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Picks to finish out 2013

DSC 8859 Picks to finish out 2013

Can Lawrence keep stringing together wins and celebrate like this after Blake Roubos’ game-winning goal last Saturday against St. Norbert (photo: Paul Wilke)?

It’s hard to believe that the first half is coming to a close, but with that said, there still are some meaningful games this weekend, so let’s see what our columnists have to say about those.

ECAC East – Tim Costello

Last week’s picks finished at 3-2-0 (.600), which brings this season total to a very good 16-6-3 (.700). There is just one more weekend for a few remaining teams and these nonconference showdowns will still have a lot riding on the outcome for morale heading into the break.

Here are this week’s picks:

Friday, Dec. 13

Wentworth @ Massachusetts-Boston

The Beacons really want to end the semester on a roll and haven’t played at home in quite a while, so what better way to head into the break than by sending the home fans home with a fifth straight win? UMB is hitting its stride and not so sure the coach is happy to see the break coming now. Massachusetts-Boston 5-2.

Cortland @ New England College

This pair of games over the weekend is the return end of last year’s visit by the Pilgrims to Cortland for a pair of weekend games. Home team had the advantage last year and the Pilgrims look to repeat the phenomenon with some home cooking of their own against this SUNYAC rival. New England College 4-3.

Saturday, Dec. 14

Plymouth State @ Castleton

The Spartans host another team that wears green and white. However, the visitors from the MASCAC have all they can handle with a Castleton team that seems to need those magical four goals offensively to pick up a win this season. Go one better in this one with the desired outcome. Castleton 5-3.

Cortland @ New England College

Always difficult to beat the same team back-to-back, but the similarities in this game to Friday night’s are scary, including a bookend score that makes the Pilgrims happy to head into the break on a winning streak. New England College 4-3.

Done until after Christmas, so lots of time to rest up. Play hard for just one more weekend – drop the puck!

ECAC Northeast – Nathan Fournier

Buffalo State at Johnson and Wales

Buffalo Stare comes in to Providence for two games this weekend on Friday and Saturday. Johnson and Wales has allowed under two goals per game and its penalty kill has been outstanding at 90.2 percent this season. The Bengals of Buffalo State have been front runners so far this season with a 3-0-2 record when leading after one goal. I believe both games will be close, but I think Johnson Wales sweeps – 4-3 on Friday and 6-4 on Saturday.

Friday, Dec. 13

Wentworth at UMass-Boston

The Leopards seem to be getting it together the last few weeks. They are still having trouble putting the puck into the net and will have a big test against UMass-Boston. They have scored over four goals a game and only allowed a little over two goals a game. With a 2-5-1 record on the road for Wentworth, I will go with the Beacons of Boston in a 6-2 game.

ECAC West – Dan Hickling

Sunday, Dec. 15

No. 14 Geneseo vs. Nazareth – Geneseo 5, Nazareth 2

Home-ice advantage? Not really, because this one will be played outdoors at Frontier Field in Rochester, N.Y. Both teams will be able to draw upon a loud, festive fan base that may be as taken with the occasion than the actual play on the portable ice. That means the result should come down to talent and although Nazareth has some good young building blocks in place, Geneseo’s cast is far deeper. Still, it would be a surprise if anyone came away from this one grumpy.

MASCAC – Nathan Fournier

Plymouth State at Castleton State

The lone game on the schedule in MASCAC is a nonconference game for Plymouth State against Castleton State. This could be a high-scoring affairs as both teams struggle on the penalty kill. Plymouth State has a very good power play and that could be the difference-maker in this contest on Saturday night. I’ll take Plymouth State, 6-4.

MIAC/WIAC – Brian Lester

Well, here we are, just about done with the first half of the season. The final games of 2013 will be played this weekend and I’ve selected a few games to make predictions on.

We shall see how smart I am this week.

Hope everyone enjoys their Christmas and New Year and look forward to resuming the picks in 2014.

MIAC

Friday, Dec. 13

St. Scholastica at St. John’s

The Johnnies are looking to get back on track after dropping two of their last three games. The good new is St. John’s is coming off a shutout win over Augsburg and that momentum should carry over into this week in a key nonconference game. For St. John’s to prevail, goalie Saxton Soley needs to be on top of his game. Soley has a goals-against average of 2.15 and a save percentage of .912. The Saints have a stellar goalie as well in Tyler Bruggeman, who has allowed only eight goals and has stopped 117 shots. I expect this one to be a defensive battle. St. John’s 2-1.

Saturday, Dec. 14

St. Thomas at St. Scholastica

Goaltending could be again as the Tommies feature one of the best in college hockey in Drew Fielding. The Tommies have been playing well all year, sitting atop the MIAC and Fielding has had a lot to do with that success, owning a goals-against average of 1.47. He has three shutouts on the year as well, which ties him for the most in the nation. I like the Tommies to steal a big win on the road. St. Thomas 3-2.

Concordia (Minn.) at Northland

The Cobbers close out December with a two-game road series against Northland. Concordia has played well for the most part, going 2-1-1 in its last four games, and Caleb Suderman will need to have a big game for the Cobbers to thrive on the road. Suderman has scored seven goals and tallied three assists on the season as well. Goalie Chris Neamonitis needs to be sharp as well. He has givein up 19 goals on the year and owns a goals-against average of 1.89. He has racked up 325 saves. Northland is just 2-9 on the season and has dropped four of its last five. Northland has only scored 26 goals and has given up 67. Concordia, which has 29 goals and has allowed only 20, should be effective and get the job done both nights. Concordia 5-2, 6-2.

WIAC

Friday, Dec. 13

Lawrence at Wisconsin-Superior

Superior has been up and down lately, going 2-2-1 in its last five and it needs to take advantage of this home game on Friday night. Superior has to be able to rely on its goaltending duo of Drew Strandberg and Dayn Belfour. The two have combined for 245 saves. Pat Dalbec has to play well, too. He has five goals and four assists and Superior is usually successful when he has a good game. Lawrence has picked up steam, winning its last two, including a 5-4 win over nationally-ranked St. Norbert. I’ll give Superior the edge at home in a game that could go either way. Superior 4-3.

Wisconsin Eau-Claire at Milwaukee School of Engineering

Eau Claire needs to get back on track badly. The defending national champions have lost three of their last five games during a rugged stretch of their schedule and the key to success is going to be getting on a roll offensively. Jon Waggoner and Joe Krause lead the Blugolds with five and four goals, respectively. Those need to play well for Eau Claire to break out of its funk offensively. Eau Claire has seven goals in its last five games. It has 30 goals on the year and has given up 24. Milwaukee School of Engineering is 0-7 at home and has been shut out five times this season. If the Blugolds can attack early and score a couple of early goals, they should be fine against an opponent that has scored only 11 goals and has given up 33. Eau Claire 5-1.

Saturday, Dec. 14

Wisconsin-Eau Claire at Lawrence

I think the Blugolds have the edge on defense and a strong performance by Tyler Green should help Eau Claire nail down this win. Green has a goals-against average of 3.18 and has made 163 saves on the year. Eau Claire 4-2.

Wisconsin-Superior at Finlandia

If you are going on what the numbers look like on paper, this should be a win for Superior. Finlandia is 0-10 on the season and has managed to score only 13 goals while giving up 52. Superior, which has scored 29 goals and has given up 31, is too good on both ends of the ice to not win this game. Superior 7-2.

Weekend shows upsets, consistency, drama

UWSP Ladd sized Weekend shows upsets, consistency, drama

Wisconsin-Stevens Point junior Garrett Ladd helped the Pointers to a big win over Wisconsin-Eau Claire over the weekend (photo: Jack McLaughlin).

The last weekend for many teams entering the semester break saw some great action and still a few more upsets.

Here is a quick recap of some of the key conference action:

ECAC East

League-leading Norwich swept a pair of games at home over Skidmore and cross-state rival Castleton to maintain a slim lead in the conference standings. Chris Duszynski’s second hat trick of the season provided the offensive spark in Saturday’s 6-2 win against the Spartans.

Babson split a pair of games this weekend, stumbling on Saturday against the University of New England, which posted its second conference win by a 3-1 score on home ice. Colby Drost led the way for the Nor’easters, stopping 41 of 42 shots in the win.

Massachusetts-Boston continued its strong play in December by sweeping both games this weekend and moving up to fourth in the standings with games in hand on all the teams above them. After winning at UNE by a convincing 6-1 score, the Beacons won at Southern Maine for the first time in coach Peter Belisle’s tenure by a 3-2 score. Michael Kuhn’s two second-period goals erased a 2-1 deficit and carried the Beacons to the weekend road sweep.

ECAC Northeast

League-leading Salve Regina came back from a 4-0 deficit in the second period against Neumann and forced overtime with a late third-period goal by Marc Biggs before losing in overtime to the Knights, who finished with four power-play goals on six chances for the game.

The overtime loss clearly must have stung the Seahawks as they fell to nationally-ranked Utica on Saturday by a 5-1 score, making their non-conference record 2-4-0 this season.

ECAC West

Neumann followed up its Friday win with a solid 8-4 win over Morrisville where eight players had at least two points and goalie Ben Curley remained unbeaten at 3-0-1 so far this season.

Both Hobart and Manhattanville faced off against NESCAC opponents without much success as Wesleyan beat the Statesmen by a 6-2 score and Trinity, led by John Hawkrigg’s hat trick and Sean Orlando’s four points beat the Valiants by a 6-3 score.

MASCAC

Salem State and Plymouth State helped themselves in the standings with wins over Worcester State and Westfield State. respectively. Ian McGilvrey posted four assists for the Panthers in their win, while two goals apiece from Alex Minter and John Needham led the Vikings, who outshot the Lancers by a 44-13 margin.

MIAC

Gustavus Adolphus won both games against St. Olaf over the weekend. Friday’s 3-1 win was a hard-fought battle where the Gusties made two first-period goals stand up for the win and an empty-net goal by Adam Smyth supplying the final difference. Saturday’s 2-2 regulation and overtime tie was decided on a shootout won by the Gusties 1-0 on a goal by Gustav Bengtson.

NCHA

Adrian moved to the top of the standings with a 6-0 win at Marian. Justin Basso scored just 90 seconds into the game on the way to posting three points for the Bulldogs, who outshot Marian by a 36-13 margin.

St. Norbert was not so fortunate on Saturday night hosting Lawrence. The home team took a 4-1 lead early in the third period only to watch the visitors score four unanswered goals, including the game-winner with just 22 seconds remaining in regulation. Lawrence won 5-4 and moved to 3-5-0 in conference play.

NESCAC

With a tie and a win this weekend, Williams moved atop the league standings with Saturday’s 1-0 shutout at Amherst. Goalie Sean Dougherty outdueled the Lord Jeffs’ Dave Cunningham and Matt Doyle’s third-period goal stood up as the game-winner.

Elsewhere, Tufts and Connecticut College both earned their first wins in league play on the road in Maine on Friday night. Tufts beat Colby 5-2, while the Camels rallied from behind to take a 3-2 win in overtime at Bowdoin. Senior Keith Veronesi scored the game-winner less than a minute into the extra session after Joe Giordano tied it with just over two minutes remaining in regulation.

SUNYAC

In what is always a premium matchup in conference play, league-leading Plattsburgh skated away with a 3-3 tie at Oswego. The game saw both teams surrender one-goal leads and goalie Matt Zawadzki made 35 saves for the Lakers, who tied the game on Mike Wills’ first goal of the season just under two minutes after Plattsburgh had taken a one-goal lead early in the third period.

WIAC

Wisconsin-Stevens Point opened conference play against the defending national champions from Eau Claire and used two third-period goals by Garrett Ladd to open up a tight 2-1 game and provide the visitors with a 4-1 win. Brandon Jaeger moved to 8-0-0 on the season, posting 28 saves in the win.

Pickin’ through the weekend

Brockport cele sized Pickin through the weekend

Will Brockport be celebrating this weekend? (photo: Dan Hickling).

Let’s get ‘er goin,’ gang!

