ECAC Northeast and MASCAC Picks: Week 1

Welcome to the first week of ECAC Northeast and MASCAC picks. There’s only a few games this weekend, but here are those selections.

Friday, Nov. 5

Franklin Pierce at Johnson & Wales
The Wildcats opened their season with a loss to a Northeast-10 opponent, but I don’t think it happens here. Franklin Pierce is 0-2 and has been outscored 18-1 on the year.  Johnson & Wales 5, Franklin Pierce 1.
Wentworth at Salem State
Good cross-conference matchup here between Wentworth, the regular season ECAC Northeast Champion in 2009-10, and Salem State, the MASCAC champion.  The Leopards opened the season with a 1-1 tie at Becker, while this is the Viking’s first game. A lot of offensive talent on both teams, but don’t overlook the goalies.  Wentworth’s Mike Jarboe  was solid in the opening night tie. The Vikings return James LaCour from injury in addition to Sam Avoine, and youngsters Andrew Knight and Ryan Sutliffe are present as well.  Salem State 3, Wentworth 2.
Nichols at Westfield State
Season opener for both. Nichols looks to return fully healthy, while the Owls are looking to cut back on their time in the box after being the most penalized team in hockey last year.  Nichols 4, Westfield State 3
Stonehill at Becker
Becker is hosting the early season Becker Ice Breaker, and its tough to pick against them, even though Stonehill knocked off Johnson & Wales 4-2 to open the season. I think Becker prevails here. Becker 2, Stonehill 1
Assumption vs  Suffolk
A neutral site game as part of the Becker Ice Breaker, I’m going with Suffolk, setting up a matchup with Becker in the tourney final.  Suffolk 3, Assumption 1
Saturday, Nov. 6
Neumann at Curry
The defending national champions entering last year, Neumann is of to an 0-1-1 start thus far this season. Curry won the ECAC Northeast title before bowing out to another ECAC West team in Elmira. Look for a tight one.  Neumann 2, Curry 2.
Southern New Hampshire at Plymouth State
The Panthers are opening up a brand new arena in Hanaway Rink, which has already sold out for the opener. Look for new head coach Craig Russell to get his first win in what looks like it is shaping up to be a great atmosphere. Plymouth State 4, Southern New Hampshire 2
Stonehill vs. Assumption
The consolation game of the Becker Ice Breaker pits two Northeast-10 teams against each other. Stonehill 3, Assumption 0.
Suffolk at Becker
Should be a good one with solid goaltending on each end.  Suffolk 2, Becker 1
Sunday, Nov. 7
Westfield State at Western New England College
Two close cross-conference teams face off. The Golden Bear have a talented freshman recruiting class who will be thrown in the fire quickly against a good Owl team. Westfield State 4, Western New England 1.

60 COMMENTS

  1. Anyone who has watched St. Cloud play this year knows they are even better than their record. If the players knew how good they can be as a team, they would be unstoppable. If they believe, they can run the table.

  2. Well here we are the time of year we get to hear the Gopher fans whine about avoiding North Dakota in the regionals and why the Hockey East has it easy and that is why they have won 4 of the last 5 NCAA Titles.

    • Considering that the bottom of the WCHA could have beaten Ferris State last year, not much of an argument.Boston College is a really good team and will make a run. Also, continuing to put WCHA teams regardless of four brackets against each other and watch them beat on each other before the frozen four makes it easy to weed them out otherwise we might see a frozen four made up of all WCHA teams which wouldn’t be a stretch at all. 5 of the top ten in pairwise are WCHA teams. Does that say anything to you about the conference Eagle boy??

    • U seem bitter probably because u mass lowell won your league not u if the wcha is so week why did u click on this article u should click on uscho stats and look where attendence is …. It’s not hockey east

    • Remind me again how your Eagles did at the Mariucci Classic? because from what I remembered Minnesota throttled them 8-1.Calling the WCHA weak is pretty ignorant on your part considering anyone who knows college hockey knows the WCHA is anything but weak

    • Really? You have got to be kidding me. Look at the top 20 ranked schools and tell me what you see. Read the bracektology blog and tell me what you see. Think before you speak.

