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College Hockey:
ECAC East picks: Nov. 23

Well after really picking poorly two weeks ago, I rallied last week to go 6-0-1 (.929) for the weekend, which brings the season total to 10-4-3 (.676). Lightning can strike about anywhere, so I am looking for a little consistency in trying to match last week’s performance with some interesting post-Thanksgiving tournament action.

There’s lots to choose from with the Primelink, PAL Cup, Rutland, and Skidmore Invitationals, to name but a few of the tournaments being played this weekend. So, here are my picks for the upcoming weekend of hockey to celebrate the Thanksgiving holidays.

Friday, November 23, 2012

St. Thomas at Norwich
The Primelink may be the best of the holiday tournaments in bringing three powerhouses from the East and one from the West to play over the weekend. This one should have all of the trappings of a playoff or NCAA tournament game, but the advantage goes to the home team and host. Norwich 4-3

Saturday, November 24, 2012

St. Olaf at Babson
The Beavers are coming off a big win against Castleton last Saturday and would like to keep the momentum going. Jamie Murray has settled in nicely in goal, and Nik Tasiopoulos has his first goal under his belt, so look for a much needed nonconference win against the Oles of the MIAC Conference. Babson 4-2

Brockport at Castleton
Most of the Spartans have been used to much better starts to the season than the current campaign. Playing consistent hockey two games in a row has been a challenge for coach Alex Todd’s troops, and hosting a tournament may just be the cure he needs for his team to get on track. The score is closer than it looks, but a solid win gets them a shot at the title against either Manhattanville or Tufts. Castleton 4-1

Massachusetts-Boston at Johnson and Wales
One of the goals for Peter Belisle’s team is to win three tournaments. The PAL Cup is the first on the agenda, so look for the Beacons to press the Wildcats all over the ice. The Beacons have been able to build leads, but have had trouble keeping them — not the case in this one. Massachusetts-Boston 6-3

University of New England at Southern New Hampshire
Last year’s PAL cup final was an all-ECAC East affair, and the Nor’easters would like nothing better than to get back to the final, regardless of the opponent. The host school won’t be an easy opponent, but Brad Holt’s team takes some momentum out of a well-played game with Bowdoin on Tuesday and fuels the opening round win. University of New England 5-3

Nazareth at Skidmore
The Golden Flyers have been struggling in their last six games, but the last four have been against two quality opponents in Manhattanville and Hobart in the ECAC West conference. The Thoroughbreds are on a nice three-game unbeaten streak in the conference, and would like to continue their success in their own backyard and tournament. The offense gets it done on the big sheet for coach Neil Sinclair’s team. Skidmore 6-2

Not sure how the concession stands will be equipped with handling the post-Thanksgiving crowds, so just in case, bring a sandwich, (turkey, of course) — drop the puck!

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