What does our panel of Division III men’s experts see happening this weekend?

ECAC East – Tim Costello

Last week’s picks finished at 3-1-1 (.700), which brings this season total to a very good 13-4-3 (.725).

There is just one more weekend for most teams before the semester break and conference games and points still mean a lot in December.

Here are this week’s picks:

Friday, Dec. 6

Castleton @ St. Michael’s

The Spartans certainly shouldn’t get caught looking ahead to Saturday’s matchup with their other Vermont rival, Norwich. Still looking for consistency and this trip to Winooski may be just what Steve Moffatt’s team needs to get some positive momentum going for the weekend. Castleton 4-2.

St. Anselm @ New England College

This travel partner game always seems to close out the first half for these teams in conference play. While the Pilgrims are off to the better start, anything can happen between these two teams and usually does. Home team won’t let two points get away in this one. New England College 4-3.

Skidmore @ Norwich

The first loss of the season to Wisconsin-Superior, and by shutout no less, is enough motivation to get the offense cranked up against Skidmore. This game could easily go over to the home team, but Matic Martinsek has quietly been very good for Norwich and he is the difference-maker in this one. Norwich 4-3.

Saturday, Dec. 7

Massachusetts-Boston @ Southern Maine

The Beacons, under coach Peter Belisle, have never won at Southern Maine during his tenure at UMB. Last weekend’s PAL Cup championship showed some positive signs for the Beacons and back-to-back weekend sweeps would carry some strong positive reinforcement about effort and results to close out the first half. Massachusetts-Boston 5-3.

Babson @ University of New England

The Beavers have been on a roll other than last weekend’s hiccup at Williams. No worries as Babson quickly refocuses in conference play and continues to lead the way at the top of the standings. Just too much of everything for the game Nor’easters. Babson 4-1.

Points in December means as much as any other time so no reason to take any opponent lightly – drop the puck!

ECAC Northeast – Nathan Fournier

Friday, Dec. 6

Salve Regina at Neumann

Salve starts the meat of its nonconference schedule at Neumann. This should be a wide-open game with both teams knowing how to put the puck into the net. Salve wants to make some noise out of conference and a win over Neumann would help their cause. I think the Seahawks pick themselves up from two losses this past weekend with a 7-4 win.

Canton at Western New England

The Golden Bears will be well-rested having nine days off after their win over Manahattanville on Nov. 26. They get a Kangaroos’ team that has been struggling. I don’t see Western New England having much issue and I see them winning 6-1.

Saturday, Dec. 7

Canton at Becker

Becker is coming off back-to-back losses over the weekend and they look to enter the semester break on a high note. This game could serve as a momentum booster heading into the second half. Their offense has been struggling along. The defense also has been struggling with a 6-0 loss to Assumption. I have them winning, though, 6-3.

Suffolk at Franklin Piece

The Rams are coming off a tough weekend in Maine losing to Colby and Bowdoin. They will need to crack down on taking undisciplined penalties that haunted them in their game against Colby on Sunday. They go on the road once again to face a struggling Franklin Pierce squad. It will be a tough, hard-fought game and I think Suffolk comes out on top 4-2. A win on the road is needed for the Rams.

Stonehill at Johnson and Wales

The Wildcats are coming off a split from last weekend and have a Stonehill team that knows how to win on the road coming in. Stonehill has been putting puck into the net a lot lately, but Johnson and Wales has been stingy on defense. It will be a tight game with Johnson and Wales winning 4-3.

Salve Regina at Utica

The Seahawks will be going into hostile territory on the second night of a back-to-back. It will be good experience for the Seahawks as they continue to build their program. They will need their best effort on the season to steal a win. I think the Pioneers will be to tough to handle for Salve Regina as Utica rolls 7-2.

Southern New Hampshire at Western New England

This should be a very good matchup. The Penmen have played very well on the road this season, but are coming off two losses last weekend and will be hungry. Despite their recent struggles, they still have a strong power play and a good penalty kill. I think Southern New Hampshire wins a 5-4 goalfest.

Tuesday, Dec. 10

Wentworth at Stonehill

The Leopards have been struggling to find the back of the net and Stonehill isn’t a team you want to face when you get goals. With two games remaining before they head to break, two points are almost a must. I think they have a potential to steal a game and I think they will in a 3-2 victory.

Wednesday, Dec. 11

Franklin Pierce at Nichols

The Bison wrap up the first half with Franklin Pierce. On paper, Nichols has the advantage, but it’s certainly a trap game. Alex Larson has also played in every game but one through the first nine contests. You could see him getting the night off and have Patrick Salkind rebound from his only start of the season against Suffolk. I think Franklin Pierce gives Nichols a scare, but the Bison hold on for a 4-2 win.

ECAC West – Dan Hickling

Saturday, Dec. 7

Salve Regina (6-3-0) @ No. 11 Utica (7-2-1) – Utica 4, Salve 3

Still smarting from last week’s ambush by Morrisville, the Pioneers will take it out on another nonconference foe.

Sunday, Dec. 8

Hobart (2-2-4) @ New England College (6-2-0) – Hobart 4, NEC 2

Are, as Bill Parcells used to say, you are what your record says you are? The Statesmen have a chance to prove they are better than just a two-win team.

MASCAC – Nathan Fournier

Saturday, Dec. 7

Fitchburg State at Massachusetts-Dartmouth

Both teams are coming off two losses over the Thanksgiving weekend. The Corsairs have been playing teams tough so far, but aren’t getting the desired results. Fitchburg State has been floating around .500 in conference, but hasn’t found a way to win on the road. I believe UMass-Dartmouth will find a way to hold onto a lead in a 3-2 victory.

Westfield State at Plymouth State

The Owls of Westfield State have played better in conference than out of conference. They also have been putting pucks in the net a lot more in MASCAC play, scoring a goal more per game. Plymouth State has been playing better defensively in conference. It will be a battle, but Plymouth State will take care of business on the road.

Worcester State at Salem State

Both teams have struggled on the man-advantage so far this season, but both have good penalty kills. Worcester State is still looking for that first MASCAC win of the season, while Salem State has played well at home. I believe the Vikings bring more to the table all-around and will skate away with a 5-2 victory.

Wednesday, Dec. 11

Framingham State at Assumption

Framingham State ends the first half of the year in a nonconference game. They have played some decent hockey so far this season and look to carry the momentum into the break. The Rams will need to look to work on their special teams. Assumption, on the other hand, has struggled this year, but is a team that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Framingham wins this one in a 5-3 game.

Westfield State at Stonehill

This has the potential to be an offensive showdown. With it being an out-of-conference game, Westfield will want to get a win on the board outside of MASCAC. It will be good heading into the break for the Owls. This will be Stonehill’s third MASCAC opponent of the season. Westfield pulls it out in a 6-5 contest.

MIAC/WIAC – Brian Lester

I’m not sure if I’m a genius or just lucky.

I guess we could say it’s a little bit of both because heading into this week’s picks, I am 25-2 on the year. If I keep that run of success up, I’m planning a trip to Vegas to cash in on my luck, although by mentioning how well I’ve started, I probably just cursed myself for the rest of the season.

Conference play is in full swing for both MIAC teams and WIAC teams. So without further delay, here are my picks for the weekend games.

<b<MIAC

St. Thomas at Concordia (Minn.)

St. Thomas is atop the conference with a 3-0-1 mark and they are two points ahead of Concordia in the standings. The Cobbers are 3-1 on the year. The Tommies will be challenged playing on the road, especially since they have been off since Nov. 23. But if Drew Fielding continues to play at the level he has, fashioning a 1.36 goals against average through eight games, St. Thomas is poised to get at least one game out of this series. Concordia has been on top of its game offensively, scoring 25 goals on the year, and it hasn’t been bad on defense either, allowing just 14. The Cobbers have also been off since Nov. 23 and feature a solid goalie as well in Chris Neamontis (1.75 GAA). Goals will be few and far between in this series and I’m expecting a split. St. Thomas 2-0 (Friday); Concordia 2-1 (Saturday)

St. John’s vs. Augsburg

The Johnnies and Auggies play a home-and home this weekend and St. John’s will start off playing on the road. The Johnnies are 2-2 in the league and are looking to gain ground in the conference. Tyson Fulton will be looked upon to step up as he has scored a team-best four goals. The Johnnies have 21 goals as a team. With Saxton Soley in goal, St. John’s always has a chance to thrive. Soley has made 132 saves and I expect him to have a solid performance this weekend. Augsburg has yet to lose at home and is 1-0-1 in league play. It has won five consecutive games. Ben McClellan and Nicholas Widing have combined for 12 goals. If those two play well, Augsburg gets at least one in this series. Augsburg 3-1 (Friday); St. John’s 4-2 (Saturday).

Gustavus Adolphus vs. St. Olaf

This is a big weekend for the Gusties, who are currently tied for second with a 3-1 mark. A weekend sweep would be huge, but to get it, it needs to continue being as productive as it has been up to this point. Gustavus has struck for 35 goals and has won four of its last five. It hasn’t lost a game since Nov. 15. Corey Leivermann has scored seven goals and will need another good effort this week. John McLean, who has 188 saves, needs to step up as well for the Gusties, who open this series on the road. The Oles have won two consecutive games and will need to be strong defensively. They have allowed 34 goals. I could see this series being a sweep for Gustavus. Gustavus 4-2 and 3-1.

WIAC

Friday, Dec. 6

Wisconsin-Stevens Point at Wisconsin-Eau Claire

It’s the biggest matchup of the weekend as the two nationally-ranked opponents square off in an early-season showdown. Stevens Point is one of the hottest teams in the nation at the moment, winning eight consecutive games to start the year. The Blugolds, the defending national champions, are 5-2, losing twice to St. Norbert. The Pointers have been explosive, ringing up 50 goals, and opponents have scored only 11. Eau Claire does have the luxury of playing at home, but I’m not sure if it will be able to cool off Stevens Point. This game should go down to the wire. Stevens Point 2-1.

Wisconsin-Superior at Wisconsin-River Falls

Superior is coming off a huge win over nationally-ranked Norwich in New York and momentum seems to be on its side. The Yellow Jackets have been balanced offensively and it has two goalies more than capable of getting the job done in Drew Strandberg and Dayn Belfour. If the Yellow Jackets can play well on defense, they will be in good shape against the Falcons. River Falls is coming off two consecutive wins and this is an opportunity to for the Falcons to make an early statement. River Falls needs Scott Lewan to be strong in goal. He has made 99 saves on the year. While this one could go either way, the edge goes to Superior, 4-2.

Saturday, Dec. 7

Wisconsin-Stout at Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Stout is going to have a hard time winning this game, especially on the road. It has dropped five consecutive games and is 0-3 on the road this season. The Blue Devils, who have scored 21 goals on the year, don’t have the offensive firepower to hang with the Pointers. Stevens Point 5-1.

Wisconsin-Eau Claire at Wisconsin-Superior

This should be a bounce-back game for the Blugolds. I don’t expect a win to come easy, though, and both teams will challenge each other from start to finish. But I can’t see Eau Claire losing two in the same weekend. The edge goes to the defending champs. Eau Claire, 3-2.

NCHA – Katie Carito

So far, picking only conference games had bode well for me as right now, I’m 9-2-0. With a weekend full of conference series ahead, I’m sure that will change. This weekend should serve as a good shake-up in the standings.

