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College Hockey:
ECAC Northeast picks: Feb. 1

You’ll hear a lot of opinion — and coach-speak — over the next few weeks about how the ECAC Northeast Conference race will shake down. It’ll come down to who is the healthiest. It’ll come down to who is the hottest. There’s some truth to all of it, of course.

However, in the case of Nichols, it might just come down to who is at home.

The Bison, who entered the week on a two-game winning streak, and as the only league team with 12 overall wins, will play four of their final five games on home ice. Short of a Feb. 9 date at Curry, Nichols can get comfortable, and settle in, knowing that the league has to come to Levy Rink down the stretch. It’s a nice luxury to lean on.

Among those teams making the trip are Johnson and Wales (Feb. 13) and Western New England (Feb. 16), but first things first. On Saturday, Becker strolls in, and the Bison need to do what potential playoff teams do at this time of year: Get up for a home game, get into a flow, get an early lead, and then cruise to victory. Something tells us coach Kevin Swallow’s team will be ready against the struggling Hawks. Nichols 5-2

Saturday, Feb. 2

Western New England at Curry
A couple of teams with playoff potential will tangle in a matinee game that should be a dandy. The Golden Bears won the first meeting, 6-3, way back when on Nov. 15. The Colonels hope to repay the favor at home. Curry 3-2

Sunday, Feb. 3

Johnson and Wales at Wentworth
The Leopards have rounded into form, though it still might not show it in their record. Still, the talent is there, and as we approach the postseason, the team that many still think is the league’s best should show it in front of a home crowd. Wentworth 4-3

Last week: 1-2; Overall: 22-16-1.

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