ECAC East/NESCAC Picks – November 26-28

Well, my predictions went about as well for me last weekend as the games for the six teams still without a point after opening the season. Frankly a .400 win percentage doesn’t get it done anywhere so I feel like I have nowhere to go but up.

The teams are largely playing in Thanksgiving tournaments along with some interesting non-league match-ups that include both familiar and unfamiliar opponents from conferences like the ECAC West, SUNYAC and ECAC Northeast. Whether it’s a tournament or not, it’s still early and everyone is trying to find their game. So teams, go easy on the turkey because there is a lot of hockey to be played by Sunday.

Last Week: 8-12-0

Overall Record: 8-12-0

Friday, November 26

Winners in bold.

Middlebury vs. Norwich– the first round match-up in the Primelink Tournament pits intra-state rivals against each other with both teams going in different directions. Middlebury is the more desperate team but Norwich is more talented – Norwich 3, Middlebury 1

Manhattanville @ Amherst– Manhattanville comes in with many more games under its belt but Amherst was a definite winning formula at home – Amherst 4, Manhattanville 2

Saturday, November 27

Suffolk vs. Colby – Game one in the crossover tournament that includes the USA Under 18 team along with Bowdoin.
Colby wins this one going away – Colby 6, Suffolk 1.

USA Under-18vs. Bowdoin – The second half of the four team bracket showcases two great teams with some offensive firepower. Nothing at stake but bragging rights here – USA Under-18 7, Bowdoin 4.

Buffalo State vs. Skidmore– The host Thoroughbreds have an interesting foursome in their tournament and after splitting on the raoad last week look to rev it up at home on the big sheet – Skidmore 5, Buffalo State 3.

Elmiravs. Southern Maine – The other combatants in the Skidmore Tournament are looking for some consistency in their games early in the season. Elmira has already played a few and show the experience – Elmira 5, Southern Maine 4.

Williams@ Babson – The first of two meetings this year will be a non-league contest. Williams comes in a roll and keeps it going in a track meet – Williams 5, Babson 4.

Brockport vs. Tufts– Game one in the Rutland Herald tournament hosted by Castleton is a game of contrasting styles. Jumbo goalie Scott Barchard has been a key to Tufts success early and often and this tournament is no exception – Tufts 3, Brockport 1.

Becker vs. Castleton– ECAC Northeast vs. ECAC East and the home team has a strong liking for the smaller rink and tight quarters. This one will be low scoring and physical – Castleton 3, Becker 2.

UNEvs. SNHU – First round PAL Cup game has the new Nor’easters program looking to upset the hosts. Some early season success will go along way for UNE – UNE 2, SNHU 1.

UMass-Bostonvs. Salve Regina – The second PAL Cup pairing should be an offensive showcase. Would not be surprosed to see double digit goals in this one – UMB 7, Salve Regina 3.

St. John’s vs. Middlebury– Consolation game in the Primelink will find the Panthers looking to get in the win column against the visitors from the West who have not fared well in this tournament in the revised format. Middlebury 4, St. John’s 2.

Norwichvs. Plattsburgh – The title game is another classic rivalry game and even though the Cardinals are at home, the Cadets are marching on – Norwich 3, Plattsburgh 2.

Curry @ Trinity – Another non-league match-up that should be a very fast-paced and physical game. Trinity is off to a slow start offensively and Curry keeps them down in this one – Curry 4, Trinity 2.

Amherst@ Utica – Back-to-back games finishing on the road should favor the home team but Amherst has penchant for winning the close ones and no exception here – Amherst 3, Utica 2.

Sunday, November 28

Wesleyan @Wentworth– A fun afternoon take at Matthews Arena will highlight the offensive firepower of Wentworth and whether the defensive play for Wesleyan can meet the challenge. the Leopards roar at home – Wentworth 5, Wesleyan 2.

Stonehill @ Trinity– Second game in two nights for the Bantams finds them breaking out against the opponent from the NE-10 – Trinity 6, Stonehill 1.

Manhattanville @ Williams– the journey for Manhattanville from Amherst is shorter than the Ephs return from Babson but it won’t take long for Williams to stretch their legs in this one – Williams 4, Manhattanville 3.

Nichols @ Babson– Win one, lose one reverses this weekend for the Beavers as they pick up the W in the back-half of the weekend – Babson 5, Nichols 4.