St. Norbert versus Lawrence

St. Norbert (9-1-0, 6-0-0) suffered their first loss of the season over the weekend in a nonconference game again St. Scholastica. On Nov. 27, the Green Knights beat Wisconsin-Eau Claire 8-2. Lawrence (2-5-1, 2-4-0) has yet to get on a roll this season, having a win, tie and loss in their last three games. I think St. Norbert will bounce back from their loss and take the sweep in the home-and-home series. St. Norbert 4-1, 3-1

Adrian at Marian

Adrian (9-0-0, 6-0-0) remains the lone perfect team to date in the conference. They were 2:40 away from a loss in Sunday’s game against non-conference Nazareth, but Michael Hoy’s power-play goal forced overtime and Dustin Hebebrand notched the game-winning goal to keep the Bulldogs’ streak alive. Marian (4-7-0, 3-3-0) is coming into the weekend on a three-game losing streak, most recently dropping two close games (4-3, 3-2) at the NCHA/MIAC Thanksgiving Showdown. I have a feeling the Bulldogs are going to enter 2014 without a loss. Adrian 5-2, 3-2

Lake Forest at St. Scholastica

The Foresters (5-4-0, 4-2-0) lost two games against nonconference St. Mary’s with matching 2-1 scores both nights. Lake Forest sits at fourth in the standings with eight points, right behind St. Scholastica, who is currently third with 10 points. The Saints (6-1-2, 4-0-2) played a nonconference game and downed St. Norbert 4-2. They have only suffered one loss this season, to Wisconsin-Superior. I think these teams will split the weekend. Lake Forest 2-1, St. Scholastica 3-2

Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia

Finlandia (0-8-0, 0-6-0) remains winless on the season, most recently getting swept by Lake Forest on Nov. 22-23. Concordia (3-4-3, 2-2-2) snapped a four-game losing streak on Nov. 29 with a 5-5 tie against nonconference Bethel, before winning 4-2 the next night. I like the way Concordia’s young team has been performing. Concordia 2-1, 5-3

Milwaukee School of Engineering at Northland

I’m not sure how to explain MSOE’s season so far, but the runner-up for the 2012-13 MCHA regular-season title has yet to win a game this season. The Raiders (0-8-0, 0-6-0) dropped two games against Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Wisconsin-River Falls two weekends ago. Northland (1-8-0, 1-5-0) most recently lost a nonconference series against Augsburg. I’m going with a split for these teams. Northland 3-2, MSOE 2-1

NESCAC – Tim Costello

I think I might be getting the hang of this prediction thing as I had a really good week at 4-0-1 (.900), which brings the season total to 12-1-2 (.867).

Here are the picks on what is the final weekend of play this year for most teams:

Friday, Dec. 6

Middlebury @ Amherst

A battle for first place and the big question may be who starts in goal for the Panthers following last weekend’s loss to Plattsburgh in the Primelink final. No question who is between the pipes for Amherst and Dave Cunningham makes enough saves for the win at home. Amherst 4-3.

Williams @ Hamilton

The Ephs can play with anyone, as evidenced by last week’s quality win against previously-unbeaten Babson. Bill Kangas’ team won’t be looking ahead to their rival game at Amherst on Saturday and take care of business, albeit in a close one. Williams 3-2.

Saturday, Dec. 7

Tufts @ Bowdoin

The Polar Bears got the offense on track in the past week and Tufts is a welcome conference foe despite the Jumbos’ win on the road at Castleton. Too much offense and speed for Tufts to keep up at “The Sid.” Bowdoin 5-2.

Hobart @ Wesleyan

The Cardinals have proven they can score, but Hobart plays things very tight and this one probably sees an empty-net goal as the ultimate decider in a close contest. Hobart 3-1.

Trinity @ Manhattanville

The Bantams are back on the road and looking to rebound after a tough 2-0 loss against Stonehill this week. Back to basics for Matt Greason’s team and it all works out against a traditionally tough ECAC West opponent. Trinity 3-1.

Finals for the semester are certainly upon the players but not before some critical games this weekend – drop the puck!

SUNYAC – Dan Hickling

Friday, Dec. 6

Brockport (2-7-1, 1-3-0) @ Fredonia (2-5-1, 2-2-1) – Fredonia 4, Brockport 1

Both teams are trying to figure themselves out before the break. The guess here is that Fredonia will learn a few more things about itself.

Saturday, Dec. 7

Potsdam (2-6-0, 0-5-0) @ Cortland (3-4-3, 3-3-1) – Cortland 5, Potsdam 3

At this stage of the season, the Red Dragons are closer to joining the middle of the SUNYAC pack than Potsdam is.

Thankful for upsets

Dylan Nowakowski CSS sized Thankful for upsets

Dylan Nowakowski and St. Scholastica took down No. 1 St. Norbert last Saturday (photo: CSS Athletics).

Just call it upset weekend.

Two top five teams and another in the top 10 went down as the month of November came to a close in the Division III hockey world. All three teams were unbeaten going into the weekend.

Top-ranked St. Norbert, which just rose to No. 1 last week, was topped by St. Scholastica, while No. 2 Norwich also found itself on the losing end of the scoreboard in a loss to Wisconsin-Superior.

Seventh-ranked Babson, also suffered a loss as it fell to Williams.

Those games and more highlight the look back at the weekend in this week’s blog.

ECAC EAST

Babson fell behind 3-0 to Williams and was unable to rally as it suffered a 3-2 road loss on Sunday.

The No. 7 Beavers suffered their first loss of the year after opening the season with eight consecutive wins.

Down three goals to No. 12 Williams, the Beavers attempted to rally. Connor Berto scored late in the second period and Nik Taslopoulos added a goal to slice the Williams lead to one.

Babson held a 42-28 edge in shots and Jamie Murray made 25 saves.

Babson allowed more than two goals for only the second time this season. It also had its streak of 11 consecutive wins in November that dated back to last season come to an end.

Castleton brought its three-game winless streak to an end Sunday with a 4-3 win over Brockport in the consolation game of the Rutland Herald Invitational.

Charles Bando scored the game-winning goal with 1:02 left in regulation to lift the Spartans to their fourth win of the season. Castleton is 4-3-1 on the year.

The Spartans got a solid game in goal from Erick Cinotti, who racked up 25 saves.

Ross Herzog scored his third goal of the tourney in the victory, while Reid Lesswing and Will Laking also scored goals.

Castleton held a 42-26 advantage in shots.

ECAC NORTHEAST

After racing out to a program-best start of 6-1, Salve Regina has lost its last two, including a 6-2 road loss to Wesleyan on Sunday.

The Seahawks lost 6-3 to Trinity on the road Saturday and after the two weekend losses, the Seahawks are 1-3 on the road.

William Gomolinski and Jonathan Felteau scored the only goals for the Seahawks against Wesleyan, which owned a 46-36 advantage in shots.

Johnson and Wales won the consolation game of the Manchester PAL/Stovepipe tournament on Sunday with a 1-0 win over Southern New Hampshire.

Josh Obregon scored the lone goal for the Wildcats. Cody Sarmiento got credit for the assist.

Joey Ballmer earned his first shutout at the college level as he racked up 30 saves.

The Wildcats were outshot 30-25 in the win, but managed to kill off six power-play opportunities by Southern New Hampshire.

ECAC WEST

Aftter a 3-2 loss to Morrisville State on Friday, eighth-ranked Utica bounced back in a big way as it rolled to a 5-1 win over Connecticut College.

The Pioneers are now 7-2-1 overall on the season and are 5-0-1 on the road.

Louie Educate scored twice for the Pioneers, putting the first two goals on the board, and Steve Zappia finished off the scoring with two goals of his own. Educate pushed his season goal total to four.

Jide Idowu also scored in the win, striking for his first collegiate goal in the second period.

Marcus Zelzer racked up 24 saves and is now 3-0 on the season.

Utica held a 37-25 edge in shots over the Camels.

MASCAC

Eric Defelice scored the lone goal for Salem State in its 1-0 overtime win against Connecticut College on Sunday. It was the third goal of the year for Defelice. Andrew Bucci and Ian Canty were credited with assists on the play as the Vikings improved to 4-3 on the year.

Salem State, which is the only team in the league with an overall winning record, took 27 shots and limited the Camels to 21 shots.

Goalie Ryan Sutliffe improved to 4-1 as he racked up 21 saves.

The last three games for Salem State have all gone into overtime. The Vikings are 2-1 in those games and 4-1 overall in overtime games this season.

Worcester State finished third in the Worcester City Shootout on Sunday as it knocked off Becker 3-2. The Lancers scored a goal in each period en route to the win and won despite being outshot 39-30.

Curtis Martin scored twice, including once in the third on the power play to extend the Lancers’ lead to 3-1. Martin’s goal in the opening period was scored off the power play as well.

Goaltender Drew Case improved to 2-1 as he racked up 37 saves.

Worcester State ended a five-game winless streak with the victory and is now 4-4-1 on the year.

MIAC

St. Mary’s capped a perfect weekend with a second straight 2-1 win over Lake Forest on Saturday. The Cardinals pushed their win streak to three and their overall record to 5-5 behind goals by Dylan Dock and Andrew Ketter.

Ketter became the fourth player over the weekend to score his first goal of the season.

Phil Heinle racked up 30 saves and the Cardinals were tough against the power play, forcing the Foresters to go 0-for-5 on Saturday. Lake Forest was 0-for-7 on the power play Friday.

Gustavus Adolphus didn’t lose on the weekend either, tying Lawrence 6-6 and earning a 2-1 win over Marian on the final day of the NCHA/MIAC Showcase in Appleton, Wis.

The Gusties trailed 2-1 heading into the third period, but scored twice in five minutes as they pushed their overall record to 6-3-1 on the year.

Corey Leivermann scored first and extended his point streak to six games, while Drew Aspinwall came through with the game-winning goal. It was the first game-winner of his college career.

Erik Johnson earned his first college win as he stopped 23 shots in goal.

Gustavus was out-shot 25-24.

NCHA

St. Scholastica pulled off its biggest win of the season as it took down No. 1 St. Norbert 4-2 on Saturday.

It was the 13th-ranked Saints’ first win over a top-ranked team under head coach Mark Wick. Prior to the victory, the Saints were 0-3 against the No. 1 team in the land.

Chad Golanowski scored twice in the victory, while Brandon Millin and Keegan Bruce also scored goals. The Saints were outshot 41-27, but it mattered little as they found a way to get the job done.

Colin Rundell earned the win in goal as he racked up 39 saves.

The game, played in Wausau, Wis., was sponsored by the Marathon County Youth Hockey Association and the proceeds from the game went to benefit rink improvements at Marathon Park.

No. 5 Adrian continued its winning ways as it took down Fredonia 7-2 on Saturday. With the win, the Bulldogs have positioned themselves for a rise in the poll this week because of the upsets above them.

Seven players scored goals for Adrian, which scored three times in a span of 2:42 to snap a 1-1 tie and take the momentum for good.

The Bulldogs held a 40-22 edge in shots and were 3-of-5 on the power play. Shelby Gray, Josh Ranalli and Brett Pinkerton all scored power-play goals for the Bulldogs, who improved to 8-0 on the season.

James Hamby won his seventh game of the year as he made 22 saves.

SUNYAC

Plattsburgh put the finishing touches on its fourth PrimeLink Great Northern ShootOut championship with a 3-1 win over Middlebury on Saturday.

The second-ranked Cardinals held a 26-21 edge in shots over the 15th-ranked Panthers and scored all of their goals in the opening period.

Connor Gorman, Dakota Mason and Michael Radisa all scored goals for the Cardinals and goalie Mathieu Cadiux racked up 20 saves as he earned MVP honors in the tournament.

The victory by the Cardinals delivered their first championship since 2010. The Cardinals have won all four of their titles on their home ice.

WIAC

Wisconsin-Superior was the lone conference team in action and it capped its weekend at the PrimeLink Great Northern ShootOut with a stunning 3-0 win over second-ranked Norwich on Saturday in the consolation game.

The win comes on the heels of a 4-1 loss to third-ranked Plattsburgh on Friday.

Superior is the first team from the western part of the country to a win game in the shootout. Prior to its victory, western teams were 0-11 in the event.

The Yellow Jackets got two goals from Pat Dalbec and one from Cody Hotchkin, while Dayn Belfour earned his first shutout win in goal for Superior, which handed Norwich its first loss of the season. He stopped 27 shots and improved his record to 2-2.

Writers go head to head this weekend

And away we go on Black Friday with our Division III predictions for this weekend.

With many conference crossover games, it’ll be interesting to see how our columnists fare against one another with these picks. A little internal competition? You bet!

