Yes, I’m here, I’ve posted! Records so far:
Princeton at Cornell
Josh: It looks pretty simple right off the bat. Cornell is a multi-faceted weapon that can rack up the goals and stop you dead the other way. Teams need to learn to take the point shot away from player of the week Nick D’Agostino, and also watch out for No. 17, Brian Ferlin, who has won the rookie of the week twice now. The Tigers have a losing record as of this morning, but they won’t leave the weekend without points. Their offense is impressive, scoring no less than two goals in any one game yet. Gotta like the Big Red, though, on this one. Cornell 4-3
Brian: The bigger question for me isn’t if Princeton will match Cornell’s intensity, but rather will Cornell suffer another unpredictable loss the likes of Mercyhurst and Brown? I suppose unpredictable losses are innately unpredictable, so I shan’t make it my business to try to predict them, lest they become predictable. 4-2 Red.
Quinnipiac at Colgate
Josh: Langlois vs. Smith? Should be fun to see who can get the puck off the others’ stick the most and do something with it. They are two of the five players in the nation with at least 10 goals (they both have 10). Smith has only been shut out (along with his team) once, while Langlois only has two goals (and two points) in his five November contests. Yes, there will be around 38 other guys on the ice and they’ll try to shut both of them down. Anyone else like Langlois and the Bobcats for a big comeback? Quinnipiac 4-2
Brian: Three goals in their last three games: if you haven’t been paying attention, you’d probably guess I was talking about Colgate. But no, this year’s Raiders have been making up for all the lamps they didn’t light last year! Instead it’s the Bobcats offense that has fallen down the well, and Sting is nowhere to be found. Top scorer Jeremy Langlois (10-6–16) has been held point-less in three of his last five games after opening the campaign with points in each of his first eight appearances. I’m tabbing the Raiders in this one, 3-1.
Harvard at Clarkson
Josh: The Golden Knights looked sweet in October, but after winning their first November game, it’s been 0-2-1 since then. Two goals in three games for a team that scored 32 in their first 10 is certainly a point of concern for head coach Casey Jones. Crimson-wise, they showed pluck in their 4-2 loss to Cornell, and beat a fairly consistent Colgate team Saturday night. You don’t want to put them on the power play, either, as they’re clicking at 27.3 percent right now. I’m probably going to regret picking the home team, but I have to expect the Golden Knights to snap out of their goal funk. Clarkson 2-0
Brian: ‘Tech has scored two goals in its last three games, going 0-2-1 in the process. Harvard may be 1-2-1, but the Crimson – at least – have scored at least two goals in each of their four games. I’d usually pick the homestanding Northerners here, but Harvard showed me up in the playoffs last year with a two-game sweep of Clarkson (it was practically a three-game sweep, considering the last game of the regular season was a Harvard-CCT tilt as well, albeit in Boston). So, here’s my faith pick: Crimson, 3-1.
Dartmouth at St. Lawrence
Josh: A lot of interesting dynamics to this game. Dartmouth hasn’t played away yet, and St. Lawrence is on a three-game league winning streak after an 0-5 start. The Saints do look great behind the offensive leadership of Kyle Flanagan, who has scored in seven of their eight games. However, after going pointless last weekend, I have to think the Big Green are out for blood. Big Green goalie James Mello has to get back to the form that saw him chosen as the media/coaches preseason all-conference selection (2.85, .901). Dartmouth 3-1
Brian: Well this would’ve been a no-brainer a week ago, but now? SLU’s on a three-game streak, Dartmouth’s lost two straight, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria. Moreover, the Big Green have allowed 14 goals in four games, despite eventually winning half those contests. It’s wild. The Saints have figured out how to shut ‘er down defensively, and I think that will be the difference on Friday: Saints, 3-2.
Princeton at Colgate
Josh: I like how the Tigers have gotten points from all but two of their players who have appeared in at least four games so far. That’s 18 players on the board through seven games – you never know where it’ll come from. Colgate, with 19 of its own players taking points so far, is similarly deep. Both teams’ defenses and goalies (possibly Alex Evin and Sean Bonar) will have to get their heads on a swivel. I should probably pick a tie here, but I think the Raiders will break through at home. Colgate 5-3
Brian: Could I really see Colgate sweeping at home? You betcha. But Princeton gives me pause, because the Tigers are still an unknown quantity to me: new coach, new systems, and a wobbly record out of the gate make the Garden Staters a real wild card. I’m taking Colgate, but unconfidently: 3-2 Raiders.
