so far, posting a .949 save percentage in the early going. Perhaps more importantly, Arizona State has had trouble keeping other teams off the board, which I think could be the difference. Colgate wins

Alabama Huntsville at Cornell  

The Big Red opens its season with a two-game series at home against the Chargers, who are off to a 1-3 start. It looks likely that Big Red senior Hayden Stewart will replace that graduated Mitch Gillam in net, but regardless of who starts for Cornell, I like the Big Red to open the season with a win. Cornell wins

Dartmouth at Holy Cross, 7:05 p.m.

It’s the season opener for the Big Green, while the Crusaders enter the weekend at 2-0-2. Dartmouth could be competitive this season if its goaltending can improve from last year, but it’s a tough matchup for the Big Green to face a team playing its fifth game of the year in its season opener. Holy Cross wins

Clarkson at Minnesota, 7 p.m. CT

The Golden Knights tough early season schedule comes to a close with a two-game series at Minnesota this weekend. Clarkson is off to its best start in eleven years, but has yet to beat the Gophers in the four all-time meetings between the two teams.  I think it ends that skid extends at least one more game. Minnesota wins  

St. Lawrence at Wisconsin, 7 p.m. CT

While travel partner Clarkson has mastered its tough schedule so far, the Saints are still looking for their first win following a brutal schedule during the first month of the season. However, the biggest story in this matchup is that the Saints will be facing a former teammate in goalie Kyle Hayton, who transferred to Wisconsin at a graduate student over the summer.

While St. Lawrence coach Mark Morris isn’t thinking about facing Hayton, he admitted that it was likely on the mind of his players. It will be interesting to see how Hayton fares against his old teammates, who obviously have an inside scouting report on him. I think the Saints end their early skid with the first win of the season. St. Lawrence wins

Saturday, Oct. 28

 Arizona State at Colgate, 4 p.m.

Raiders finish the sweep. Colgate wins

Yale at Brown   

I think the Bears will bounce back with a win at home. Brown wins

Union at Rensselaer, 7 p.m.

I think this series will be a split, but I’m not sure if I’m picking the right teams on the right night. Union wins

Alabama Huntsville at Cornell 

While it’s opening weekend for the Big Red, I don’t see them getting swept at home. Cornell wins

Clarkson at Minnesota

I don’t see the Golden Knights getting swept. Clarkson wins

St. Lawrence at Wisconsin, 7 p.m. CT

I picked the Saints to win Friday because I don’t see them starting 0-7 and I’m going to pick the Badgers to win Saturday because I can’t see them getting swept this weekend. Wisconsin wins

Sunday, Oct. 29

Holy Cross at Princeton, 4 p.m.

Princeton opens its season looking for senior Ben Halford, junior Austin Shaw, or freshman Ryan Ferland to seize the starting goaltender job following Colton Phinney’s graduation. Regardless of how that situation sorts out, I think the Tigers have enough offense to get by the Crusaders. Princeton wins

Dartmouth at Harvard

The Crimson lost several important players from last year’s Frozen Four team, but still have plenty of dangerous players, highlighted by forward Ryan Donato and defenseman Adam Fox.  I think the Crimson come away with the win. Harvard wins



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