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College Hockey:
ECAC Northeast/MASCAC picks: March 2

It’s down to four teams that will compete for two spots in the NCAA Tournament, as well as conference bragging rights in both the ECAC Northeast and the MASCAC.

Curry faces Wentworth on Saturday in a rematch of the ECAC Northeast championship game — Curry won last year to earn the conference’s automatic bid. Salem State, meanwhile, faces Plymouth State in the MASCAC championship game, the first title game in which the winner will receive an automatic tournament bid.

I went 4-0 last week in the conference playoffs (all conference quarterfinal games, including a pick of Worcester State upsetting Fitchburg State in a MASCAC quarterfinal) and I’m 53-26-12 this season.

ECAC Northeast championship
Curry at Wentworth, 2 p.m. Saturday
This one’s 2011 all over again, with the ECAC Northeast’s automatic tournament bid up for grabs.

The Colonels, the No. 2 seed, earned a quarterfinal bye before defeating No. 3 Nichols, 7-2, in Wednesday’s semifinal, and Curry has found its offensive stride again, scoring 12 goals in the past two games.

Curry is fifth in the nation in team scoring, averaging 4.54 goals a game, and Colonels senior Ryan Barlock is the nation’s leading scorer among defensemen with 11 goals and 29 assists, while senior forward Payden Benning has 21 goals, and scored four points (two goals, two assists) in Wednesday’s win over Nichols.

Wentworth, the No. 1 seed, also earned a quarterfinal bye and defeated No. 4 Western New England, 5-3, in Wednesday’s second semifinal — a game in which the Leopards gave up a 3-0 lead before scoring two goals in the final six minutes of the third period.

The Leopards are 10th in the nation in scoring, averaging 3.96 goals a game. Wentworth forward Mike Domsodi is the nation’s second-leading scorer among freshmen, and enters Saturday’s game with 19 goals and 15 assists. Junior defenseman Shaun Jameson is fifth in the nation in scoring among defensemen with five goals and 19 assists.

This is the second meeting between Curry and Wentworth in less than three weeks; Wentworth defeated Curry, 5-3, on Feb. 16, and the teams split the regular-season series.

The Leopards enter the conference title game on a nine-game winning streak. Their last loss? A 4-2 decision Jan. 21 at Curry. Curry 5-2

MASCAC championship
Salem State at Plymouth State, 6 p.m. Saturday
The Vikings meet the Panthers for the fourth time this season, and for the MASCAC’s first automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Salem State plays in its third MASCAC title game in the conference’s three seasons of existence, and has made seven appearances in the NCAA Tournament, while Plymouth State seeks its first tournament bid in the program’s history.

Plymouth State, the No. 1 seed in the MASCAC tournament, earned a quarterfinal bye before defeating No. 5 Worcester State, 7-1, in Tuesday’s semifinal. Salem State, the No. 2 seed, also earned a quarterfinal bye before Tuesday’s 4-3 overtime win over No. 3 Massachusetts-Dartmouth in Tuesday’s second semifinal.

Salem State is averaging 3.85 goals a game, and the Vikings also have a special-teams threat in junior Nick Lampson, who has four short-handed goals this season.

Plymouth State goalie Jack Astedt leads the MASCAC with four shutouts and a 2.25 goals against average, and the Panthers are the top defensive team in the conference, allowing an average of 2.32 goals.

Plymouth State enters the title game on an eight-game unbeaten streak, which includes a 4-3 win Feb. 11 over Salem State. Plymouth State 4-2

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