A 4-1 midweek run almost brought my picks record to .500, but I’m sitting at 7-8. Bit of a surprise to see Johnson and Wales lose to Southern New Hampshire in the opening round of the Pepperidge Farm Tournament hosted by Worcester State.
The Penmen rebounded nicely from a 6-0 loss on opening night at Plymouth State’s new arena, downing the Wildcats 3-1 and earning the right to face Western New England in the tourney’s championship game. The Golden Bears tied Worcester State 3-3 but advanced to the final game thanks to a shootout. Here’s a glance at what’s on deck for this weekend.
Assumption vs. Wentworth (Fitchburg Shootout): Assumption is 2-1 and already has one tournament title on its resume so far, as they knocked off Suffolk and Becker to claim the Becker Ice Breaker. Can they win another one? Not sure, but Wentworth has a lot of talent and I’d look for them to get their first win of the year. Wentworth 4, Assumption 4
Franklin Pierce at Fitchburg (Fitchburg Shootout): It’s been a rough start for Franklin Pierce, as they sit at 0-4 and have been outscored 35-6. It’s Fitchburg’s home ice and tourney, so the Falcons are the pick here. Fitchburg 7, Franklin Piece 1.
Westfield State at Utica: Utica sits with a 4-1 record and received several votes in the latest USCHO Division III men’s poll. Conversely, the Owls have a tie and and an overtime loss in their first two games. I think the wins will start coming for Westfield, just not at the Pioneers arena. Utica 5, Westfield State 2
Wentworth at Fitchburg (Fitchburg Shootout): This should be a good one, with the reigning ECAC Northeast and MASCAC regular season champions facing off against one another. The Falcons have the home ice advantage, but the Leopards should emerge in the end. Wentworth 5, Fitchburg State 4.
Franklin Pierce vs. Assumption (Fitchburg Shootout): Technically not an ECAC Northeast or MASCAC game… but what the heck. Assumption 4, Franklin Piece 2.
Johnson and Wales at Worcester State (Pepperidge Farm Tournament) The Lancers have a host of new, young players that should reap benefits down the road, but the Wildcats boast a potent offense that should propel them to a win. Johnson & Wales 4, Worcester State 1
Southern New Hampshire vs. Western New England (Pepperidge Farm Tournament): The Golden Bears have gotten off to a good start and I see it continuing here. Western New England 5, Southern New Hampshire 2
Stonehill at Nichols: The Bisons broke through in a big way with ten goals in a win over Franklin Pierce. Stonehill beat J&W to start the year, but has since lost to Becker and Suffolk. Nichols 5, Stonehill 2
UMass Dartmouth at Suffolk : Only the second game of the year for the Corsairs as they look to rebound from a disappointing season in the MASCAC. UMass Dartmouth 2, Suffolk 1.
Elmira at Curry: This should be a good one, as Elmira travels to Curry, currently ranked No. 6 in the latest USCHO Poll. They’ve won three straight against good competition, and they can add a fourth win to their belt Saturday. Elmira 3, Curry 2.