Off and running…

ECAC East – Tim Costello

A 2-1-2 (.600) weekend brings the season overall record to 10-3-2 (.733) and a weekend upcoming that poses some serious challenges for accuracy with Thanksgiving tournaments and interesting nonconference battles.

Here are the picks:

Friday, Nov. 29

Middlebury vs. Norwich

The Primelink always is among the best in Thanksgiving hockey and when these two Vermont rivals get together, the action and intensity are palpable. Neither team has an ‘L’ on their record yet this season, but one team gains their first in what some may call an upset. Not a low-scoring affair, which helps the Panthers. Middlebury 5-4.

Saturday, Nov. 30

Johnson and Wales vs. Massachusetts-Boston

The first round of the PAL/Stovepipe Tournament may just be the tonic the Beacons need to jumpstart their potent offense. This was the first piece of hardware won last year by the Beacons and coach Peter Belisle would very much like to repeat as champions. Need to focus and take care of business in the first round and do just that. Massachusetts-Boston 6-2.

University of New England vs. Southern New Hampshire

The other half of the PAL/Stovepipe preliminary round finds the host meeting a burgeoning ECAC East rival seen before in this tournament. UNE has shown some early success this season and will make the final an all-ECAC East affair with a closely-contested victory. UNE 4-2.

Tufts vs. Castleton

The Rutland Herald Invitational won’t be taken lightly by the host school that is looking to rebound after a challenging weekend with two of the best teams in conference play. Tufts has played several games on the verge of a timely play or goal to win, so Castleton will need to play hard for the full 60 minutes. This one may need an extra five minutes, but the home team prevails. Castleton 4-3.

Fitchburg State vs. Skidmore

The Thoroughbreds again host their own invitational event with the opening round game against Dean Fuller’s Falcons from the MASCAC conference. The big sheet should help the home team and enable Skidmore to play for the coveted trophy on Sunday. Skidmore 5-2.

Playing for hardware always provides some additional motivation – drop the puck!

ECAC Northeast – Nathan Fournier

Saturday, Nov. 30

Salve Regina at Trinity

Salve Regina starts a stretch of nonconference games with Trinity. It could be an offensive showdown with the Seahawks averaging over four goals a game and the Bantams averaging 3.50 goals a game. The game could come down to special teams with Salve Regina’s power play converting once in every four chances and Trinity’s penalty kill at 76 percent. I will take Trinity in a 5-4 shootout.

Wentworth at Wesleyan

I think Wentworth is glad to reach some nonconference games with a slow start in conference. Offense has been the issue with them with three games of scoring just one goal in their first eight games. They did win a 1-0 game, however. Wesleyan on the other hand are 2-2 so far, but have scored five goals in all four games. If the goal-scorers are still hot, I will take Wesleyan in this contest.

Suffolk vs. Bowdoin in Waterville, Me.

Suffolk has had a good season so far, but I think Bowdoin has too much skill and depth to lose this contest. While this game will be going in officially as a neutral site game in the record books, the Rams are 0-2-1 in away games this season. They are also have been frontrunners this season going 2-0-0 when leading after one period. When they are trailing after one period they are 1-2-1. Bowdoin comes away with a 4-2 victory.

Johnson and Wales vs. UMass-Boston in Hookset, N.H.

This will be Johnson and Wales’ second nonconference game of the season. Both offenses have shown they can score so far this season. I like Johnson and Wales as they have been able to contain the opponent’s offense. I think their goals-against will rise a little after this game as they win the game 6-4. The winner will face the winner of the UNE/Southern New Hampshire contest.

Becker vs. Assumption in Worcester, Mass.

This game should be a defensive game with both teams just barely scoring two goals a game. Becker has been struggling on the penalty kill, only stopping the opponent’s power play 69 percent of the time. Assumption has only scored four goals on the power play in six games, so something will have to give. I will take Becker in a 3-2 game. The winner will face the winner of Worcester State/Nichols.

Nichols at Worcester State

If there’s any team in the nation that’s excited for a nonconference game, it’s Worcester State. They won their first three games of the year in nonconference play and haven’t won a game since then in conference play. Careful for what you wish for because Nichols has been solid so far in every aspect of the game. I expect that to continue with a 5-1 victory. The winner faces the winner of Becker/Assumption. I believe both teams will come away with a win against whoever they face on Sunday.

Sunday, Dec. 1

Wentworth at Trinity

I think Wentworth will be able to get it together for Trinity. They are coming out of their rut and if they can get the goaltending, they can skate with Trinity. I will take Wentworth in a 4-2 victory.

Salve Regina at Wesleyan

First one to 10? I wouldn’t surprised if that did happen with these two offenses. Going in, Salve Regina needs to keep pressure on the gas pedal because Trinity has lost an 8-5 shootout to Hamilton. The Seahawks, on the other hand, haven’t won a game away from the friendly confines of Portsmouth Abbey. I will take Salve Regina 7-5.

Suffolk vs. Colby in Brunswick, Me.

It will be a tough weekend for Suffolk as they will be facing a young, but hungry Colby squad. I think it will be a close game. If Sulfolk can jump on Colby early, I like their chances. I will take Suffolk in a 2-1 game.

Wednesday, Dec. 4

Southern New Hew Hampshire at Nichols

The Bison will face their first of two Division II schools as they welcome Southern New Hampshire to town. This could be a trap game for them and may give Alex Larson a rest and give Patrik Salkind another chance in net. I will take Nichols in a 5-3 game.

ECAC West – Dan Hickling

Saturday, Nov. 30

No. 8 Utica (6-1-1) @ Connecticut College (0-4-0) – Utica 7, CC 2

Utica has a penchant for winning the close ones. No such heroics will be needed in this one.

Sunday, Dec. 1

Nazareth (1-6-1) @ U.S. Under-18 Team – Nazareth 3 U-18s 2

Nazareth is much better than its record shows and may rise to the challenge of beating a strong national squad.

MASCAC – Nathan Fournier

Saturday, Nov. 30

Massachusetts-Dartmouth at Colby

This is a very intriguing matchup with UMass-Darmouth supposed to be one of the contenders in MASCAC and Colby a team that can play with big dogs. If the Corsairs can figure out their special teams, it could a long day for the Mules. I will take UMass-Dartmouth in a 6-3 contest, pulling away in the third period.

Fitchburg State at Skidmore

The Thoroughbreds have depth and multiple lines that can score. They like to get a lot of shots on goal in the first period. The Falcons are getting it done with their young players as their top five scorers are either a freshman or sophomore. I think Fitchburg State will go into New York and surprise Skidmore 5-4.

Nichols at Worcester State

If there’s any team in the nation that’s excited for a nonconference game is Worcester State. They won their first three games of the year in nonconference play and haven’t won a game since then in conference play. Careful for what you wish for because Nichols has been solid so far in every aspect of the game. I expect that to continue with a 5-1 victory. The winner faces the winner of Becker/Assumption. I believe both teams will come away with a win against whoever they face on Sunday.

Sunday, Dec. 1

UMass-Dartmouth at Bowdoin

The two teams met eight months ago in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Corsairs will be looking for some redemption from their loss in the tournament. The Polar Bears will be ready and I they they will be able to work out some of their kinks in their game. I will take Bowdoin in a 4-2 contest.

Salem State at Connecticut College

The Vikings have struggled so far this year allowing over four goals per game despite having 188 shots on goal this season. They have only allowed 147 shots by their opponents. Connecticut College has had a tough start to the season, losing their first four games. Salem State has had more game action, so I will take them to win a 6-2 game.

Tuesday, Dec. 3

Stonehill at Framingham State

The Rams have been much more competitive this season, so you can’t count them out. For a team like they are who are trying to rebound from a dismal season, they are getting contributions from everyone in the lineup. They will need to be able to stay out of the box and tighten up defensively if they want to win consistently. Stonehill has a decent offense and stays out of the box. so I will take them in a 4-3 victory.

MIAC/WIAC – Brian Lester

It’s another crossover week for teams in the MIAC as teams are participating in a showcase with the NCHA in Appleton, Wis.

Meanwhile, a very light schedule is on tap in the WIAC as Wisconsin-Superior is the only team in action. It takes on

Plattsburgh State Friday in the PrimeLink Great Northern Shootout. The Yellow Jackets will battle Middlebury or Norwich in the finale of the prestigious event.

So without hesitation, here are my picks for the week. And hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

Friday, Nov. 29

St. Olaf vs. Marian

One of the biggest challenges for St. Olaf will be winning away from home. The Oles are 0-4 in true road games and 0-2 on neutral ice. The Oles have just one win and need to generate more offense to be successful. They have just 14 goals while allowing 31. Tough to win games when the scoring stats aren’t in your favor. Marian has won four of its last five and has tallied 26 goals while giving up 21. Tyler Klein has eight of those goals. Marian 5-3.

Lake Forest vs. St. Mary’s

The Cardinals did gain some confidence from earning a series split with defending league tournament champion St. John’s and it will be interesting to see if they build on the momentum. St. Mary’s needs Bobby Marx and Bobby Thompson to thrive offensively, but they also need Christian Gaffy to be on top of his game in goal. Lake Forest has won its last two games and has come through with nine power-play goals. The Cardinals can’t allow Lake Forest to be in man-advantage situations.

St. Mary’s 4-3.

Gustavus Adolphus vs. Lawrence

The Gusties have played well, winning three consecutive games, and that bodes well for them heading into the weekend. They have been very productive on offense, racking up 26 goals, and have spread the wealth behind 38 assists. If that continues, and the defense plays well in front of John McLean, Gustavus has a great chance of continuing its streak. Lawerence has been up and down, but has gotten a lot of scoring from Huck Saunders, who has tallied four goals. Anton Olson is giving up 2.92 goals per game. If the Gusties can strike early, they will be fine. Gustavus 5-2.

Saturday, Nov. 30

St. Olaf vs. Lawrence

St. Olaf has struggled offensively. Lawrence isn’t much better. But the Oles will find a way to steal one on the weekend. St. Olaf, 3-2.

Gustavus vs. Marian

This is a game between two teams that have been on a roll. It should be entertaining and close. I give Gustavus the edge. Gustavus 4-3.

Bethel vs. Concordia (Minn.)

The Royals desperately need a win, but winless on the year, including two losses on neutral ice, this game might not be the place to find its first win of the season. They simply have to be more effective on offense. They have scored only 14 goals and three of those players have accounted for 10 of those goals. Mitch Hughes has led the way with four goals on the season. Concordia has struggled, too, losing its last four. But it has been a little more effective on offense this season. Concordia, 4-2.

WIAC

Superior at Plattsburgh

The Yellow Jackets are making a long trip to New York. They have been good on the road, though, winning two of three, but it’s going to take a heck of an effort to knock off Plattsburgh. The Yellow Jackets have been balanced on offense and have racked up 42 goals. They need to be balanced Friday to be successful. Plattsburgh has yet to lose and has only tied once. Going to be tough to take down the Cardinals on the road. Plattsburgh 5-3.

NESCAC – Tim Costello

This week was a respectable 4-1-0 (.800), bringing the season average to 8-1-1 (.850), but whether in a tournament or facing top-flight nonconference opponents, this week poses many challenges to maintaining the high percentage of successful picks made this season.

No guarantees, but here are the weekend’s picks:

Saturday, Nov. 30

Suffolk vs. Bowdoin

The Colby-Bowdoin Classic finds Bowdoin looking for more consistency than its current record indicates. After the emotional weekend of the longstanding rivalry with Colby, the Polar Bears get back to basics and their winning ways against the Rams from the ECAC Northeast. Bowdoin 4-1.

Amherst @ Babson

This is one of the marquee matchups of the weekend and the two teams in many ways are mirror images of each other. Great balance, strong defense and goaltending and good special teams on both benches, so who blinks first? Actually would like to pick a tie in this one, but both teams know how to make big plays at the right time. I am picking the home team by an eyelash. Babson 2-1.

Wentworth @ Wesleyan

The Cardinals had a tough weekend on the road last week in conference play, so they will be looking to rebound against the Leopards, who are still seeking some overall consistency to their game. First line for Wesleyan is deadly and their prolific scoring continues. Wesleyan 5-2.

