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College Hockey:
NESCAC picks: Nov. 30

Week number two went a little better than the opening weekend, as I went 4-1-1 (.750) on my picks to bring the season record to 7-3-3 (.654). I would obviously like to continue that positive trend and have some interesting conference games from which to choose my potential winners.

There are just two weekends left on the conference schedule before finals and the semester break; wins and points are critical, so here are the picks:

Friday, November 30, 2012

Colby at Bowdoin
This home-and-home series is always an exciting one for the players, fans, and alumni alike. There have been some crazy outcomes between the two teams in recent years, and home ice usually doesn’t mean much in this rivalry. What does matter is skill, depth, and balance, which favors the Polar Bears. Bowdoin 4-1

Amherst at Wesleyan
Always a close battle when these schools play and this one won’t be any different. Goaltending on both sides is very good, and the difference here will be special teams, which tilts the rink to the visitors. Amherst has held opponents to 0-for-24 on the power play this season and scores a man-up almost 20 percent of the time — advantage to the Lord Jeffs. Amherst 3-2

Tufts at Williams
Two high-powered offensive teams face-off, with only one having confidence in scoring goals. The surprise for both teams has been the quality of the defense and goaltending. This one could really go either way, and may need overtime to settle the score. I am going with the Ephs to earn a hard-fought win in a wide-open game that gets their offense above the two-goal-per-game output found in the first four games of the season. Williams 4-3

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Tufts at Middlebury
The promise that is the arrival of talented freshmen is already paying dividends for the Panthers, who lost a two-goal lead and the Primelink Tournament last week to host Norwich. Matt Silcoff, Evan Neugold, and Riley Dickie are three freshmen among the team leaders in scoring and the confidence is growing. Chalk the learning experience up for the new players, who are ready to jump back into league play with a weekend sweep. Middlebury 5-2

Connecticut College at Williams
The Camels might be a bit winded from Friday at Middlebury, and Williams is just the type of team to capitalize on such an opportunity. The Ephs are looking for a weekend sweep as well, and have the revived offense to carry it through. Williams 4-1

Hamilton at Wesleyan
The Continentals definitely have some talent, and Wesleyan best find where Michael DiMare is when he is on the ice, which is usually quite frequently. Some veteran pieces in John Guay and Adam Kaiser have been contributing to the Cardinals’ offense, while the freshmen become more comfortable. This one is low-scoring, and ends with a nice win for the Cardinals to split the weekend. Wesleyan 3-1

It should be a fun weekend with lots of great rivalries and action — drop the puck!

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