Prediction precision

Season record: 106-50-18 (.661)

On the fly

All times Eastern

Friday, February 4

Rensselaer at Quinnipiac – 7:00

While RPI will surely be the popular pick – especially in light of yesterday’s column – QU isn’t exactly folding up shop: The Bobcats are 5-1-3 in their last nine and are looking to solidify a home-ice spot in the first round of the upcoming playoffs. That said, many of the Q-Cats’ wins are of the 3-2 variety, whereas the Engineers have pinned five goals on foes in three of their last seven games. RPI in a squeaker, 3-2.

St. Lawrence at Colgate – 7:00 TV: Time Warner Sports

I’m getting tired of pulling The Brown Rule out week after week, but sobeit: Colgate has to win before I can give them any real consideration. 4-2 Saints.

Dartmouth at Brown – 7:00

Don’t look now, but add the Big Green to the list of streaking squads: It’s 5-1-1 in its last seven, and the goals are coming in heavier than a Nor’easter (27 scored in that time). Brown has struggled lately, loser of three straight and finding only 11 goals in its last seven outings. Add a touch of performance anxiety at home, and you’ve spelled another Dartmouth win: 4-2.

Harvard at Yale – 7:00

This is not the way to start Beanpot Week. I can’t imagine Yale dropping three straight, and certainly not losing Game 3 at home. Harvard may finally be discovering something tangentially related to “form”, but it won’t do them any good in New Haven. 5-1 Bulldogs.

Clarkson at Cornell – 7:00

Clarkson looked like one of the surprise teams of the year rolling into the holiday break, but as breaks are wont to do, the Golden Knights lost their momentum and have staggered to a 2-6-0 record in 2011. The Big Red has played its season in reverse, bolting into contention with a 5-1-2 record since the Florida College Classic. Clarkson is struggling, without question, but this should be a very hard-fought contest: 3-2 Red.

Union at Princeton – 7:00

Princeton: 14-3-1 in its last 18, 9-1-1 in 11, and on a four-game winning streak. Union: 7-1-0 in eight, with three W’s strung together right now, and 4-2-1 on the road in ECAC Hockey. Who’s it going to be? It’s a real tough call in a game for second place. I think the Tigers are the hotter team, but in a playoff-type game, I’m going to give the slightest of edges to the more experienced Dutchmen… in no small part because of Princeton’s somewhat surprising 3-3-1 home record. 3-2 UC.

Saturday, February 5

Rensselaer at Princeton – 4:00

This is the difficulty of picking games: I’d be stunned if Princeton got swept at home, but individually, I think Union and RPI hold edges over the Garden Staters. I suppose all I can do is fall back on my old line – prove me wrong, Tigers. 4-3 RPI.

Dartmouth at Yale – 7:00 TV: YES

This is one of Yale’s final significant challenges en route to the regular-season title; after the Big Green, the Bulldogs’ most formidable foes will be Princeton (on the road) and Cornell (at home). It’s where the rubber meets the road, as well as any number of other valuable well-worn adages. If the Blue fashions itself a national contender, it’s time to start proving it… and I think it’s up for it. 5-3 Yale.

St. Lawrence at Cornell – 7:00

The Saints are 0-6-1 in their last seven league games… that’s not a good sign for a team that’s six points back of a home-ice seed and fading fast. Cornell is squarely in the middle of that hunt, and indeed has a first-round bye only two points ahead. 4-2 Big Red in what amounts to a mismatch, for this conference.

Union at Quinnipiac – 7:00

The Dutchmen have the mojo working, while QU has struggled to establish a home-ice advantage this year. Looks like a safe bet to say Union, 5-3.

Clarkson at Colgate – 7:00 TV: Time Warner Sports

Brown Rule… Clarkson, 5-3.

Monday, February 7

Harvard vs. Northeastern – 5:00 Beanpot @ TD Garden, Boston; TV: NESN

Sure, Harvard beat Colgate… but in a matchup of Brown Rule teams, can the winner really escape Rule purgatory? Even I haven’t decided. In any case, the nightcap – BU-BC – is the big show; this is the opening act for a late-arriving crowd. Fortunately for both teams, really, they get to play each other and therefore have a very real shot at playing in the late game next Monday. Who do I think will make it happen? I’m hoping Harvard, of course, but to hedge my bets, I’m going to predict the Huskies by a much closer 4-3 score than the 3-0 shutout they pitched at Matthews a few weeks back.

  • Css228

    This is a huge weekend for the Big Red. If things work out well (including a Big Red sweep) I think Cornell could be as high as third this weekend. (Correct me if this highly unlikely scenario is wrong though: Cornell sweep, Dartmouth gets swept (or even just loses to Yale), Princeton gets swept, RPI loses to Quinnipiac)

    • hottruck

      With games at RPI, Union, and Yale as well as Dartmouth at home I would say Cornell needs a lot of things to break their way to get a bye.

  • Css228

    Cornell can beat Dartmouth at home (since they nearly did at Thompson if it weren’t for Brisson’s shoulder and a goal light that came on too early they would have won). Futhermore, Cornell did beat RPI 5-1 at Lynah and played Yale pretty well at Lynah. Now it’s another thing entirely to actually do all this, but I think we’re starting to see the Cornell team that many people ranked highly at the beginning of the season. That and many teams are overlooking them. They’re definitely a dangerous squad for the teams above them. Am i going to bet on them to do it, absolutely not because its a fools bet but I’m not exactly writing them off either

  • Css228

    Also Big Red are officially a TUC tonight, though they’d basically need to win out until the semifinals of the ECAC tourney to get in on a non auto-bid, which is something I don’t see happening

  • Css228

    The Big Red are back. T-4th ECAC going to RPI and Union next week for huge showdown.

  • Keith Linsley

    Your rankings are quite the joke.  BC splits and moves to top spot.  And ND and Merrimack should both drop out of top 10 for the paper tigers they are.  UMD should be in top spot after a good sweep and have play great since their early sweep by the Gophers. 

  • Delta Seed

    BC #1 is a reach; but you are entitled to your opinion.