Salve Regina @ Trinity

The conference leaders from the ECAC Northeast venture to Hartford looking to benchmark how good their game is against a quality opponent on the road. Trinity is off to a good start and Benjamin Coulthard makes life difficult for the visitors in shutting down their offense in net. Trinity 4-2.

Utica @ Connecticut College

The ECAC West leaders visit the Camels, who are looking to break through with a quality and winning performance. Yes, a little “puck luck” would certainly help the home team in this matchup, but even that isn’t enough against what Utica brings in their game. Utica 5-3.

The matchups this early are truly a Thanksgiving treat – drop the puck!

SUNYAC – Dan Hickling

Friday, Nov. 29

Wisconsin-Superior (3-4-0) @ No. 3 Plattsburgh (6-0-1) – Plattsburgh 6, Superior 1

The Cardinals will use this tilt as a Primelink Shootout tuneup before facing either Norwich or Middlebury (both ranked) the next night.

Saturday, Nov. 30

Fredonia (2-4-1) @ No. 5 Adrian (7-0-0) – Adrian 4, Fredonia 2

Fredonia, making a westward swing to face one of the nation’s strongest squads, should prove to be a learning experience for the youthful Blue Devils.

Rivalries being renewed across the country

Lanza Photo Rivalries being renewed across the country

Colby captain Nick Lanza picked up a hat trick last weekend against Bowdoin as the two teams split (photo: Alex Shehata/Maine Hockey Journal).

Here’s what happened this past weekend across the country in Division II and Division III circles:

NESCAC

The rivalry between Colby and Bowdoin resumed this weekend and the two teams earned a split. The Polar Bears went up to Waterville, Maine, on Friday night and earned a 3-1 win over Colby. Ollie Koo, Jay Livermore and Harry Matheson all scored for Bowdoin, while Geoff Sullivan scored for Colby. On Saturday night, the Mules earned the 4-2 victory down in Brunswick, Maine, on Nick Lanza’s hat trick. EJ Rauseo also scored for Colby. Kendall Culbertson and Matt Rubinoff scored for Bowdoin.

Two teams ranked in last week’s USCHO.com Division III Men’s Poll, Williams and Amherst, were also in action. Williams earned a 5-2 victory over Connecticut College on Friday night, getting goals from five different players. On Saturday night, Williams earned a 4-1 win over Tufts behind Craig Kitto’s two goals. Amherst earned a 3-1 win over Trinity on Saturday night with Brian Safstrom picking up a power play and shorthanded marker. Sunday, Amherst picked up a 4-1 victory over Wesleyan.

ECAC East

Norwich earned three points on the weekend, starting with a 2-2 tie with St. Anselm. Paul Russel and Shane Gorman scored for Norwich. Joe Tebano and Kevin Vanous scored for St. Anselm. On Saturday, Norwich’s offense came to life with a 6-2 victory over New England College. Travis Janke had a goal and two assists, while Shane Gorman had a goal and an assist. Nick Pichette, Chris Duszynski and Anthony Flaherty also scored. Jesse Ostring and Garrett Brazzier scored for New England College.

Babson earned a pair of 2-1 victories over Skidmore and Castleton. Friday at Skidmore, Nik Tasiopoulos and Mike Vollmin scored. Thomas Park scored the lone goal for Skidmore. Saturday against Castleton, Mike Driscoll and Matt Furley scored, while Bart Moran scored for Castleton.

ECAC Northeast

Salve Regina leads a tightly-bunched ECAC Northeast and picked up a 4-1 victory over Western New England in what was supposed to be an offensive showdown Saturday night. Trace Redman, Cameron Gaudet, Jonathan Felteau and Peter Gintoli scored for the Seahawks. Dan Monahan picked up the lone goal for Western New England.

Nichols, the other team with only one loss this season, picked up a 3-1 victory over Johnson and Wales Saturday night. Sean Fleming, Joe Sposit and Daniel Bufis scored for the Bison. Eddie Patterson scored for Johnson and Wales.

Wentworth picked up a 1-0 victory over Curry while Becker and Suffolk skated to a 3-3 tie.

ECAC West

The matchup of the weekend in the ECAC West was the two games between Utica and Hobart, which didn’t disappoint. Friday night, the two teams skated to a 3-3 tie. Pete LaFosse, Rob Morton and Kevin Kiristis each scored for the Pioneers. Hobart responded with goals from Robert Sovik, Bo Webster and Keith Clarke. Saturday night, it was a 3-2 thriller in overtime that went to Utica. Adam Graff had two goals, including the game-winner, and an assist. Jide Idowu also scored. Webster and Terrance O’Neil tallied for Hobart.

Elsewhere, Neumann and Manhattanville faced each other in a game where defense was apparently optional in Neumann’s 7-4 victory. Collin O’Neil had two goals. Kajon McKay, Ryan Luiten, Shane Topf, Chris Bournazos and Shayne Morrissey also scored for Neumann. Louie Balzano had two goals for Manhattanville, while Adam Young and Anthony Luzzi also scored.

MASCAC

Westfield picked up two wins this past week after a slow start to the season. Thursday, Westfield defeated Fitchurg State 6-4. Tyler Prendergast had two goals in the victory with teammates Jackson Leef, Taylor Murphy, Vincent Perrault and Dan Loughlin also scoring. Jake Martin, Max Lorenzen, Ryan Connolly and Cameron Synder scored for Fitchburg State. Saturday night, they squeaked out a 3-2 victory over Massachusetts-Dartmouth. Dalton Jay had two goals and an assist, while Josh McCully scored the game-winner. Shaun Walters scored both goals for UMass-Dartmouth.

In other MASCAC action, Salem State also handed UMass- Dartmouth a heartbreaking loss on Thursday, coming out on top with a 4-3 victory. Fitchburg State earned a 5-2 victory over Framingham State. Worcester State and Framingham State ended in a 3-3 tie. Plymouth State defeated Worcester State on Saturday 5-3.

MIAC

St. Thomas swept the weekend with two wins over St. Olaf. On Friday night, St. Thomas needed a shootout to beat St. Olaf 3-2 (officially a 2-2 tie). Alex Altenbernd and Steve Sorensen scored for St. Thomas. St. Olaf picked up goals from Peter Lindblad and Marc Richards. Saturday, it was a 3-0 victory with Altenbernd scoring twice and Drew Fielding making 30 saves in the victory.

Augsberg’s offense was clicking with 9-2 and 7-3 victories over Northland. Ben McClellan had four goals and two assists in Friday night’s 9-2 win. He also had two assists on Saturday. On Saturday, B.J. McClellan had two goals and an assist. St. John’s earned a split with St. Mary’s. After Friday’s 4-3 victory, St. John’s dropped Saturday’s game 3-2.

NCHA

Clash of the Titans faced off in a nonconference matchup as St. Nobert welcomed Wisconsin-Eau Claire to town. St. Nobert handed Wisconsin-Eau Claire their first loss of the season with a 5-2 victory. Pijus Rulevicius, Michael Hill, Erik Cooper, Brandon Hoogenboom and Mason Baptista scored for St. Nobert. Jon Waggoner scored twice for the Blugolds. On Saturday, St. Nobert defeated Wisconsin-Stout 5-2. Chris Rial provided two goals, while Cooper, Baptista and Joe Perry also scored.

St. Scholastica had two nonconference games this past weekend. They opened the weekend with a 4-3 victory over Stout. Dave Williams and Keegan Bruce each provided the lone assist on the others’ goal. Chad Golanowski and Paul Marcoux also scored for St. Scholastica. Wisconsin-Superior came to town on Saturday and came away with the 3-2 victory. Bruce and Josh Hansen scored in the loss.

Northeast-10

Southern New Hampshire earned two victories this past weekend. On Tuesday, they defeated Franklin Pierce 5-1 behind a two-goal effort by Joe Collins. John Humphrey, Steven Berry and Zach Lubinski also scored. The lone goalscorer for Franklin Pierce was Bryan Colella. On Saturday, Berry got the game-winning goal in the 3-2 victory over Assumption. Jay Sylvia and Dane Caracino also scored. Nick Mattiello scored twice for Assumption.

Stonehill earned a 6-2 victory over Canton. Richard Harris had two goals and Bryan Rooney, Kevin Aufiero and Bill Carey also scored for Stonehill.

SUNYAC

Plattsburgh continues to roll with a weekend sweep of Morrisville. Friday night, the Cardinals put seven goals on the scoreboard from seven different players. Alex Jensen had a goal and two assists, while Dillan Fox and Ryan Farnan each had a goal and assist. Luke Baleshta, Connor Gorman, Mark Constanine and Adam Scuglia also scored. Zach Bake picked up the lone goal for Morrisville. Saturday, Gorman had a goal and three assists. Barry Roytman, Jensen and Fox picked up the other goals. Joe Santino, Ryan Marcuz and Marc-Antone Chaput scored for Morrisville.

Oswego and Geneseo met Friday night with Geneseo coming out on top with the 7-4 victory. Justin Scharfe had two goals for Geneseo, while Connor Anthoine, Jonathan Sucese and Matt Solomon had a goal and assist. AJ Sgaraglio and Zach Vit also picked up goals in the win. Mike Montagna, Brandon Adams, Andrew Barton and Chris Waterstreet scored for Oswego. Saturday, Geneseo defeated Cortland 7-4, while Oswego defeated Brockport 4-0.

WIAC

Wisconsin-Stevens Point picked up two victories with a 6-1 win over the Milwaukee School of Engineering on Friday and a 2-0 win over Marian Saturday. Garrett Ladd and Evan Dixon had a goal and assist Friday night. Kyle Brodie, Joe Kalisz, Kyle Heck and Lawrence Corneller also tallied a goal Friday night. Kalisz had both goals Saturday night in the win over Marian.

After dropping a 5-2 decision to St. Nobert on Friday night, Wisconsin-Eau Claire ended the weekend on the road with a 7-0 victory over Concordia (Wis.). Jon Waggoner had two goals and an assist, while Charles Thauwald also had a pair of goals. Brian Nehring, Joe Krause and Jason Eddy added the other goals. Jay Deo stopped 29 shots to earn the shutout.

Predicting the weekend across the country

UWEC2 sized Predicting the weekend across the country

Can Wisconsin-Eau Claire keep winning? WIAC columnist Brian Lester thinks so (photo: Wisconsin-Eau Claire Athletics).

The USCHO.com Division III gang is back at it this week with their predictions on this weekend’s games.

ECAC EAST – Tim Costello

Back-to-back weeks at 4-1-0 (.800) bring the season total to 8-2-0 (.800), which is a pretty good start to the prognostications for the conference this season. The schedule heats up this week, so the challenge to be accurate only gets harder.

Here are my picks for the upcoming weekend:

Friday, Nov. 22

St. Anselm @ Norwich

The Cadets have had great success against the Hawks particularly at home and this year is not likely to be different in the regard. This one sees too much offense for the Hawks to handle and another win for Norwich. Norwich 4-1.

University of New England @ Southern Maine

This rivalry of travel partners is on the rise and while the Huskies have had the early advantage in the series, the Nor’easters are out to prove they are up to the task on the opponent’s rink. It’s close, but a late goal swings it to the visitors. UNE 3-2.

Massachusetts-Boston @ Castleton

Both teams are off to good starts in the season and are looking to build on that success. Home ice and a raucous crowd will help the home team eke out a tight one where special teams are the difference. Castleton 3-2.

Saturday, Nov. 22

St. Anselm @ St. Michael’s

One game that counts in two leagues – now that is unusual, but all the more important to theses two D-II schools fighting for seeding in the NE-10, as well as looking to move up in the ECAC East. Neither team has started out great, but this might be the jump start the Hawks need to get in the win column. St. Anselm 5-4.

Babson @ Castleton

Sometimes you have to grit one out with a lot of team defense and goals that aren’t going to make anyone’s highlight reel but get the job done. The Beavers may be better at that than anyone and it is an effort level that is needed to take down the Spartans at home. Babson 2-1.