USA Under-18 vs. Colby – Another opportunity to scout the next level of college players against a good Colby team. Game is competitive but the USA squad just has too much – USA Under-18 7, Colby 2.

Suffolk vs. Bowdoin– Suffolk will be all too happy to get out of Maine after this weekend. Bowdoin splits the weekend – Bowdoin 6, Suffolk 1.

UMBvs. UNE – This projected PAL Cup final has two league rivals playing for something meaningful in November. UMB has been there before and it shows – UMB 5, UNE 1.

Tuftsvs. Castleton – The projected title game of the Rutland-Herald Tournament will showcase two superb goaltenders. They are both big and quick but look for Scott Barchard to lead his team to a repeat in the championship round – Tufts 2, Castleton 1.

Buffalo State vs. Southern Maine– The consolation game in the Skidmore tournament will be what the Huskies need to get their first win of the season – USM 4, Buffalo State 3.

Elmiravs. Skidmore – The projected title game finds the hosts playing an Elmira team looking to get on a roll after stumbling earlier this season. This tournament may be the jumping off point – Elmira 4, Skidmore 3.

Best wishes to college hockey fans everywhere for a Happy Thanksgiving. I know there will be “that other sport” all over the TV tomorrow (and yes I am sure I will watch at least two of the games) but remember to get out and see some the tournament action this weekend against teams you don’t often see – the action will be terrific and you can always bring that leftover turkey sandwich to tide you over between games.


  1. Weird. Another week of Paula really going out on a limb and picking split series except for the obvious pick against the worst team. How about you use your so called expertise and make an actual pick instead of splits. If the results went the way of your picks then every team in the ccha would end up .500. Want some picks? WMU and Lake State will take 5 of 6 points in their respective series while your beloved Wolverines will sweep ND and take 6.

    • Really, BenAL18?  Would you NOT call splits in this league?  And have you seen the standings?  Three teams are at .500; three more are between .500 and .600 and one more is just below .500.  That’s the way this season has been. 

      I don’t get any credit for calling a split in a given weekend when teams do split but win on nights opposite of what I’ve called.  I do take losses for both of those games.  
      Four points separate the third-place team from the eighth-place team in this league going into this weekend.  I’d say that splits are the norm, not the exception. 

      • Anyone can sit here and pick the norm but you’re supposed to be the expert so I would expect more then just picking split series every weekend. I haven’t looked very closely and don’t plan on doing so but I would venture to guess you also pick the home team in your series splits. After years of reading but never commenting I’m more then sick of watching you make picks that anyone who looks at the standings can pick. I’d also love to see just once you pick a national “mid major” program such as a NMU, WMU or Lake State over a ND, Michigan, MSU or OSU. I know it’s not the “norm” but who would watch a game if the “norm” always proved true. The fact that you still have ND ranked above WMU after WMU just swept ND is laughable just like the poles.

        • You want her to give an expert opinion, but complain she doesn’t go out on a limb and picks sweeps. Seems to me an expert opinion means she needs to tell you how it is, which she is. By the way, she is 4-0 so far this weekend going 4 for 4 on Friday night. Also, if you knew anything about the CCHA, I think you’d realize that none of the series are home and home – the CCHA doesn’t have too many of those anymore since they fell to 11 teams. You complain that she isn’t picking mid-majors to win, yet I see her picking LSSU to win at LSSU (which LSSU hasn’t won in East Lansing in 16 years – going 0-18-3 now in their last 21 games in East Lansing). And she picked Ferris State to beat Ohio State in Columbus. Seems to me you’re looking rather dumb right now, and Paula is looking spot on – like an expert.

          • That should be LSSU winning in East Lansing – where they haven’t won in 16 years. That’s going out on a limb (one that I hope proves to be wrong).

          • Bravo…  it’s always nice to see someone put people in their place.  I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve disagreed with some of Paula’s posts in the past, but if I’m going to make a post – I usually try not to sound like a fool.  Anyone who readily admits they haven’t fully investigated an issue, but will make broad conclusions and assumptions, well that just speaks for itself.  If you’re bitter because she picked ND over WMU despite the sweep – that’s fair (I would tend to agree), but unfortunately you lost all of your credibility before that.  Polls are perception, and perception is reality.  So the reality is people (and not just Paula) think that ND is better than WMU.  If you disagree, fine.  But why do you insist on such destructive criticism?

    • Western Michigan taking 5 of 6 points?  Miami is have an off year but they are still the class of the CCHA playing at home.  Try Miami takes 6 points.

