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College Hockey:
ECAC East picks: Feb. 1

So, I backed up last week’s 5-1-0 record with a 4-1-1 (.750) push that certainly shows some level of consistency and ability to see some end-of-year trending among the teams making a push at the right time of the year. The overall season numbers are 44-15-7 (.720), which is better than respectable when predicting games in this conference.

February is here, and some teams, like Castleton, have been taking advantage of the schedule gaining points and position. Who else is making their move this week? Here are this weekend’s selections.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Massachusetts-Boston at Skidmore
The Beacons took three of four points from travel partner Babson last weekend, but Skidmore has always provided them with a serious challenge. Second place and number two seed is a strong motivation and enough to squeak this one out on the road.  Massachusetts-Boston 4-3

New England College at Norwich
The Pilgrims need points if they want to get out of the bottom half of the draw. Problem with this game is the Cadets don’t take anyone lightly, especially not at home in front of a packed house at Kreitzburg Arena. Norwich 5-2

Babson at Castleton
The Spartans are just checking the box. Next opponent in the ECAC East — win. They are 7-0-1 in their last eight, and have won four in a row in the conference. These are the last two home games on the regular season schedule, and they should be two great ones, starting with Babson. Castleton 4-3

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Massachusetts-Boston at Castleton
The Friday night match-ups were probably harder on the home team, and while they didn’t have to travel, the visitors might just have that little something in their tank to eke out a win that may come with some bonus hockey and five minutes of overtime. Massachusetts-Boston 3-2

University of New England at Southern Maine
The Nor’easters really could use a “W,” and so could the Huskies. This one is likely to come down to goaltending, and the visitors may be just good enough in this one to take the two points and potentially move them out of the number eight spot in the playoff seedings. University of New England 4-3

St. Anselm at Norwich
This is the last shot for a talented group of seniors at St. Anselm to beat the Cadets, so expect them to come out with a lot of energy and determined play. There is a reason the Cadets are number one in the country, and the depth shows here in a close contest. Norwich 3-2

There is a lot of drama in the 2-7 slots in the standings, and every weekend sees a major swing for someone moving up or down.  Home ice is on the line — drop the puck.

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