The slate of games involving ECAC teams is slim on this season-opening weekend, allowing Nate Owen and Mark Divver to ease into the prognostication game. Here goes:
Saturday, Oct. 5
Boston University at Union
Nate: Both these teams will be working a lot of new faces into the lineup, as the Terriers (11) and Dutchmen (8) each have a large freshmen class this season. That number doesn’t include Boston University goalie Sam Tucker, who transferred to the school after spending four seasons at Yale. The Dutchmen return Darion Hanson in net, and the junior should provide some stability for a team with some new players working their way into the lineup. Union wins 4-3
Mark: The Terriers and their 12 NHL draft picks roll into Schenectady to face the Dutchmen, who have just one NHL pick available. New BU goalie Sam Tucker pitched a shutout against Union last December while playing for Yale. Take the Terriers. BU 4, Union 2.
RIT at Colgate
Nate: Saturday marks the start of Don Vaughan’s 27th season at Colgate. That tenure is the third longest in college hockey, trailing only Mercyhurst’s Rick Gotkin and Ferris State’s Bob Daniels. On the ice, Colgate will be looking to generate more offense this season after the Raiders only scored 55 times in 36 games this season. RIT was average defensively last season, so this should be a good game for Colgate to try and get its offense on track entering the new season. Colgate wins 4-2
Mark: Colgate took it on the chin, 6-1, when the teams met last October. Look for the Raiders to turn the tables and squeeze out a win this time. Colgate 2, RIT 1
Sunday, Oct. 6
Union at Army
Nate: After starting the season at home, the Dutchmen head to the road to take on the Black Knights. These teams opened up the 2018-19 season against each other with Union coming away with a 4-1 win. The Dutchmen are 14-1-1 all-time against Army West Point, with Union’s lone loss in the series coming in the first-ever meeting between the teams back in 1999. Union wins 5-1.
Mark: One of the best moments of the 2018-19 season occurred the last time these schools met as Army players lined up to offer condolences to Jack Adams of the Dutchmen, whose brother Mark had recently died. The Dutchmen have a big edge in the series and they continue their dominance this time around. Union 3, Army 1.