ECAC Northeast and MASCAC Weekend Preview: Nov. 26

First off, hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving. It’s the holiday season, which means tournaments galore at every level off college hockey, but the one game I’m focused on this weekend in a clash between the top two MASCAC teams on Saturday.

Salem State currently sits at 4-0, 2-0 in MASCAC play, while UMass-Darmouth has gotten off to a 3-1-1 start, including a 1-0-1 mark in conference play.

The Vikings were a trendy pick to be atop the conference, while the Corsairs are looking to rebound following their first losing season in over thirty years. A win would separate Salem State from the rest of the pack, while a win from the Corsairs’ standpoint would leap them over the Vikings into first place and put break a deadlock with Worcester State, who has an identical 1-0-1 record and has garnered three points in MASCAC play.  It should be a close one, but I like Salem State to retain perfection on the road against the Corsairs. Salem State 4, UMass-Dartmouth 3.

A slew of ECAC Northeast teams are taking place in holiday tournaments. Here’s a rundown of what’s on tap for the weekend.

Bowdoin/Colby Faceoff

Host Bowdoin will kick off the tournament facing the US Under 18 team on Saturday, while Suffolk draws Colby (alama mater of my alma mater’s head coach, Northeastern’s Greg Cronin) Saturday at noon. They’ll then face No.4 Bowdoin Sunday.  A tough weekend for the Rams.  Colby 4, Suffolk 2; Bowdoin 5, Suffolk 3

Castleton  Invitational

Becker at Castleton: ECAC East opponent Castleton is off to a 2-0 start for the first time in program history. Look for that to continue, and Becker to take the consolation game against Brockport, who is facing Tufts in the opener.  Castleton 4, Becker 2; Becker 3, Brockport 2


Salve Regina will join UMass-Boston, University of New England and host Southern New Hampshire in the PAL Cup.

The Seahawks are still looking for their first win, and it likely won’t come against UMass-Boston, although I like them to take down host Southern New Hampshire in the consolation game. UMass-Boston 6, Salve Regina 4; Salve Regina 5, Southern New Hampshire 3

Sunday, November 28

Nichols at Babson: Nichols 4, Babson 3

Wesleyan at Wentworth: Wentworth 5, Wesleyan 4

Midweek Recap

I went 5-3 with my midweek picks, pushing my overall record to 19-15.

Western New England gave No. 11 Manhattanville all they could handle in a 7-6 loss, while Worcester State tied Plymouth State 3-3, and Curry picked up its first win of the year against Tufts. Here’s what happened in the rest of the action.

Tuesday, Nov. 23

New England College 9, Salve Regina 0

Suffolk 8, Southern Hampshire 1

Williams 3, Westfield State 1

UMass-Boston 4, Framingham State 2

Babson 3, UMass-Dartmouth 1


  1. “Histories of sustained success?”  Journalistic Creativity at it’s best.  Berenson has traditionally used the GLI as a springboard, and this year seems no different as their slump was in November and December.  However nobody fears the Block(head) M any longer as the “Yost Ghosts” were chased away in 2011 by many teams.  History is a class, not a predestined determination of an outcome of a sport played by 8-24 yr old males.

    The CCHA standings are condensed due to a surprising 1st year by Anastos @ MSU and Murray has kept the Broncos staying relevant (although the offense took the weekend off vs Miami of Ohio), plus as you’ve mentioned recently, the 3 points earned for a regulation W.  Miami of Ohio, OSU and U of M have all played 2 extra games so far, so other than Bowling Green living in the basement this year, almost every contest during the next six weeks will be a “pivotal positional” game.


    • Um, maybe I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that 21 consecutive NCAA appearances is a history of sustained success, nor do I think it’s a stretch to say that a team that has had a run of six consecutive NCAA appearances — and Frozen Four appearances in 2009 and 2011 — makes an argument for a history of sustained success.

      The Broncos were in the NCAA tournament last year for the first time since 1996.  They look like they’ll make the tournament again this year.  This is a good start toward building a history of sustained success — but they haven’t done so yet.

      Players in programs with ongoing success understand better than players from emerging programs how to be successful — even when it appears that they’re slumping.  They may not achieve that success, but they have far more experience at their disposal than players in other programs.

      No one fears Michigan?  Really?  Given their history, I doubt that any coach in the league is thinking, “Gee, I’d really like to face Michigan in the playoffs.”  I’m not sure any coach in the country would say that.  Same goes for the RedHawks.  

