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College Hockey:
NESCAC picks: Feb. 15

It may have been used a lot over the past week, but Nemo found New England and really altered the playing schedule. That is no excuse for my picks, which finished at 3-1-1 (.700), but trying to keep things normal and consistent is one thing coaches are determined to do at this point of the season. The Bowdoin vs. Trinity game was postponed, so that may have helped or hurt the numbers. My overall record is now at 44-17-8 (.696), so this is the last chance to end on a positive note for the season.

Here are the selections for the final and most crucial week of the regular season.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Trinity at Wesleyan
The first of the season ending home-and home series could have some bearing on the final seedings for these two schools. No matter the position in the standings, these two always play it close to the vest, and this one is no different. The visitors pull it out late. Trinity 3-2

Williams at Amherst
The Lord Jeffs are playing to get a home-ice berth, while the Ephs are looking to continue their strong play and hopefully keep the number two seed behind league leaders, Bowdoin. Six is probably high on the goal count, but I think special teams are going to be a factor in this one. Amherst 4-2

Connecticut College at Colby
Colby has been playing some better hockey in the second half of the season, and the battle for the final playoff positions is as hotly-contested as the battle for home ice is at the top of the ledger. Home ice is the difference maker here, which creates a lot of drama for Saturday’s contests. Colby 2-1

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Middlebury at Amherst
Both teams have incentive to win this season finale, but probably more so the visitors, who have had trouble with the Lord Jeffs in both the regular season and conference tournament of late. If the goaltending is sorted out for the Panthers, they can get it done on the road. Just enough saves to get it done. Middlebury 3-2

Williams at Hamilton
This one could be a preview of a quarterfinal match-up next weekend, but not at the same venue. The Ephs have to take this long bus trip, but no matter, the outcome still goes their way, with just enough offense to take the win. Williams 2-0

Tufts at Colby
The Mules are looking for something that has been elusive all season: back-to-back wins. The effort and results are there, but it still might not be enough to keep them practicing for a quarterfinal game next week. Colby 3-2

Two teams are officially done for the season after Saturday’s contests. It doesn’t get more dramatic than that — drop the puck!

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