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College Hockey:
ECAC East picks: Jan. 11

It was a great week to open the year, as I notched a 7-1-1 (.833) record. The season still looks very strong at 31-10-5 (.728) but I will need to back up last week with another strong showing if I am to keep my winning percentage over the 70 percent threshold.

There are just a couple of nonconference match-ups, so the emphasis is clearly on league contests. Here are this week’s picks, which again include some bonus selections for next Tuesday’s nonconference slate of games.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Massachusetts-Boston at Norwich
I think coach Peter Belisle likes playing Norwich. The challenge of playing one of the best teams in the country is always there, but proving where the Beacons are is as much a part of the overall dynamic as anything. DeGrazia and Andrews will be keys for the Beacons, but the overall depth of the Cadets is the difference in this one. Norwich 5-3

St. Anselm at University of New England
The swing out to Western New York was a good one for the Hawks, who came back with a win and a tie to open the new year. A lot of experience upfront for the Hawks spells the difference in this one, as coach Ed Seney drives to stay in Norwich’s rearview mirror. St. Anselm 5-2

New England College at Southern Maine
The Huskies should certainly like what came out of Tuesday’s nonconference win at Colby. Alex Pompeo continues to lead both offensively and defensively for the Huskies, and he will need to continue his strong play at home for a win and two points over the Pilgrims. Southern Maine 4-3

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Babson at Norwich
The two games with Massachusetts-Boston and Babson this weekend end a five-game streak that coach Mike McShane had highlighted on the schedule as being a key part of the season. Can’t get the game back vs. Neumann, but can send a message in the conference that the number one spot is theirs for a reason. It’s close, always is, but the win finishes a 4-1-0 week. Norwich 2-1

New England College at University of New England
One of these two teams needs to stop the bleeding and pick up a much needed win in the conference. Both teams have been competitive but unable to push a score over the top. The Pilgrims have been closer to wins than the Nor’easters, and that hunger gets them the win in this one. New England College 4-3

Massachusetts-Boston at St. Michael’s  
I feel badly for the Purple Knights, who face the Beacons after they play at Norwich. Any frustrations are going to be taken out on St. Mike’s, and that could mean a ton of shots and goals for the visitors in this one. Not the complete weekend the Beacons wanted, but a split isn’t all bad. Massachusetts-Boston 6-2

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Williams at Babson
Is there any chance this game is not a one-goal contest? Babson really has two back-to-back tough ones in Norwich and a nonleague game with Williams. I might be high on the score based on how misters Dougherty and Murray have played in goal for their respective teams, but it’s still a one-goal game and maybe an overtime decision. Williams 3-2

Southern New Hampshire University at Massachusetts-Boston
It’s a mid-week game against a nonconference opponent, so how serious are the Beacons about this match-up? Think very serious.  Coach Peter Belisle is not letting anyone take a night off or an opponent lightly. The Penmen better be ready, because the offensive juggernaut Massachusetts-Boston has been this season will be looking to pad some numbers. Massachusetts-Boston 7-3

It is back to the all-important league games, so playing well and earning points have double meaning. There shouldn’t be any rust left from the break, so time to crank up the game and level of play — drop the puck.

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