      • Other than my “Go Broncos” sign-off, this wasn’t about the Bronco’s and their recent success as much as it was the Michigan Hockey Team’s past success not being relevant in 2012.  Yes, players have to learn how to win, and that confidence is developed with the influence of others.  But sports in general has examples of “teams rising above and surpassing their historical results.  Underachievers and overachievers are why games are played and not decided based on “Statistics”.  And yes, any coach/player lacing up their skates that is should want to play Michigan or Miami University anywhere, anytime, otherwise I don’t want them playing for WMU.  Call Andy Murray and ask him if he “really wants to play Michigan in the playoffs”. 

      • Bob….This has nothing to do with the 1 and 1/2 years of improved play at Western Michigan, but more that Michigan has proven that they can be vulnerable and their history isn’t relevant this year.  They’ve got great players, but the parity in the CCHA that is apparent in the 2011-2012 is more relevant than the overall coaching record of Red Berenson. 

        • The biggest reason for the UM Nov slump was turnovers in the defensive end. (3 unassisted goals by Union was the low point) After 7 game winless streak, UM was still 5th in scoring nationally. Since getting Merrill back the defense has been much improved and they have only one loss (@ND).

  2. I think there will only be 4 CCHA teams. Ideally it’ll be WMU since they’re still in the conference tourney, but MSU could get in if Miami wins the semifinal. Either way, I’d rather see BC get Air Force than see a good CCHA team travel to face the #1 team basically at home in Mass. Of course none of this will matter when Bowling Green wins the AQ.

  3. All season long most of these teams play two game series, then at national tournament time it’s one and done.  Crazy.  Invite half the teams, play best of 3, put the games in town where attendance favors the better team so they won’t play to an empty arena.  Oh and the Frozen Four is in Tampa this year, NCAA officers gotta love that vacation, too bad the fans won’t make it.  As far as Bracketology, interesting science … or lack thereof … earn your berth … then live with it.   GO SIOUX!

  4. Hey Jayson Moy, In your article you state that MN is the highest remaining seed in the WCHA Tourney, isn’t that supposed to be UMD? They are still in the tourney and you have them seeded 3… Was this just a typo or am I missing something?
    Thanks –

      • Ahh that makes sense now. I was just wondering, as the way the article was laid out, they show the NCAA seedings right before the remaining seeds in each tourney so there was no way to tell they were seaking of each individual tourney seedings info. Thanks for the clarification Dan.
        Gooooo Gophers!

  5. SO much disrespect here for Union!  Let’s see, they whipped Michigan, barely lost at Denver and CC (all on the road), beat Merrimack on the road and tied W.Mich twice, and finished first in the league two years running.
    At least Union and the other ECAC teams turn out well-educated, talented gentlemen, whereas the mid-west and western schools churn out toothless, useless MOrons.

  6. I get kick out of this. UML is a higher seed than Maine, yet travels much further, to play Minnesota at its own rink!

  7. Sioux fans…before you talk about trouncing Union, keep in mind there is still a chance of not even making the tournament… SCSU has been playing well lately and might take the final five…

    • I have yet to find a way for UND to be out on the PWR predictor, but needless to say, your right, anything can happen when the playoffs come around.

  8. I found a way to sneak merrimack into the tournament:

    Atlantic Hockey
    Semifinal #2: Niagara defeats RITSemifinal #1: Mercyhurst defeats Air ForceChampionship game: Niagara defeats Mercyhurst

    Semifinal #2: Miami defeats Western MichiganSemifinal #1: Bowling Green defeats MichiganChampionship game: Miami defeats Bowling GreenConsolation game: Michigan defeats Western Michigan

    Semifinal #2: Harvard defeats CornellSemifinal #1: Union defeats ColgateChampionship game: Union defeats HarvardConsolation game: Colgate defeats Cornell

    Hockey East
    Semifinal #2: Maine defeats Boston UniversitySemifinal #1: Providence defeats Boston CollegeChampionship game: Maine defeats Providence

    Semifinal #2: Minnesota-Duluth defeats DenverSemifinal #1: Minnesota defeats North DakotaChampionship game: Minnesota-Duluth defeats Minnesota
    This is not impossible, but HEA and CCHA results are pretty unlikely.  Also, it does not appear that AHA really affects their rankings (maybe some around them?).  In any case, its nice to see they still have a shot regardless of how slim it is.

  9. We should probably all stop trying to talk ANY sense into the sioux fans.  They’re idiots, write posts in ALL CAPS, struggle with every day grammar and the use of apostrophes, and no doubt have to be growing sick of their own whining.  Let’s just give them a break guys, they have to work so much harder to get through life than the rest of us.

    • When I pick the Huskies to win, they lose. When I pick them to lose, they win. I feel like I’m 0-for-the-season with them. Which means, you should hope I pick them to lose next week. :)


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