Some really key matchups this weekend that will help separate the contenders in the early season schedule – drop the puck!

ECAC NORTHEAST – Nathan Fournier

Saturday, Nov. 23

Suffolk at Becker

This should be an interesting matchup. Suffolk has confidence after a win against Western New England last Saturday. Becker has been struggling to score some goals so far. It should be a very competitive game and I will take Becker in this matchup 3-2.

Nichols at Johnson and Wales

A very intriguing game between a team of veterans in Nichols and a young team in Johnson and Wales. Nichols, so far, has lived up to the expectations they had going into the season, while Johnson and Wales is also off to a strong start with their freshmen and sophomores. Both teams have excellent goaltenders and while Joey Ballmer has USHL experience and off to a great start with Johnson and Wales, I will take Nichols in a 4-1 victory.

Curry at Wentworth

If both teams want to turn things around, they will need to get the power play going. Overall, both offenses have been struggling. Curry defense has been strong and to keep the goals down. I think Wenworth is going to get it together sooner rather than later and take this contest at home 4-3.

Salve Regina at Western New England

This will be an offensive showcase and both defenses will be on their heels all game long. Who will win this game will come down who can can score on the power play. Both team have solid penalty kills and if one team can score on the power play, I think they will be the victor because both teams have shown to score at even strength. I will take Salve Regina on the road with a 6-4 victory.

Tuesday, Nov. 26

Johnson and Wales at Assumption

I think Johnson and Wales will come out on top in this contest. They have been battle-tested this season and their top line has been lights-out this season. Assumption has been struggling to score goals so far this season. Johnson and Wales 5-2.

Southern New Hampshire at Suffolk

This is a team Suffolk doesn’t want to see coming into town. Southern New Hampshire has been very good on the road, winning their first three games on the road this season. They have outstanding offensive firepower with four players with eight or more points so far. I think the Penmen will be too much to handle for the Rams in a 6-3 victory.

Becker at Tufts

Becker has to like its chances going into Tufts with the Jumbos playing not only their third game of the season, but third in five days. That will definitely play in Becker’s advantage as they will have only played one game the previous weekend. I think Becker comes away with the 5-2 win in this midweek contest.

Manhattanville at Western New England

This a very good nonconference matchup. Both teams are very skilled, which will make for a competitive game. Both teams are defensively sound, but Western New England has the advantage offensively. I will take Western New England in a 4-2 victory.

ECAC WEST – Dan Hickling

Friday, Nov. 22

Elmira (2-2-0, 3-4-0) @ Nazareth (0-4-1, 1-4-1) – Nazareth 4 Elmira 3
A tough team on their home ice, Nazareth is seeking its first league victory of the year. Elmira is looking to move up in the standings. The guess here is that the Golden Flyers will find a way to eke this one out.

Saturday, Nov. 23

No. 7 Utica (4-1-0, 5-1-0) @ No. 14 Hobart (2-0-2, 2-1-3) – Utica 5 Hobart 4
The back end of a two-game set between the two at Hobart. It would be a shock if one team swept both games, but no surprise to see the Pioneers avenge their last second loss to Hobart at home a few weeks back.

MASCAC – Nathan Fournier

Saturday, Nov. 23

Framingham State at Fitchberg State

The Rams of Framingham State have been a surprise so far, winning their first three MASCAC games of the season. They aren’t relying on one guy either, as only five players who have appeared in a game this season haven’t put up a point. They are winning the high-scoring contests. The Falcons also have put some goals on the board early on this season. It will be a high-scoring contest and I will take the Falcons in a 6-3 game.

Massachusetts-Dartmouth at Westfield State

This is probably the game of the night in the MASCAC. Both teams have high hopes of championship aspirations this season. UMass-Dartmouth has been struggling defensively so far, allowing around four goals per game and the penalty killing has been sub par. Westfield has had their struggles so far to this season, but seemed to turn things around last Saturday. I will take Westfield at home in a 7-4 game.

Plymouth State at Worcester State.

It was a storybook start for Worcester State, winning their first three nonconference games, but MASCAC hasn’t been as nice to them. They have dropped their first two games in conference and I think Plymouth State will be ready to hand them another loss. They have had a slow start, but I think this is a game they are looking to turn things around. The Panthers win 4-1.

Tuesday, Nov. 26

New England College at Framingham State

This is a very good nonconference contest for Framingham State to see where they stand. The Pilgrims of New England College are off to a strong start and have gotten contributions from all the lines do far. The Rams might not have many chances offensively to score as New England College has allowed under two goals per game so far. With Thanksgiving just two days away, I will take the Pilgrims 5-1.

Babson at UMass-Dartmouth

At the start of the season, this was one of the games circled on the calendar on the East Coast. Babson has been as advertised so far, both offensively and defensively. It will be interesting how well the Corsairs do this upcoming week with two other non-onference games right after Thanksgiving against Colby and Bowdoin. Until UMass- Dartmouth puts a couple of games together, I will take Babson 4-2.

Salem State at Southern Maine

The Vikings will travel up to Gorham, Maine, and take on the Huskies of the Southern Maine. This should be an even matchup. The Viking will have the advantage offensively, scoring nearly 3.50 goals a game compared to USM’s 2.50. The Vikings aren’t afraid to put up shots either, which will create rebounds and scoring chances. I will take Salem State in a 4-3 win.

Franklin Pierce at Westfield State

It has been a tough start for Franklin Pierce so far this season. The Ravens have had trouble finding the back of the net and the penalty kill has already allowed six goals so far. That’s not a very good combination in facing an offensive team like Westfield State, who has shown they can put the puck in the net early and often. I will take Westfield State in a 7-1 victory.

MIAC/WIAC – Brian Lester

It’s time for another week of hockey picks.

Conference play begins to pick up in the MIAC and this is the time of the year where teams start establshing themselves as contender or see their hopes to contend in the conference begin to fade away.

In the WIAC, several teams will be on the road, including Wisconsin-Eau Claire, which has a pivotal non-conference battle with St. Norbert in what will be a statement game for both teams.

So once again, it’s time to test my intelligence and make some predicitions.

Friday, Nov. 22 – MIAC

Bethel at Concordia (Minn.)

Bethel heads into its matchup with Concordia looking for its first win of the year. The Royals have lost thre consecutive games and have managed only 10 goals while allowing 18. Colin Mayer and Travis Payne have two goals apiece and will need to play well for the Royals to have a shot at winning this series opener. Concordia has been very productive on offense, racking up 17 goals, and it has allowed only 10 goals. If the Cobbers get a solid effort from Chris Neamonitis (1.67 goals-against average, 214 saves) and are as effective offensively as they have been during their 4-2 start, they will prevail. Concordia, 4-1.

Hamline at Gustavus Adolphus

The Pipers are another MIAC team searching for their first victory of the season. They have forged one tie in six games and have lost two in a row. Their problem has been they have allowed far too many goals, giving up 32 on the year. John Sellie-Hanson has started one game and if he starts again, he will need to be at his best for Hamline to have a shot. The Pipers need to be solid all around on defense to be successful. Gustavus is 3-3 and has an opportunity to pick up momentum in the conference. The Gusties have tallied 16 goals, including four by Corey Leivermann, and if Gustavus can execute on offense, they will be tough to beat in this one. Gustavus, 6-2.

St. John’s at St. Mary’s

The defending conference champion Johnnies will be tested in this road series with the Cardinals, but they have an opportunity to send a message early that they are the team to beat in the league. Josh Gross, Kevin Becker and Tyson Fulton have scored two goals apiece and the Johnnies have the balance to be successful against the Cardinals. Throw in the fact that Saxton Soley has made 79 saves and allows just two goals per game, and the Johnnies are going to be tough to top. St. Mary’s has won twice in six games and has struggled to keep the puck out of the net. The Cardinals have allowed 20 goals while tallying 13 on the year. Bob Marx has scored three goals to pace the Cardinals offensively, but if St. Mary’s is going to win this one, Christian Gaffy needs to have a strong showing in goal. He has given up 14 goals on the year and has tallied 155 saves. He has a goals-against average of 2.85. St. John’s 4-2.

Saturday, Nov. 23 – MIAC

St. John’s at St. Mary’s

The Johnnies are determined to win another league title and closing out this series with a win would be a huge step forward in that quest to be champions. But the Cardinals are at home and I can see them taking one in this series. St. Mary’s 3-2.

Bethel at Concordia (Minn.)

The Cobbers are too good on offense and are at home as well. They will prevail for the second straight night. Concordia, 4-3.

St. Olaf at St. Thomas

St. Olaf has won only one game and is winless in three road games. Playing at St. Thomas will be a challenge. The Oles have managed to score only 12 goals and have given up 26. They will need to be at their best on defense to get out of town with a win. The Tommies have only one loss and lead the league in goals allowed (nine). Considering how tough they are on defense, especially with Drew Fielding (1.50 goals-against average, 154 saves) in goal, don’t expect St. Thomas to come up short in this win. St. Thomas 5-1.

Friday, Nov. 22 – WIAC

Wisconsin-Stevens Point at Milwaukee School of Engineering

The Pointers have yet to lose in six games and have racked up 42 goals on the season. Their ability to step up on the offensive end will make them tough to deal with. The Pointers have 11 players with two or more goals, including Garrett Ladd, who has scored seven to go along with six assists. If the Pointers play up to their potential offensively, they will be fine against the winless Raiders. Stevens Point, 5-2.

Wisconsin- Eau Claire at St. Norbert

The defending national champions play a key road game agianst St. Norbert, and this one, a battle of the top two teams in the nation, could go a long way in helping the Blugolds build momentum for another title run at the end of the year. They have given up only five goals and Tyler Green has been tough in goal, allowing only four goals. If Eau Claire plays well on defense, it will be in good shape. The Green Knights are unbeaten as well and have given up just eight goals. The team that can play the best defensively will prevail. Eau Claire, 2-1.

Wisconsin River Falls at Concordia (Wis.)

The Falcons have won two of their first four games, but have managed to only score 13 goals. But they have given up just nine goals and will be looking for Willie Hess (five goals) to step up in order to help lead the way to a win. Concordia has lost two in a row, but has tallied 19 goals on the year. It has allowed 23. If the Falcons can get on track early, it should be in a position to steal this win. River Falls, 4-3.

Saturday, Nov. 23 – WIAC

River Falls at Milwaukee School of Engineering

The Falcons will have an opportunity to cap their weekend with a win on the road over a Raiders team that has yet to win. Again, the key for the Falcons is to get off to a good start. Scott Lewan (2.28 goals-against average, 69 saves) will need a strong game in goal as well, especially with this being on the road.

Wisconsin-Stout at St. Norbert

Stout faces one of its toughest challenges of the year against the Green Knights. Stout has lost three in a row and has scored two or more goals only twice. It will need its best all-around effort of the year to pull this game off. The Green Knights are just too strong, though, and will prevail. St. Norbert, 5-2.

Eau Claire at Concordia (Wis.)

The Blugolds have enough talent offensively to overwhelm Concordia. Not only are they the better team on offense, but their defense will be tough to crack. Eau Claire, 5-1.

NCHA – Katie Carito

I’m going to keep my picks this season to conference games and so far on the season, I am 7-2-0 – not a bad way to start. There is only one conference series on the docket this weekend.

Finlandia at Lake Forest

Last weekend, the Foresters (3-2-0) were swept by St. Norbert, marking their first two losses of the season. Finlandia (0-6-0) was swept by St. Scholastica. Finlandia joins MSOE as the only team in the NCHA without a conference win. Finlandia sophomore goaltender Troy Chandler made a total of 78 saves on the weekend, which makes me think that their defense needs to step up this weekend. Lake Forest wins both, 3-2, 4-1

NESCAC – Tim Costello

Opening week, I went 4-0-1 (.900) on my picks, so not much room for improvement with some interesting games among some of the closest rivals.