  3. Why would they bring the MacNaughton cup to Bemidji? St. Cloud had already won it, and they had a good shot of being the sole owners. North Dakota had just as good a chance of winning it as Minnesota did, so it could have easily been a 3 way tie. Perhaps they had their reasons, but it kinda smells like a bit of Gopher bias on the part of the WCHA. If anybody got the cup that weekend, St. Cloud should have been given the chance to celebrate their first MacNaughton win with the cup.

    • Take off the tinfoil hat––enough with your silly little conspiracy theory. The Gophers possess(ed) the MacNaughton Cup because they won it last year, so they brought it with them. The winners keep it for a year. And they don’t have to relinquish it until the league champion is crowned the next year. And, oh, would you look at that? They won it again.

      (Besides, St Cloud will get their turn just the same.)

      • Wow, you seem angry. Perhaps the Sun’s radiation is getting to you. Would you like to borrow my nice, shiny protective hat?

        • Angry? Why would I be angry? We just won the MacNaughton Cup. As for your hat—thanks, but no thanks. I couldn’t do that to you. It’s clear from your previous comment that you’re going to need all the brain cells you have left to get through life.

    • Motzko said he didn’t want the cup in Wi. He wanted to celebrate with it at home in St Cloud, and the cup will be at the NCHC this weekend for the fans and team to celebrate together. The only thing Lucia did wrong was keeping it in the trunk of a car all weekend. It’s too bad that this is the last time so many schools will play for this trophy. That will be a story to shake your head about for many years.

  4. Of course it was in Minnesota’s locker room. They had it in there trophy case why would they ship it any where else. By the way if you haven’t seen it, it’s got to be one the the best looking trophies around

  5. With the exception of a few pockets in the midwest and west, where college hockey is the only game in town, most conference tourneys and NCAA regionals draw flies. It doesn’t matter if they play in a “hockey town” or some off-beat place like Atlantic City; you see the same result. Neutral spectators never materialize as the marketers predict, and loyal fans stay only for their team’s games and nix the rest. The best thing for both the ECAC and the AHA to do is have all tournament games played at the home sites, regardless of the the size of the arenas. Having tournaments played during Spring break isn’t a good idea, either.

    • Yea not sure that’s true of only the Midwest and West. The Garden is always 80%+ full no matter who is in Finals. Granted that’s been augmented by BC and BU’s success, but even when Maine and UNH have made runs there’s 14-15,000 people in the stands. Same at Joe Louis.

      But I agree with your larger point. Home sites would create far better atmospheres and intrigue among its fans. Conferences will site travel and broadcast (if even on) obstacles and schools benefitting over others, but those that progress get “paid” anyhow.

      • You made a good point. Boston is truly a Hockey Town. I can remember when the AHL Braves played there, and despite the saturation, they drew 10-13,000+ per game when the team was competitive. .

      • I can’t speak for BC fans, but in Minnesota we were concerned about how long the freshmen would take to transition to D-1 hockey (and, with new line combinations, when chemistry would develop). The questions have been answered.

  6. I hope there will be an equal number of matchups in this Challenge next year. Michigan and Michigan State competed in 9 of the 14 games played. 33% of the B1G conference played 64% of the games. Boston University and Boston College played 7 of the 14 games, thus 18% of Hockey East accounted for 50% of the games played in the Challenge.

    Ohio State didn’t even play a game. Neither did Maine, Merrimak, Northeastern, Notre Dame, or Providence. I’m not saying that the teams that didn’t play are bad, I just want a fair-fought Challenge.

    I would like the top 4 of the B1G to play the top 4 of Hockey East and the bottom 2 of each conference to play one other. I think that would bring more parity to the Challenge.

    I don’t read into the results of this Challenge as evidence for greatness, not that teams in both conferences aren’t excellent. I just want to point out that the ECAC is showing that it might be the cream of the ice given its total inter-conference record of 26-11-4.

    • The top 2 teams in the Big 10 are better this year than the top 2 teams in Hockey East. Who cares about 3rd-8th place? MN would have swept BC if they did not take their foot off the gas on Friday night…Sunday was the same game as Friday with the gophers having learned their lesson. MN is the best team in the country right now and Michigan should be #2. ND losing to UMD shows that ND is overrated. UMD is in a total rebuild year and a #2 team should not lose to them. Michigan is the real deal and their games with MN this year will be great for college hockey. This is the best MN team (chemistry and balance) since the 2002 championship season. 16 players registered at least 1 point over the weekend. The scary part is both teams (MN and MIch) are only going to get better as the season moves on.

