ECAC East/NESCAC Game Predictions – 1/7 – 1/12/2011

The holidays are over and now it’s moving time. Moving as in up or down in the league standings as it’s back to conference play this weekend in January.  Four points on the line and each of them very valuable based on happenings in both conferences so far this season.  Time to get it going boys!
Picks are just on the plus side of .500 and with another 28 games to pick this week hopefully the percentages go up a bit.
Last Week -                11-11-5
Overall Record -      45-44-11 (.505)
Winners in bold
Friday, January 7, 2011
Bowdoin @ Norwich – The Cadets are coming off two sub-par performances against Manhattanville and Plattsburgh. Bowdoin and their offense won’t make it any easier for the Cadets – Bowdoin 4, Norwich 3.
Colby @ St. Michael’s Colby seems to play much better when they are not at home so this road trip may be a welcome event – Colby 4, St. Mike’s 1.
Castleton @ Trinity – After a weekend of ties, the Bantams would like to discover two points but this isn’t the team to expect it from.  The Spartans top line will get attention from the Bantams so look for some other scorers in green – Castleton 4, Trinity 2.
Skidmore @ Wesleyan – Both of these teams want to pick it up in the second half and this one may be just the basic formula of who wants it more.  Skidmore does – Skidmore 4, Wesleyan 1.
Conn College @ UMass-Boston – A new year for the Beacons who want to put the Codfish Bowl and 2010’s last game behind them.  Nothing better than a first win in 2011 to start things off – UMB 5, Conn Coll 3.
Tufts @ Babson- Paging Dr. Jekyll, paging Dr. Hyde… Who knows which one of these teams will show up with their A game as both had seen promising glimpses but not enough to be consistently in the win column.  With or without Barchard in goal, the Jumbos have the jump – Tufts 3, Babson 2.
Middlebury@ Hamilton – Interesting match-up of teams trying to really rev it up and move up in the league standings.  Hamilton has played well in the New Year but so have the deeper and more experienced Panthers – Middlebury 3, Hamilton 1.
Williams @ Amherst – This may be the match-up of the weekend for a lot of reasons.  Williams has not played since the break so this is the first time out in 2011 and against a tough team.  The Ephs haven’t given up more than a goal a game average but do here – Williams 3, Amherst 2.
St. Anselm @ Southern Maine – The Huskies certainly have some firepower and this one could be a pretty wide open affair on the big sheet.  It comes down to one big save and USM gets it – USM 5, St. A’s 4.
NEC@ UNE – If someone, anyone other than a Uola scores for NEC then this game should be a lock.  Meanwhile not many people have stopped Niko Uola this year and UNE won’t either – NEC 4, UNE 2.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Bowdoin @ St. Michael’s – The Polar Bears won’t let down here as they stay right in Williams’ rear view mirror.  Bowdoin 6, St. Mike’s 2.
Colby @ Norwich – Don’t know and can’t remember the last time the Cadets dropped three in a row and definitely not three in a row at home – Norwich 4, Colby 2.
Castleton@ Wesleyan – The Spartans won’t take their foot of the gas on the road and Wesleyan already has trouble in the goal scoring department – Castleton 5, Wesleyan 2.
Skidmore @ Trinity – A home split for the Bantams isn’t great but certainly beats no points on the weekend.  Another close affair in Hartford – Trinity 3, Skidmore 1.
Tufts @ UMB – This is a backyard brawl that will see special teams be a big part of the outcome.  Would predict a tie here but think a lucky bounce throws it to the Jumbos – Tufts 4, UMB 3.
Conn College @ Babson – Splits seem to be the call in a lot of rinks and that is not hedging any bets on my part.  Competition is just that close and little things make the difference.  Terry Woods is the difference here – Babson 5, Conn Coll 3.
Middlebury @ Amherst – Two teams that always seem to have a tight battle and the magic number seems to be 4.  Whoever can score that usually wins but no one gets there on Saturday – Amherst 3, Middlebury 2.
Williams @ Hamilton – This is likely the trap game of the weekend just based on the schedule and travel from Friday.  That said if you can’t score on them you can’t beat them – Williams 2, Hamilton 1.
NEC @ USM – The second half is traditionally where Jeff Beaney’s team kicks it into gear.  A four point weekend has them on the right path – USM 5, NEC 3.
St. Anselm @ UNE – League play continues to plague the Nor’easters who are getting more competitive every time out but close isn’t good enough here – St. A’s 5, UNE 3.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Babson @ Suffolk – A mid-week non-conference game is just what the Beavers need to start a second half winning streak – Babson 5, Suffolk 1.
Castleton @ Potsdam – An easy one to look past for the Spartans but this team seems to be all business every time out on the ice and Coach Todd is loving it – Castleton 4, Potsdam 1.
Fitchburg State @ NEC – The Pilgrims have been very inconsistent and Fitchburg will bring a very physical presence to the game.  Robert Vorse has been out with a concussion but Bobby Leiser has been a very solid replacement in the Falcon net.  No easy ones for NEC – FSU 4, NEC 3.
Hamilton @ Amherst – This travel partner game definitely finds the advantage with the home team based on not having to take the long bus trip and find their legs.  Always close but Cole Anderson is the difference maker here – Amherst 4, Hamilton 2.
Conn College @ WNEC – Here the road team just has too much depth for the Golden Bears.  Andrew Margolin has proved to be pretty consistent in goal for the Camels and he shines in this one – Conn Coll 5, WNEC 2.
Johnson & Wales @ Tufts - This is a rivalry game that goes back to old ECAC days and still plays like a conference game.  The Jumbos are the more talented team and it shows here – Tufts 6, J&W 1.
Trinity @ Westfield State – Wins against any team can help to build some momentum so the Bantams aren’t likely to take this trip to Massachusetts lightly.  Frustrations from the weekend go away here – Trinity 5, Westfield State 1.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Franklin Pierce @ UNE The Nor’easters have shown steady improvement and have had their best successes this season against other ECAC Northeast and NE-10 teams.  The storyline is similar in this one – UNE 5, Franklin Pierce 4.
We are back to the full grind of the season.  Teams looking to avoid the injury bug, flu bug, travel issues, weather issues and overall just about anything that would have an impact on not playing their best every time out.  The race is on and January is where we start separating the contenders from the pretenders.
4 points up for grabs – drop the puck!