Here are my picks heading into the weekend and second week of conference play:

Friday, Nov. 22

Middlebury @ Tufts

The Panthers came out of last week’s games with Bowdoin and Colby showing they can play it close and also open up the offense. Tufts should be worried about the potent Panther attack that is balanced across all lines. Middlebury 5-2.

Bowdoin @ Colby

Throw out the statistics in this 101st edition of the Maine hockey rivalry. Since both games now count in the standings, it’s a chance make a statement in the conference and on behalf of hockey alumni everywhere for your school. Polar Bears look to bounce back after tough outing at Williams. Bowdoin 4-3.

Williams @ Connecticut College

The Ephs are off to a fast start, including last Sunday’s 5-2 win over Bowdoin. The Camels certainly deserved some points out of their first weekend, but couldn’t get the puck bounce when they needed it most. Williams doesn’t beat itself and here won’t let the Camels do it either. Williams 3-1.

Saturday, Nov. 23

Trinity @ Amherst

The Lord Jeffs have a history of playing great at home and making things very difficult for the opposition to score goals. Trinity will get its chances, but Amherst takes advantage of a power play late and that is the difference in this contest. Amherst 3-2.

Wesleyan @ Hamilton

After missing game two last weekend, Keith Buehler is back in the lineup and that is not good news for Hamilton. Don’t know if the Vorel-Hartnett-Buehler line can keep scoring at this pace, but Wesleyan has enough depth elsewhere to pick up the slack. Wesleyan 4-1.

There’s lots of great action as teams still figure out all of the pieces coming together – drop the puck!

SUNYAC – Dan Hickling

Friday, Nov. 22

No. 8 Oswego (2-1-0, 3-1-0) @ No. 15 Geneseo (3-1-0, 4-2-0) – Geneseo 4, Oswego 2

A year ago, the Lakers went into Genny and administered a 10-1 beating. Not this time. Despite their national rankings, both teams have had a few early-season struggles and are seeking to find an indentity. On this night, the Ice Knights will find theirs.

Saturday, Nov. 23

No. 4 Plattsburgh (4-0-1, 4-0-1) @ Morrisville (1-4-1, 1-4-1) – Plattsburgh 5, Morrisville 1

The Mustangs are capable of giving any opponent a tough time, but do not have enough horses to upend the nation’s fourth-ranked team.

Conferences showing early leaders, but big games still forthcoming

Justin Basso sized Conferences showing early leaders, but big games still forthcoming

Adrian’s Justin Basso has the Bulldogs off to a perfect 6-0 start this season (photo: Adrian College Athletics).

The top six teams are still undefeated in the third week of play. Expect to see some shake-up in the polls from the seventh spot down as some teams didn’t make strong debut weekends.

There were no major upsets as teams are getting into the flow of the season, but there were some overtime thrillers recapped below:

ECAC EAST

Norwich and Babson remain undefeated on the season as Norwich (4-0-0) earned two wins against conference opponents Southern Maine and the University of New England. Norwich Cadet’s senior forward Chris Duszynski is currently leading the league in goals scored with seven goals scored. Two of his goals were scored in the 8-1 win over University of New England. Babson (4-0-0) had a single non-conference game where they beat Assumption 4-3.

ECAC NORTHEAST

It was a busy week of conference play for the league. The game’s started on Tuesday with at least one game being played each night except Friday. The week was highlighted by a 3-3 OT battle between first place Nichols and Becker. Nichols have a 3-0-1 record while Becker is sitting with a 0-4-1 overall record. Hawks sophomore Gregg Hussey made 40 saves while on the other end of the ice Bison sophomore Alex Larson made 36 saves.

ECAC WEST

Hobart (2-1-3) fought to one overtime loss and one overtime tie this weekend. Friday night’s game against nonconference Geneseo had a two goal output from the Statesmen. Geneseo was able to score the game-winning goal 4:53 into overtime. Saturday’s game against nonconference Brockport was tied 1-1 heading into overtime with neither team able to score with extra time. Hobart put 45 shots on net in the tied game.

MASCAC

In the first week of conference play Framingham has come out with an early lead in the standings going 3-0 this week and 3-1 overall, they remain the the only team who has not suffered a conference loss. Worcester St. has unable to win a conference game this week sitting at the bottom of the standings at 0-2, but are 3-2 overall. There was one overtime game with Salem State downing Plymouth 4-3.

MIAC

There were only two conference series in a slew of nonconference match-ups. Concordia-Minnesota traveled to Gustavus Adolphus where they split the series with matching 3-1 scores. St. Olaf and Saint John’s had a home-and-home series. Friday night’s contest had St. Olaf shutting out Saint John’s 2-0. Saturday night the Johnnies outscored the Oles 7-4 had a 2-1-3 scoring line from freshman forward Kevin Becker.

NCHA

Adrian and St. Norbert continue to roll through the season with matching 6-0-0 overall and conference records. The Bulldogs swept Concordia-Wisconsin, giving them their first losses of the season, with 7-0 and 3-1 scores. Junior forward Josh Ranalli leads the league with eight goals on the season, including three in Friday’s win.  St. Norbert swept Lake Forest, also giving the Foresters their first losses of the season. St. Norbert ouscored Lake forest 9-1 in Friday’s contest.

SUNYAC

Plattsburgh remains undefeated with a 4-0-1 record. On Saturday Plattsburg and Buffalo State ended in a 1-1 tie. Bengals goaltender Kevin Carr made 43 saves, including 14 in the first and third periods. In Friday’s 3-2 win over Potsdam Carr made 39 saves for a weekend total of 82 saves on the weekend.

WIAC

Conference play doesn’t start up until December, but Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Wisconsin-Eau Claire are clear frontrunners. The Pointers hold a 6-0 record while the 2013 national championship Blugolds are 4-0 on the season.

 

Predicting this weekend’s top contests – and then some

Our gang of Division III columnists picks this week’s top games in D-III.

ECAC East – Tim Costello

The heavyweights in the conference have come out as expected, but there have been some week one and week two surprises already. More surprises to come in week three?

Here are my picks for the upcoming weekend:

Friday, November 15

Skidmore @ New England College

The Pilgrims got a split last weekend playing against two of the conference’s best teams and come home to face a team that also split its opening games last weekend. The small confines in Henniker play to the advantage of the home team, but only by a goal. NEC 4-3.

Norwich @ Southern Maine

The Huskies have not scored a goal against the Cadets in over a season, but haven’t given up much to the potent Cadet offense either. Looks like more of the same in a game that Cadets’ coach Mike McShane considers a challenge for his team in the early-season schedule. Norwich 3-0.

St. Michael’s @ UNE

This game has favored the Purple Knights in the past, but a lot of the experience that led to those wins has graduated and the hosts actually are the more experienced roster. Always like to win at home, the atmosphere in Biddeford will help the Nor’easters get the two points. UNE 4-2.

Saturday, November 16

Assumption @ Babson

The Beavers are off to a great start with strong goaltending defense and timely scoring from a balanced attack. That does not bode well for the visitors from the Northeast-10, who find themselves on the short end of this nonconference match-up. Babson 4-1.

Castleton @ New England College

The Moffatt era has begin for Castleton and opened auspiciously on home ice last weekend. Seeing how the team plays it on the road is another milestone for the new coach and his team gets a passing grade in this close contest. Castleton 4-3.

The early season is all about finding the parts that work together and building that solid 60 minute game – drop the puck!

ECAC Northeast – Nathan Fournier

Saturday, Nov. 16

Johnson and Wales at Curry

Both teams are coming off a Thursday-night game. Johnson and Wales is coming off a big victory over last year’s ECAC Northeast champion Wentworth last weekend and have freshman Stefan Brucato off to a good start leading the team in scoring prior to Thursday’s game against Suffolk with a goal and four assists. Curry has played a tough schedule so far with nonconference games against No. 10-ranked Babson and a victory over Westfield State. This game should be a good contest with Johnson and Wales coming up on top with the 5-3 victory.

Wentworth at Nichols

Two of the premier teams in the conference go at it. Wentworth has played the most games in the conference so far and off to a rocky start. They have shown their depth in terms of scoring, but the wins just haven’t come yet. Nichols is off to a very good start with sophomores Tyler Beasley and Frank Butler leading the way offensively. This should be another good game, but until someone figueres out Nichols goaltender Alex Larson, I think the Bison keep on winning, this time by a 3-2 margin.

Becker at Salve Regina

It’s been a tough go so far for the Becker Hawks. With two loses to MASCAC opponents Fitchburg State and Worcester State where they combined to only score twice in the two games, they finally got the offense going in the 5-4 loss to Western New England on Saturday. On the other hand, the Seahawks have had no problem finding the back of the net to start the season. I think that trend continues in a 5-1 win over the Hawks.

Western New England at Suffolk

The Golden Bears are another team that has gotten to a fast start offensively this season. With most of their scoring back from last season, it was expected for them to have a fast start. They haven’t blown anyone out and Becker hung around against them last weekend in the 5-4 overtime loss. Suffolk has only played two games this season, earning a 3-1 victory over Assumption and dropped a 6-3 decision to Salve Regina. They will need to get the power play going – just a 1-for-15 start prior to Thursday’s game versus Johnson and Wales. Western New England pulls this one out 6-4.

Tuesday, Nov. 19

Curry at Salve Regina

Curry will face their second straight Rhode Island school in Salve Regina. It’s another test for a team who is trying to find a rhythm. At the same time, they could catch the Seahawks sleeping as it would be their second straight game against a team who finished at the bottom of last year’s standings. If the Colonels can split, it will be a confidence booster. With that said, I think the Seahawks win 3-1.

Wednesday, Nov. 20

Johnson and Wales at Becker

The Hawks will have their hands full with Johnson and Wales. Both teams have struggled on the man-advantage, scoring three goals through the first two weeks of the season. I think the key to this game is Becker’s penalty kill, which is also off to a cold start. If they can tighten things up at that end, they can keep things close. I will go with the 2-1 victory for Becker.

Nichols at Suffolk

The Bison have a midweek trap game of their own against Suffolk. Alex Larson will get a lot of credit on how this team is playing defensively, but some of the credit goes to the defense in front of him. They have killed off all 13 power-play chances through the the first two games of the season. While a perfect penalty kill streak is going to be broken at some point, they can’t be giving teams 6-7 power-play chances a game. Bison come away with a 4-2 win.

Thursday, Nov. 21

Wentworth at Western New England

This will be a very good game that will go either way. Western New England will want to make a statement to the league that they will be a team to be this season. On the other end, Wentworth wants to show why they won the conference last season. Both teams are averaging over 36 shots per game and this game will be an offensive show. Wentworth takes it 5-4.

ECAC West – Dan Hickling

Friday, Nov. 15

No. 9 Utica (2-1-0, 3-1-0) @ Manhattanville (2-1-0, 2-1-0) – Manhattanville 3, Utica 2

Plenty is expected out of Manhattanville this year and an early-season win over the nationally-ranked Pioneers will do lots to justify those opinions. Utica is looking to right itself after falling at home to No. 8 Hobart.

Nazareth (0-2-1, 1-2-1) @ Neumann (0-2-1, 0-2-1) – Neumann 2, Nazareth 1

Both teams are looking for their first conference win and both are playing better than their records indicate. Give the Knights the home-ice edge.

MASCAC – Nathan Fournier

Saturday, Nov. 16

Worcester State at Fitchburg State

A rivalry game and it should be a good one with Worcester State off a hot start. The junior class has been driving most of the production for the Lancers. The defense has also been stellar for Worcester State. Both teams have been solid on the penalty kill. I think Fitchburg State pulls off a tight defensive game, 2-1.

Salem State at Framingham State

If we go by last year’s record, you would say Salem State would win this game. Since both teams have played two games when they meet up, this game could go either way. Salem State will rely on their veterans, while the Rams of Framingham State will rely on their underclassman as much as their upperclassman. I will take the veteran group this time around 4-1.

Plymouth State at Massachusetts-Dartmouth

The game of the weekend in the MASCAC. It’s a match-up of the regular-season champions versus the conference champion. Both teams will be playing their third game of the week when the teams meet on Saturday, so expect some tired legs in this contest. Plymouth State should come out on top with a 5-2 victory.

