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.