  2. Excellent Analysis: While I believe that the ECAC is an underrated league, they could end up with no one at the big dance. The pair wise at this point would heavily penalize Union or Cornell if they loose to a TCU team. That being said, if Union Sweeps, both Colgate and Cornell, and some teams do their part, you could be looking at a #1 seed.

  3. UMass-Lowell not in and Merrimack even having a chance has to be the longest shot out there.  Maine could very well beat BU – they did so 2x recently, but no way Providence wins the HEA tourney….

  4. Michigan State is in. Can’t find a way to get them out unless another non favorite type of team wins their tourney. MSU and WMU are tied for 14th and MSU wins the comparison.

  5. Glad to see that the WCHA has scuttled the consolation game.  I’d rather have the postseason tourney be the means to win your way into the NCAA field than lose your way out.

  6. Single-elimination games at the top eight seeds one weekend, then at the top four remaining seeds the next, then neutral-site Frozen Four. If that’s not feasible to host one game apiece per site, then best-of-three the first two rounds – just not two-game total goals series or tiebreaking “mini-games”

    • The big problem with the 3 game series is injuries, and that’s coming from the Coaches. Plus it also takes the excitement out of lower seed moving forward. But I do agree on campus sites for first round of 16 and campus sites for the second round of 8.

  7. I guess it’s just coincidence that the committee chair floating this idea happens to be AD at a school with one of the largest campus arenas in college hockey. It’s not like his school would benefit from concession revenues or anything like that.

    Certainly from the fairness perspective, I am opposed to on-campus sites if this means the top seeds get to play at home, which would seem the primary reason for the proposal. I would be less opposed if campus sites were used as neutral sites.

    I would rule out sites with international-sized ice. I actually prefer the larger ice but since most college teams do not play on this, I think it is an unfair advantage that those few that do.

    I think the ideas regarding super-regionals and packing lots of games into a short period of time overlook some important issues. Once is ice quality. I’ve seen some suggestions of four games in a day, which is absurd considering how difficult it is to keep good ice for just two games. On TV, the ice for the second game in Fargo last night looked pretty bad. I would think you would want the best possible conditions for a national tournament. Add to this not only heavy use of the ice but also the time of year, where in many places it is no longer cold outside, making more difficult to keep good ice (not all rinks have air-conditioning).

    The other issue regarding super-regionals is ticket pricing and attendance. Regionals are already expensive. If you double the number of games from three games in two days to six games in four days are you going to double ticket prices? Are you going to sell separate packages for the Thursday-Saturday and Friday-Sunday games? If the latter, how does this help attendance, or do you really expect people to show up for all four days? Regardless of how many teams/games there were, Manchester would still have been empty for UMN-UMD last night.

    Am I the only one who would go to all the games even if my team lost in the first game of the first day? How much of a fan are you really if you only watch your team’s games?

    Speaking of UNM-UMD, I was very surprised by the sparse attendance for that game after all the talk on these boards about how well the Minn fans travel. OTOH, if the game had been played at a tiny rink like the one in Fargo it would have looked a lot more full. :)

    I agree with the other comments that it was idiotic to make the BU-Yale game the early game. It’s not as if most of the folks who attend these games are students, and having the local team play on a weekday afternoon is stupid if you are concerned about attendance. No doubt ESPN wanted the boring UNM-UMD game in the evening so folks in Minnesota could be home from work to watch. In fairness, ESPN couldn’t have predicted how uninteresting the late game would be.

    I’ve only ever been to just one regional myself, in Worcester in the ’00s. Attendance was really quite good—the teams were BU, BC, North Dakota, and Mercyhurst (UND won the region). There was a good contingent of UND fans. In terms of travel, Manchester is a lot easier than Worcester because the airport is just a few miles from the arena, whereas you pretty much need to fly into Boston to get to Worcester (as far as I know the is no commercial service into the Worcester airport).

    I’m interested to see what the crowd is like in Providence this afternoon. Only one of the schools has an undergraduate enrollment of more than 10,000 (Miami). I’m hoping BC can find some scoring and get past Denver so they can knock Miami out of the tournament once again (but I don’t expect this to happen).

  8. Why not go East/West? Why move teams around so much? Essentially HE and ECAC in East with NCHC and WCHA in West with BT and AH as swing leagues. You would get shorter commutes for fans and more rivalry match ups.


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