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College Hockey:
ECAC East picks: Dec. 7

I am thinking I may just need to stop right here. Last week saw a perfect pick record at 6-0-0 (1.000) which may be a one-time event for this 2012-13 season, but I will take it. The perfect round of picks brings the season total to a very good 21-4-4 (.793). There is just one more weekend and so few games, but some interesting nonconference and travel partner games are more than enough of a challenge to close the semester.

Here are this week’s picks.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Norwich at Plattsburgh
Having knocked league rival Oswego from the ranks of the unbeaten last week, Bob Emery’s Cardinals would like nothing better than to repeat the performance and end the Cadets’ eight-game winning streak. These teams always play it close and tight, and this contest won’t be any different. Both teams had the chance to scout each other at the Primelink in November, so there aren’t any surprises. The Cadets make it three in a row on the road. Norwich 3-2

SUNY-Potsdam at Southern Maine
Last weekend’s Boston trip and home loss to Bowdoin didn’t help Southern Maine in the confidence department, but the Huskies aren’t likely to take their SUNYAC opponent lightly. Home ice and a chance to build some consistency with the same opponent back-to-back should put a positive spin on the first half results. Friday night’s win gets the ball rolling for the Huskies.  Southern Maine 4-3

Skidmore at Castleton
The Spartans lost a heartbreaker to Norwich at home, but are back to playing the style of play and at the level that will bring success in the conference moving into the second half. It’s the only game of the weekend for Castleton, so they will leave it all on the ice in the first-half finale and earn the all important two points. Castleton 4-3

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Skidmore at Curry
The Thoroughbreds come off a tough game on Friday at Castleton and then travel to Milton, Mass., and a nonleague game with the Colonels.  Both teams can score goals, but Skidmore has received far more consistent goaltending, and it makes the difference in this game where the special teams should also be a key factor. Skidmore 5-3

New England College at Cortland
It’s the second game of the weekend between these two opponents, and the Pilgrims really want to take two wins home for the holidays after Saturday’s loss to travel partner St. Anselm. The Red Dragons have struggled in the always-tough SUNYAC conference and get no sympathy from Tom Carroll’s squad, who get back to their winning ways. New England College 4-2

St. Michael’s at Stonehill
It is a NE-10 game that means a lot to the playoff seeding in February/March, so both teams will be looking capture the win and potential tiebreaker. The Purple Knights have played well in games against non-ECAC East opponents, and this match-up with the young Skyhawks will be no different. It’s likely to be a track meet with lots of shots, so both goalies should stay awake. St. Michael’s 4-1

It doesn’t really matter if it’s a travel partner game or nonleague game as the semester winds up the first-half schedule.  There are just a few periods of hockey left in 2012 to get some momentum and build some positives for the arrival of 2013 and the second half — drop the puck.

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