Harvard at St. Lawrence
Josh: Again, I think the guts shown by Harvard so far, including two lunchpail goals against Cornell and a focused, determined effort in the win against Colgate last Saturday will carry over to this weekend. Assuming they put their nose to the grindstone against a Karpowich-led Clarkson team one night earlier, then their streak of blue collar (yes, Harvard, blue collar) play will win out the night. It won’t be easy – St. Lawrence is among the early contenders for league dominance. Harvard 4-2
Brian: Harvard has the stuff to impress, but the Crimson lack such a track record, so I’m going to go with the swiftly improving Saints in this one. I’m all about the momentum today, and SLU’s got it in spades. 4-2 Saints.
Quinnipiac at Cornell
Josh: The Big Red should be able to utilize its league-best offense (best goals per game – 4.25 – thus far) to outrace a Quinnipiac team trying to put it all back together after an awesome October and mediocre-at-best November. Some scoffed when I referred to Cornell last Monday as a “rising force.” Previous years’ history aside, when you start out the season with bookending losses to then 1-4 Mercyhurst and a Brown team that has played well but hasn’t scared anyone yet, your 3-1 conference record makes you a rising force this year. Cornell 3-2
Brian: Many will recall QU’s stunning playoff sweep of the Big Red at Lynah back in March ’07. That put the league on notice that the Bobcats are nobody’s doormat, no matter how new the ECAC patch on their sweaters. This ain’t that team, but it shouldn’t be dismissed that Lynah is no mystery to these visitors. I’m taking Cornell, but this game simply smells like one of those “unpredictable” losses for the Big Red. 4-3 Cornell.
Dartmouth at Clarkson
Josh: I believe this will be a big weekend for Paul Karpowich in the Knights’ net, with Clarkson needing a victory after a three-game winless streak if they want to be considered among the league iron. He’s about as steady as they come in the league in net, proving that so far with a .941 save percentage and a 1.77 goals against average. With Mello most likely across the ice in the Big Green net (unless the wheels fall off in Dartmouth), this’ll be one of the great early-season goaltending duels. Clarkson 1-0
Brian: Ugly game to pick. Neither team is instilling a whole ton of confidence in me right now, so when in doubt, pick the home team (that goes double in the North Country). 2-1 Clarkson.
Brown at Army
Josh: Army brought the fight on the road early in the season, playing three out of four teams who are currently nationally ranked right off the bat. They may be 1-5-2, but the Black Knights don’t know the meaning of the phrase “take it easy.” Their goalie, Ryan Leets, has been shelled with an average of 35 shots per game, but he’s able to keep his head above the .900 mark in save percentage (.901). Brown is one of those ECAC teams that no one expected much from, but they are one of the reasons for the early parity, beating ECAC top four teams Cornell and Union along the way. Brown 3-1
Brian: It’s true that Army has played a lot of truly good teams, but let us not disregard the fact that Army has not beaten any of them. Brown rolls, 4-1.
Connecticut at Yale
Josh: Ah, the Constitution State will play host to its two greatest institutions. If it were women’s basketball or football, I’d yield to the Huskies faithful on this one, but it’s Bulldog ice when these two meet, regardless if you’re in Storrs or New Haven. Yale has the upper hand in this sport, and should continue its historic dominance over UConn, having outscored the Huskies 49-17 in all previous meetings. I’d love to someday see UConn make a bid for Hockey East to get five of the New England states’ flagship schools in there, but drawing under 1,000 regularly for their home games won’t see that happen anytime soon. Yale 6-2
Brian: I’m not going to dignify this matchup with an analysis. Instead, here’s a clip of some pretty decent air-banding. 28-3 Yale.
Josh: I’ll throw out some new picks at @JoshUSCHO on Twitter on Tuesday morning or afternoon for that night’s games: AIC at Brown, Niagara at Cornell, UNH at Harvard and Yale at Sacred Heart. Let’s see how ECAC teams fare Friday and Saturday before we look too far ahead.
Brian: What he said. @SullivanHockey, though.