ECAC Northeast and MASCAC Weekend Preview: Feb. 10

It’s not even the weekend yet and already the standings have flipped in both conferences thanks to some pre-weekend games Thursday.
In the  ECAC Northeast, Curry topped Nichols 6-1 to move into a tie with Johnson and Wales for first.  The lose marks the third in a row for the Bisons, who slip into fifth.
Over in  the MASCAC, UMass-Darmouth rolled over Westfield State to move into a tie with Plymouth State, who jumped over Salem State with a 4-3 win over the Vikings Thursday. Meanwhile, Fitchburg State was shocked by Framingham State, who scored four third period goals, including the game winner at 19:31.
With those games in the books, and just two weekends left in the ECAC Northeast and three in the MASCAC, here’s a look at the upcoming schedule.
Saturday, Feb. 11
Curry at Salve Regina: The Seahawks have hung in against some of the conference’s top competition as of late, including the last time these teams meet on Jan. 22.  But with the schedule winding down and the chance to bank points slipping away, this is a game Curry can’t afford to give away. I don’t think they will. Curry 6, Salve Regina 3
Nichols at Suffolk: After winning four games in a row, Nichols has now dropped their last three contests to fall to 5-6 in conference play. The Bisons are a tough team to get a read on,  but they definitely have the talent to make a run in the playoffs if they can put things together and get the right matchups.  A win against Suffolk would help start that process. Nichols 5, Suffolk 2
Western New England at Johnson & Wales: The Wildcats perch in first lasted barely 24 hours, as Curry’ quickly grabbed two points to move back into a deadlock. JWU easily handled the Golden Bears last time around, an 8-2 win on Jan. 22. Penalties were a problem for JWU against Becker this week, but when the Wildcats are at full strength they’ll simply have too much firepower for WNEC to handle. Johnson & Wales 7, Western New England 4

Fitchburg State at Salem State: The Falcons are coming off a loss to last place Framingham State and need to rebound quickly if they hope to move up the ladder. It’s not going to easy against the Vikings, who are currently a point out of first. Salem State should narrowly take this one. Salem State 4, Fitchburg State 3 (OT)
Worcester State at Framingham State: This is a game that has surprising implications in the standings.  A Rams win would move them just two points behind Worcester State for fifth place, while the Lancers could solidify a playoff berth and essentially bury Framingham with a four point lead in the standings.  I think the win against Fitchburg should give the Rams a lot of confidence heading into the game and help inch them up the standings. Framingham State 5, Worcester State 4
Plymouth State at UMass-Dartmouth: A battle for first place, with each team currently owning 19 points in conference play. Given the way things have gone in the MASCAC, it wouldn’t be shocking to see a tie here and a win by Salem State to create a three-way tie for first. A crazy thought, for sure. A more realistic snapshot shows a tight, defensive minded game featuring  two of the conference’s top goaltenders in PSU’s Jack Astedt and UMD’S Colin Tracy. Give Plymouth State the narrow edge in both the game and conference standings. Plymouth State 2, UMD 1
Sunday, Feb. 12
Wentworth at Becker: The lone Sunday action of the weekend give third place Wenworth a chance to put some distance between fourth place Becker, who are two points behind the Leopards. Essentially a four point swing, Wentworth should come out on top in this one. Wentworth 4, Becker 2