6 COMMENTS

  1. Regarding Notre Dame it’s shocking the disconnect between the supposed level of talent on this team and the performance on the ice.
    More drafted players than any other HE team (and more than all but two NCAA teams) and they can’t put together a single period of decent hockey most nights. Take away the 7 games against Lake State, Niagara and UMass and the record is just 3-10-2. Toss in the supposed benefits of playing in a state of the art facility full of all sorts of hockey-specific training bells and whistles and the picture looks even more confusing.
    Youth or inexperience can be blamed for some of the troubles in the play early on, but not after 3 months of games and practices. It also loses some potential for blame when you see how another equally young team in BU is playing. Yes they have a dynamic, likely Hobey Hat Trick finalist freshman skating every night, but one player alone is not responsible for all of the turnaround that team is seeing from last year.
    A change behind the bench is sorely needed. Whether or not that is a complete housecleaning or just getting an associate head coach who can turn around this program is the question. At 6.1% the Notre Dame power play is the worst in the NCAA, not just this year, but the worst in at least a decade among ALL NCAA teams. Those players, in that facility being that bad screams for major changes.

  2. While UConn is good, and likely getting better, beating the same team 3 times in a little over a month’s time is a tall task for any team. Statistics say that the Huskies were due vs UML. I’m hoping it’s a reality check for the River Hawks entering the most critical part of their schedule.

  3. UCONN is good enough to steal a playoff series. Rob Nichols is a great goaltender and he could do just enough to steal a couple games for them in a playoff series. I would not want to play UCONN in an opening round series.

    • If the season ended today, they’d get Notre Dame in the first round. Pretty good draw for UConn, I’d say. Though, it could be looked at as the Battle of who shows up. You never know what you’re going to get with either team on a given night.

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