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College Hockey:
NESCAC picks: Dec. 28

I really struggled the final week of the semester, especially on Saturday, where I didn’t pick one game correctly. I finished the weekend at 2-4-0 (.333), which brings the season total to 13-7-5 (.620), a respectable number, but one that has me wanting more in the second half for sure.

This weekend sees a lot of holiday tournament action, a chance to make sure that people didn’t eat too much over the holidays and still have some game conditioning in them before the conference schedule resumes in a week or so. Tournaments are always interesting so here are the picks:

Friday, December 28, 2012

Amherst at Elmira
The first-round game in the Cardinal Classic should be entertaining, and the Lord Jeffs will be looking to build on their win at Middlebury in their final game prior to the break. Elmira has struggled a bit, coming in at 5-6-0 in the very competitive ECAC West. Amherst will need to play their game, which always includes tough defense, solid goaltending, and great special teams. The last piece is the difference maker in this one. Amherst 4-2

Wesleyan at Plattsburgh
The Cardinals vs. the Cardinals in what should be a very close and well-played hockey game in the other preliminary game of the Cardinal Classic hosted by Plattsburgh. Wesleyan has only surrendered seven goals to opponents in its last five games, so expect this one to be low-scoring. The home team comes off two emotional one-goal games with number one teams in the country, having split with Oswego and Norwich. Coach Bob Emery will make sure the boys are up to defending the home ice, but it is another one-goal game. Plattsburgh 3-2

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Trinity at Nichols
The Bantams have been firing on all cylinders, and coach Matt Greason is surely hoping the holiday break hasn’t slowed down his team entering two nonconference match-ups with Nichols and Becker to end the 2012 calendar. Trinity will be ready, and uses the games to get back in gear before the conference schedule resumes in January. Trinity 5-2

Monday, December 31, 2012

Curry at Hamilton
Last season’s game in Milton, Mass., saw a see-saw affair that the Continentals ultimately won in overtime by a score of 5-4. Don’t expect those kind of fireworks this time around, as Hamilton has been playing some very close-checking games without a lot of scoring. The intensity and action will be there, but not sure many are getting by either Quattrocchi or Mohney in this game. Don’t think there will be overtime needed, but with these two teams you never know. Hamilton 2-1

The curtain drops on 2012 with these final games, but oh the anticipation for the second half and the excitement that is sure to come in 2013. Wishing everyone a Happy New Year — drop the puck!

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