      • So UMass Lowell’s win at Michigan shows that Michigan is a better team? And I am not sure anybody knows who the best 2 teams in HE are. Big 10 clearly Gophs and Wolverines and people are assuming UML and BC but Providence should be every bit as good as both of them.

        • MN is the clear #1 team right now. Mich is the 2nd best team I have seen this year. UMass Lowell (preseason #1?) are a better team than UMD..(I live in Duluth by the way). I am not a big Mich fan but having seen Mich, ND, MN, UMass L, Miami, Nodak and WI all play this year (and their opponents) MN and MIch have the best teams from the goal out. WI was overrated (they are top 15 but not top 10 yet) and the rest of the Big 10 is weak but the top 2 are definite threats to win it all. Mich will be their own worst enemy this year with the inconsistency of their young players (especially the goalie). The gophers young players don’t play as young……They will be tough to beat with that much firepower and that goalie. York said they are the best team he has seen this year and I agree wholeheartedly. BC has a nice team but they are not tough enough yet. Great skill but lack that big front of the net presence. The Big 10 HE challenge final tally is meaningless in the big scheme. I agree with an earlier poster who said they should seed and have 1 play 1, 2 play 2, 3 play 3 …6 play6. At least there would be good games all through.

          • I completely agree with you on Minn., but I think there are still questions on Michigan. A loss to UML on home ice and being outplayed at UNH twice (though they escaped with a tie and OT win). I really think PC is going to be abetter team that BC and many others this year because they are strong from the net out as well. Three points over a very good Miami team this past weekend. I was not disagreeing with your post other than the fact that the best 2 Big 10 teams are better than the best 2 in HE. Clearly Minny is but after that, I am not so sure.

          • Where is your east Coast Bias? You are being to agreeable here. I appreciate your insights on PC. I will try and watch them in the next couple of weeks. Are they are junior Senior type of team? One of the interesting things with College hockey is that the big high profile programs get the blue chip Freshman and sophs and churn roster every year and in the end the mid teir programs (no disrespect intended) win with Juniors and Seniors. MN is fortunate this year to have a better mix of old and young. Their old is in the right spots (goal, 1st and 2nd line Centers and D). They remind me a lot of the 2002 team in that respect. Chemistry is really a big thing.

          • No east coast bias here, just a college hockey fan. Attend all FF’s and just enjoy the games, no matter what. PC has a good mix of upper and under classmen right now. They hired Nate Leaman 3 years ago, right after he got Union on track and he has done a great job with the team. He talked Derek Army into staying even after they fired his dad for Leaman. He managed to land Jon Gillies last year, as good a goalie as any out there. If you follow the NTDP, he was the back up on the U-20 World Junior team and played some there too. Outside of the goaltending, they are very aggressive and physical. They will be a tough team for anybody.
            I agree with you on MN, the ’02 and ’03 teams were loaded that way.

          • They are the 2013/14 version of Yale!
            There is going to be a lot of parity in college hockey this year. There are only a handful of really great teams and then a huge pool of mediocre teams. It shoudl mak for some wild games all year long. I am looking forward to seeing PC play now. Thanks for the heads up.

  7. I hope the BTHC-HEA Challenge continues because it adds to the quality of the non-conference schedule. As a MN season ticket holder, I was concerned that more non=conf games this year (due to 8 fewer conference games) would mean a parade of weak opponents early. Not so. The BC-MN series last weekend was the best early season non-conf hockey I have had the pleasure to witness. I hope there’s more on tap for next season.

  8. Could be a quiet weekend for attendance? C’mon….we all know it will be quiet no matter who is playing when.

  9. Could the Tom Anastos countdown finally be occurring? Great person, and has a genuine love for MSU – just a terrible ice hockey coach.

  10. Another ridiculously packed game at the joe…..call the fire marshal….need to get some people out so they aren’t over the max allowed…..

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