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.