ECAC Northeast and MASCAC Weekend Preview: January 7

While some teams participated in holiday tournaments over the winter break, most of the action is getting back underway this weekend, with a few squads taking part in midweek contests over the past several days. Here’s a look at the mostly non-conference action underway this weekend.
Friday, January 7.
Curry at Utica, 7 p.m.
Curry came back early from break to compete in the Cardinal Classic, losing to Plattsburgh 7-1 on New Year’s Eve before taking the third place game 8-5 against New England College. Utica (9-4, 2-2 ECAC West) has been off for a almost a month. Once the rust shakes off, look for Utica to squeak out the win. Utica 4, Curry 2.
Western New England at Brockport, 7 p.m.
A weekend series between two teams that have struggled a bit this season. Brockport got its first win of the Dec. 4 against SUNYAC opponent Cortland, and enters the weekend with a 1-12-1 record overall. Meanwhile WNEC got off to a hot start, but has lost six in a row. Brockport fell to Hobart 5-2 Tuesday, while the Golden Bears are back in action for the first time in month. Brockport 4, Western New England 3
Saturday, January 8
Western New England at Brockport, 3 p.m.
The second game of the weekend series is an afternoon affair. Weekend sweeps are tough in college hockey, so look for WNEC to bounce back. On a side note, a sweep for WNEC would push the Golden Bears to within one game .500 and would be a big boost heading into conference play. Western New England 5, Brockport 3
Salve Regina at Massachusetts-Dartmouth, 4:30.
The Corsairs are a very solid team backboned by an excellent goalie in senior Collin Tracy. The Seahawks were swept in the PSU invitational on New Year’s by a combined score of 17-2. Things won’t get any easier against UMass-Dartmouth. UMass-Dartmouth 6, Salve Regina 1
Nichols at Assumption, 4:35
A non-conference matchup between two teams that have gotten some action in since the break. The Greyhounds beat Westfield State on a last second goal on Tuesday and gave several ECAC Northeast teams trouble early in the year, but fell to Fitchburg State 9-3 Thursday. Look for Nichols to come out on top. Nichols 7, Assumption 2
Curry at Oswego, 7:00
Probably the non-conference matchup of the season thus far for either the MASCAC or ECAC Northeast. Oswego (13-2) was ranked No.1 in the last USCHO National Poll of 2010 before falling to No. 2. It will be a great test for the Colonels. It’s unlikely they’ll pull out the win, especially on the road, but it should help get them ready for the upcoming conference race. Oswego 6, Curry 2
Sunday, January 9
Plymouth State at Wentworth, noon.
Good matchup between two contending teams in the MASCAC and ECAC Northeast, respectively. This is the first  of two games at Matthews Arena in Boston, with the series finale coming Monday night. Again, weekend sweeps are tough, so look for the teams to split the series. It’s a matchup of two good young goalies in Panthers sophomore  Jack Astedt and Wentworth freshman Chris Azzano. Wentworth 3, Plymouth State 2
Becker at Johnson & Wales, 3:05 p.m.
The only conference game of the weekend features a team that has been off since the middle of December, and a team in Becker that has played four games since the break. The extra games haven’t done much good for Becker, as they are only 1-3 in those contests. Becker is more of a defense minded team matched up against the Wildcats’  fast paced attack. I think JWU will deal the Hawks their first conference loss of the season. Johnson & Wales 4, Becker 2
Overall Picks Record: 45-28