Game of the Week
For the second week in a row, a mark-your-calendar game from the preview takes place. This time, it is Geneseo’s key game, traveling up to Oswego on Friday. I picked this game because it was the first big test for Geneseo to see if they can leapfrog to the front.
An even bigger test being in Oswego. An even more difficult test since Oswego just came off a loss to Utica. Have you ever seen a mad Laker? (Well, neither have I, but that’s besides the point…)
Oswego has shown offensive power in its three wins, scoring at least six goals a game. If that offense wakes up again, watch out Ice Knights.
Geneseo will have to rely on its tight-checking game to keep Oswego in check and avoid any neutral ice turnovers.
“They are such a deep team,” Geneseo coach Chris Schultz said. “Their forwards are so darn fast. Their defensemen are very skilled. We have to play a perfect game to win. We have to make sure we take care of the puck, especially in the neutral zone. If we don’t get pucks deep and we turn the puck over, they are rushing three to four guys. They’ll do that every time, and they will punish you every time. Everybody knows that. We just have to play a very simple style of hockey. We have to block shots. We have to play Geneseo Ice Knight hockey in order to win. It’s doable. It’s absolutely doable. But there has to be a 21-man commitment on our bench.”
It is doable, but I’m going to take the “safe” pick, and take Oswego, especially since they will be coming in knowing they can not just phone it in.
In the first week of picks, I was virtually perfect in the conference games, but only got one out of three in the nonconference games for a total of 7-2-1 (.750).
Another intriguing contest also takes place on Friday — Fredonia at Morrisville. A big test for both these teams, and two points that will make a big difference in February.
“It’s always a tough game,” Fredonia coach Jeff Meredith said. “It’s going to be a battle. We’re going on the road against a team that likes to play on the edge, likes to get after you, mix it up. We need to go to Morrisville with what we brought to Geneseo.”
I’m a bit biased since I’ve seen Fredonia, and I like what I saw, so I’ll take the Blue Devils.
Friday is chock full of intriguing games. Brockport at Cortland is a contest that will go a long way in determining positioning at the end of the season, and maybe even a playoff chance for one of these teams. Cortland has beaten Hobart, so on paper, the Red Dragons have been more impressive after the first weekend, so I’ll pick them to win.
Saturday sees four more conference games. Geneseo will beat Cortland, Buffalo State will take Morrisville, Oswego will have no trouble against Brockport, and Plattsburgh will win the first battle of the North Country in Potsdam.
Game of the Week