ECAC Northeast and MASCAC Weekend Preview: Jan 14

Before taking a look at what’s set for the weekend, here’s a look at the midweek action, including a milestone win at Nichols and some shifts in the MASCAC standings.
Thursday, Jan. 13
Nichols 4, Southern New Hampshire 3: Nichols held off a pesky Southern New Hampshire team in a non-conference game which had been rescheduled from Wednesday due to the ferocious winter storm that blanketed the northeast.  The win gave seventh year head coach Lou Izzi his 100th career win at Nichols. Izzi, who has had only one losing season at Nichols, is the program’s winningest coach with a 100-72-11 mark.  His overall record is 186-27-14, and includes a six year stint to begin  at league rival Johnson & Wales.
Andrew Ella had two goals for the Bisons, including the game winner, while Will Munson  scored the game’s first goal and assisted on Ella’s game winning tally.
Manhattanville 2, Curry 1: A late third period goal by No.4 Manhattanville proved to be the difference against Curry, who had tied the game  just five minutes earlier.  The Valiant’s first goal came on the power play, while the Colonels were unable to convert any of their seven chances with the man advantage.
Geneseo 9, Western New England 1: After getting their first win in nearly two months Tuesday against Connecticut College, the Golden Bears fell victim to a flurry of Geneseo goals, including seven in the final two periods.
Plymouth State 3, Worcester State 1: After a pair of mildly frustrating ties at Wentworth over the weekend, Plymouth State jumped into a tie for first place in the MASCAC with a win at Worcester State.   Penalties were a problem over the weekend for the Panthers, who were called for just three infractions Thursday.  A David Rose power play goal early in the second period upped Plymouth State’s lead to 2-0, but the Lancers cut that in half minutes later on John Cahalane’s goal, but Alex Cottle’s strike at the end of the second capped the scoring for both teams.
Salem State 5, Massachusetts-Dartmouth 0: A three goal outburst in just under two minutes turned a close game into a blowout and helped Salem State grab a share of first with Plymouth State. Leading 1-0 coming into the final period,  Salem added a goal at the 7:15 mark before  blowing it open with goals at 11:11, 11:42, and 12:55, respectively. Freshman Ben Vandervies played the last 8:18 in net for the Corsairs, marking the first time this season someone else other then Collin Tracy manned the net for UMD.
Framingham State 3, Westfield State 1: The Rams scored two goals early and then added a late third period goal to secure their first win of the season and move into a tie with Westfield State for the final playoff spot.  The defeat extended the Owls’ losing streak to five.
Upcoming Games
Friday, Jan. 14
Becker at Assumption: Assumption opened the year with wins over Suffolk and host Becker in the Becker Ice Breaker, but has since posted an 0-3 mark against ECAC Northeast competition. Look for that to continue today. Becker 3, Assumption 1
Johnson & Wales at Buffalo State: A good non-conference test for the Wildcats, who presently sit in first with a 4-0 ECAC Northeast record. Buffalo State. The Bengals have struggled a bit since checking in at the No. 15 spot on the poll in late November, but still sit in fourth in a talented SUNYAC conference. Give them the slight edge here. Buffalo State 5, Johnson & Wales 3
Saturday, Jan. 15
Western New England at Worcester State: The teams opened the 2010-11 season with a 3-3 tie. Since then, Western New England has cooled considerably since a hot start, while Worcester State had been gathering steam before a 3-1 loss at home to Plymouth State Thursday night. The Lancers should get back on track against WNEC. Worcester State 4, Western New England 1
Hobart at Curry: The last in string of tough non-conference opponents sees Hobart travel to Curry.  The Colonels came close against No. 4 Manhattanville; I think they’ll grab the win here. Curry 4, Hobart 2
Johnson & Wales at Buffalo State: The closing match of the two game series up north should send the Wildcats home with a win.  Johnson & Wales 5, Buffalo State 3
Utica at Suffolk: The first game of the weekend in Boston comes against Suffolk,  who has struggled to find any consistency.  If the Rams are going to steal a game against No. 11 Utica, they’ll need a top notch effort in goal from Jeff Rose.  Utica 4, Suffolk 0
Plymouth State at Salem State: A key matchup in the MASCAC. Each team toppled the squad ahead of them in the standings to set up a battle for first place Saturday. This one is a push, but I’ll take Salem State-barely. Salem State 3, Plymouth State 2  (OT)
Fitchburg State at Framingham State: Framingham State is fresh off their first win, while the Falcons are on the heels of a 3-2 overtime loss to New England College on Tuesday. Fitchburg State 5, Framingham State 1
Westfield State at UMass-Dartmouth: As noted above, the Corsairs imploded in a 5-0 loss to Salem State. They should get back on track against the Owls, who have struggled mightily this year. UMass-Darmouth 5, Westfield State 2
Sunday, Jan. 16
Hobart at Nichols: Assuming Hobart losses to Curry Saturday, I don’t see them finishing their weekend in the ECAC Northeast without a win. Nichols will be tough, but Hobart should squeak this  one out. Hobart 4, Nichols 3
Becker at Salve Regina: One of the few conference games of the week in the ECAC Northeast. Becker was dealt its first conference loss of the season last week by Johnson & Wales, but they should get one back against the Seahawks. Becker 4, Salve Regina 1
Utica at Wentworth: One of the final non-conference games for a young Wentworth squad that peaked before the break, but has since been trying to adjust to a second semester that has seen it lose players to snow delays and practice time to coop jobs. If they can pull it all together by Sunday, they could give Utica a run. I’m tempted to call the upset, but how about a tie instead?  Utica 3, Wentworth 3