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College Hockey:
ECAC East picks: Feb. 15

A 4-2-0 (.667) weekend despite the chaos the blizzard left behind means I may almost be as focused as the teams that had to adapt to the changing schedule and challenging travel conditions. The overall season numbers are now 53-18-7 (.724). I really want to stay above the 70 percent threshold, so I need to find just one more solid week.

This is it! Everyone plays next weekend, but where and against who will still be determined by results this week. Here are this weekend’s selections.

Friday, February 15, 2013

University of New England at New England College
The first match-up went to the home team in overtime after a furious third period rally by the Pilgrims. These teams are that close, so why not a repeat, at least in the final score? This time, the score favors the Pilgrims on home ice. New England College 4-3

Norwich at Babson
The first match-up was decided in the first period by an aggressive Babson team that scored early and never looked back. The Cadets remember that, and want to send a message should another game between the two come to bear for higher stakes. Norwich 3-2

Southern Maine at St. Anselm
The Hawks have not been at their best of late, with losses in three straight games. They can’t play in the ECAC East tournament, but coach Ed Seney’s team can do something special in the NE-10 tournament, and some consecutive wins would help build that momentum. St. Anselm 5-2

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Castleton at Skidmore
The Spartans don’t want to think about just hanging out in Saratoga Springs for the week, since these two will likely see each other in the quarterfinals next week. The winner here is the likely host, which is solid motivation for both teams. I like the Thoroughbreds on the big sheet in what could be a wide-open thriller. Skidmore 4-2

Southern Maine at New England College
The Pilgrims want to move as far as they can from a trip to Vermont or Boston — not that Wellesley would be any picnic.  Momentum is the key to this one, and a fast start helps NEC get the two points.  New England College 3-1

Norwich at Massachusetts-Boston
The Cadets don’t have much to play for right? Don’t think that is the way coach McShane’s team is approaching the final tune-ups for another conference championship run.  The Beacons are dangerous, and the Cadets want to give them something to think about should they see each other for a third time this season. Norwich 4-3

The second season is just a week away, but for many teams, this week probably already feels like the playoffs have started.  It’s the last chance to build some momentum into the playoffs — drop the puck!

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