Thursday, Nov. 21

Worcester State at Framingham State

The Lancers will look to make their mark in conference after a strong start in nonconference games. The Rams are no pushover, though they did grab a big conference victory over Westfield State on Tuesday. Both teams were in the basement last year in the MASCAC last year. I expect both teams will be hungry, but I think Worcester State takes it 4-3.

UMass-Dartmouth at Salem State

A midweek clash between two of the top teams in the conference. Both teams have very few seniors on the roster, but make no mistake about it, they are two very skilled teams. It will be an highly-competitive game. When you have two evenly-matched teams, I think home-ice advantage will be the deciding factor, so I will take Salem State with the 3-2 victory.

Fitchburg State at Westfield State

This is an intriguing game. Fitchburg State will be playing its second game on the road this season after starting the year with five homes games in their first six. No one expected the Owls to start the year on a four-game losing streak. I think Westfield State will get it together offensively and come away with a 6-3 victory.

MIAC/WIAC – Brian Lester

Another season of predicting games begins and since several teams in the MIAC play against teams from the WIAC, I’m going to be crossing over with my picks as I cover both leagues.

I’m no hockey guru and I certainly wouldn’t put any money down in Vegas based on my picks, but I hope to at least be fairly successful as picking winners week after week. It all begins with this week’s picks. Here we go.

Friday, Nov. 15

Wisconsin-Superior at St. Mary’s

The Cardinals are 1-3 overall and really need to find a way to win this game against Superior at home. St. Mary’s is led by Bobby Thompson, who has two goals, and the Cardinals will need balanced scoring to get this win. Superior has dropped its first two games and no one has scored more than a goal for the Yellow Jackets. It will be tough to win this on the road. St. Mary’s 3-2.

Wisconsin-Stout at Augusburg

The Auggies have yet to lose a game and being at home should help their cause in continuing that unbeaten trend. Augsburg has punched in 14 goals and has allowed only seven. If the Auggies can be effective on both ends of the ice as they have been lately, they’ll be poised for the victory. Kevin O’Donnell has been very good for Stout, scoring three goals and dishing out four assists. If he plays well, Stout has a good chance at the win. Augsburg 4-3.

Wisconsin-Eau Claire at Hamline

Hamline will have its hands full against the defending national champions and the best it can probably hope for is a competitive game. Playing hard and competing against the Blugolds from start to finish could serve the Pipers well going forward this season. Hamline has scored just eight goals and has allowed 22. The Blugolds are too good on both ends of the ice, especially on defense where they have given up just three goals. Eau Claire 5-1.

Wisconsin-Stevens Point at St. Thomas

The Tommies face a crucial home test against one of the better teams in the nation and this showdown between two of the best teams in Division III could be a big tone-setter for the season. The Tommies are 4-0 and are going to need a strong showing from goalie Drew Fielding (1.49 GAA) to nail down this victory. The Pointers, though, have been very tough offensively, including getting five goals from Garrett Ladd, and that offense might be too much to overcome. Stevens Point 5-4.

Saturday, Nov. 16

Stevens Point at St. Mary’s

The Cardinals will be tested big-time. Stevens Point, though, is a team on a mission and will come out on top. Stevens Point, 5-2.

Eau Claire at Bethel

The Royals have struggled early this season, losing two of their first three games,and have managed only seven goals while allowing 10. Eau Claire has too much firepower for the Royals to handle and will roll. Eau Claire 6-2.

Stout at St. Thomas

The Tommies have a chance to pick up another big nonconference win and as long as the offense and defense are clicking on all cylinders, they will get the job done. St. Thomas 4-2.

St. Olaf at St. John’s

The Johnnies will be playing their first conference home game and will be determined to come through with a big win as they continue their quest toward another league championship. The Oles have managed only six goals on the year during an 0-4 start and have given up 18. The Johnnies, behind the play of stellar goalie Saxton Soley and a balanced offensive attack, will likely be tested, but should be able to hold off St. Olaf for the win. St. John’s 6-3.

NCHA – Katie Carito

Concordia (Wis.) at Adrian

I really like the way both teams are playing so far this season. The youthful Falcons are taking the early part of the season to learn lessons and gain experience that will improve their team’s chemistry. The Bulldogs continue to be a force in the league. I think the Bulldogs will take both games. Adrian 3-2, 4-1

Lake Forest vs. St. Norbert

Both teams are undefeated in their first weekends of play. Lake Forest has 21 so far this season, while St. Norbert has 14. In this home-and-home series, I think each team will take a win on their home ice. St. Norbert 3-1, Lake Forest 4-3

Milwaukee School of Engineering vs. Marian

Marian is coming off a 6-2 win over Lawrence, which marks the Sabres’ first win of the season. MSOE has yet to tally a win. This is another home-and-home series that I’m taking the home team for the win. Marian 4-1, MSOE 4-1

Finlandia at St. Scholastica

Finlandia is winless with two losses to St. Norbert and two nonconference losses to Wisconsin-Stevens Point. St. Scholastica is coming off a series with two ties against Concordia. St. Scholastica also swept MSOE in the first weekend of play. St. Scholastica 2-1, 5-4

Lawrence at Northland

Northland is winless this season and Lawrence is sitting with a 1-3-0 record. Northland is struggling defensively as they have allowed 30 goals this season, the most of any NCHA team. I would like to see both teams get a win. Northland 3-2, Lawrence 2-1.

NESCAC – Tim Costello

It’s mid-November and finally, the NESCAC schools are playing someone other than themselves in intra-squad scrimmages.

Some interesting and potentially telling match-ups to open the season so get ready for some great action from the drop of the first puck on Friday night.

Here are my picks for the upcoming weekend and a Tuesday bonus game:

Friday, Nov. 15

Hamilton @ Amherst

This home-and-home series on opening weekend knocks off the travel partner series right away and also serves to get people quickly oriented to life at home and on the road. This game will be a close one and should prove that it is much better not to be on a bus for a long ride before you play. Amherst 4-3.

Tufts @ Wesleyan

The Cardinals have some firepower and Keith Buehler comes out showing that last year’s numbers were not an anomaly. The Jumbos have a lot of new pieces and are still figuring out how they all fit. Wesleyan 5-2.

Saturday, Nov. 16

Bowdoin @ Middlebury

The Polar Bears have a very young defensive group going against a potent Panther attack, while Middlebury will be looking for some improvement and consistency between the pipes. The difference is that either guy in the Bowdoin goal is the difference-maker in this game. Bowdoin 3-2.

Colby @ Williams

Both teams are retooling big pieces entering the season. The Mules are new on defense, while the Ephs have several new forwards. So what is the difference? Same as last year – Sean Dougherty and Williams pick up the win in a low scoring affair. Williams 2-1.

Tufts @ Trinity

The Bantams aren’t as strong offensively as Wesleyan, but Tufts finds the back end of the weekend more challenging in trying to score on Benjamin Coulthard and the Trinity defense. Trinity 4-2.

Tuesday, Nov. 19

Southern Maine @ Colby

It’s a quick turnaround for the Mules, who return home after a Sunday match-up at Middlebury. The weekday home opener is just what Blaise MacDonald’s team needs in picking up the win against their in-state rival. Colby 4-3.

The season is now officially underway – drop the puck!

SUNYAC – Dan Hickling

Friday, Nov. 15

Morrisville (1-3-0, 1-3-0) @ Cortland (1-2-0) – Morrisville 6, Cortland 5.

The first of a two-game set in Cortland. Both teams want to prove themselves better than their joint last-place preseason prediction. The teams will likely split the wins and Friday will be the Mustangs’ night.

Saturday, Nov. 16

No. 3 Plattsburgh (3-0-0, 3-0-0) @ Buffalo State (2-2-0, 2-2-0) – Plattsburgh 3, Buff St. 1

The Cardinals are already showing themselves to be the team to beat in the SUNYAC. The Bengals, still smarting from last week’s loss at Morrisville, will give them a stiff test, and may even get a puck behind Platty goalie Mathieu Cadieux. But that’s about it.

No upsets, but early competition

CS 12 Colin Murray sized No upsets, but early competition

Castleton senior Colin Murray dished out three assists in the Spartans’ 5-4 win last weekend against the University of New England (photo: Dan Hickling).

Anyone hoping for an upset in Division III during the weekend just completed would have been in for a disappointment.

True, Hobart ranked ninth, had to eke out a tie with Nazareth (a program barely into its second year of existence) before upending No. 5 Utica the next night on a last-second goal.

And true, there are a few other finger-drumming moments for teams among USCHO’s top 15.

Otherwise, the weekend played out according to form.

Then again, it may be the last one that will.

The details from around the D-III rinks:

ECAC EAST

Ranked No. 12 heading into Friday, Massachusetts-Boston came within a whisker of suffering the dreaded “lost weekend.” However, captain Travis Daniel came through in the clutch to save the Beacons’ bacon. One night after UMB dropped a 2-1 count to New England College, the Beacons blew a two-goal third-period lead at St. Anselm, but eked out a 4-3 overtime win on Daniel’s game-winner on a power play, 42 seconds into extra time. … No. 11 Babson and Castleton both swept their weekends to remain 2-0 in the conference. Castleton senior Colin Murray racked up three assists in the Spartans’ 5-4 win at UNE.

ECAC NORTHEAST

Conference play began Saturday night with Johnson & Wales, Nichols, Salve Regina and Western New England all scoring opening-night wins. WNEC had the toughest task, having squandered a two-goal lead to Becker in the final 1:41 of regulation. Matt Dore came through with the winner for WNEC in OT with his power-play goal at 3:42.

ECAC WEST

An early-season clash between the West’s two ranked teams, No. 5 Utica and No. 9 Hobart, went down to the wire, literally. Robert Sovik gave the visiting Statesmen a 3-2 victory with just one second remaining in the game. Sovik had also scored late in the second period to set the stage for all that third period nail-biting.

MACSAC

Play in the MACSAC won’t begin until Tuesday. However, the early-season tremors have been produced by Worcester State. With three consecutive wins out of the gate, the Lancers have already notched half their victory total of last year.

MIAC

St. Thomas, ranked No. 13, went at it with No. 15 St. Mary’s in a home-and-home set and waltzed out with a pair of wins, 3-1 and 3-0. Tommies’ junior goalie Drew Fielding stopped all but one of St. Mary’s 47 shots on the weekend and earned his seventh career shutout.

NCHA

They won’t meet until Jan. 31, but when they do finally tangle in De Pere, Wis., Adrian and St. Norbert could both still be toting undefeated records. Both have jumped out to 4-0 starts (in conference and overall), including a pair of wins over the weekend. Adrian took a pair of convincing wins (4-1, 5-1) over the Milwaukee School of Engineering, while St. Norbert won twice (4-1, 3-2) at Finlandia. … Lake Forest junior Bobby Barrett, who had eight goals in his previous two seasons, popped in three tallies (plus two assists) in the Foresters’ 13-2 rout of Northland.

SUNYAC

The eyes of the SUNYAC were trained on Plattsburgh on Friday where the No. 4 Cardinals welcomed in Geneseo for an early-season first-place clash. As matters played out, the Cards won handily 4-1, with senior defenseman Barry Roytman scoring twice. It was the first multi-goal game in his career for Roytman, who scored just once in his entire freshman and junior seasons. Plattsburgh polished off the weekend with a hefty 6-0 win over Brockport. … A shootout took place Friday in Morrisville, when Buffalo St. got goals from seven different sources to outlast the host Mustangs 7-5.

WIAC

Teams in the WIAC won’t start beating up on each other until December, so in the meantime, they’ve had to be content in pounding on nonconference foes. Wisconsin-Stevens Point has won all four of its starts by a combined 33-6 count. The latest to fall before the Pointers was Gustavus Adolphus (8-4) and St. Olaf (8-1). … Not to be outdone, top-ranked Wisconsin-Eau Claire began defense of its national title with wins over St. Olaf (5-2) and St. John’s (3-1).

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