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College Hockey:
NESCAC picks: Dec. 7

I think I might be getting the hang of this prediction thing, as I had a solid week at 4-0-2 (.833), which brings the season total to 11-3-5 (.711), breaking the 70-percent success rate. I candidly am surprised by my results to date, which may be akin to a blind pig finding a truffle, but I will take the record and see if one more successful week can be “dug up.”

This the final weekend left on the conference schedule, and no team wants to go into the break on a downer. Lots of hard-fought hockey in some interesting match-ups to be played, so here are the picks.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Amherst at Williams
Williams demonstrated some better offense last weekend at home, and now will need to ramp up to the next level against the always defensively-stout Lord Jeffs. As good as Nathan Corey has been for Amherst, so too has Sean Dougherty for the Ephs come up big for his team when needed. This one is already a battle for a top position in the standings; the team securing the two points is the visitors in purple. Amherst 4-3

Manhattanville at Trinity
The Bantams host the Valiants, looking to build on last Saturday’s big 1-0 win over Amherst. The visitors from the ECAC West will pose a serious challenge to Benjamin Coulthard and the rest of his teammates. This is another one-goal game, albeit with a bit more scoring in the third period that makes the difference for the hosts. Trinity 3-2

Colby at Connecticut College
The Camels certainly played well enough at Middlebury and Williams to merit earning more than just the one point obtained in Friday’s tie. Colby will be happy not to see players wearing Bowdoin shirts after back-to-back losses to their rivals last weekend. Both teams would like to get moving up in the standings, but the home team lays claim to the two points in this one. Connecticut College 4-2

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Amherst at Middlebury
The Panthers offense kicked into high gear against Tufts last weekend, putting up a nine-spot. Last season’s regular season finale was Jack Arena’s only regular season win at Middlebury, but there won’t be a repeat in this one, as the young Panthers are building some early season swagger. Middlebury 5-2

Hamilton at Williams
The Continentals have proven they can play a tight defensive hockey game, and Williams may be the perfect match-up to continue the style. Opportunistic scoring is the difference in this one, as Joe Quattrocchi looks to out-duel his Williams counterpart in this low-scoring affair. Hamilton 2-1

Colby at Tufts
The Jumbos will be happy to see a team that is slightly more offensively-challenged than their last two opponents (Bowdoin and Middlebury). It’s back to basics and keeping things tight in their own end that leads the Jumbos back to their winning ways. Tufts 3-1

Finals for the semester are certainly the focus for the players in the next couple of weeks, but this weekend is all they are thinking about in the last games before the break — drop the puck!

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