ECAC West Weekly Picks, Dec. 2-7

Neumann threw me a curve before Thanksgiving.  I had picked the Knights to beat Manhattanville and then lose to Utica but the opposite happened.  Go figure.
Other than that, my picks were pretty close to dead on, particularly the tournament games of Hobart and Elmira.
This week, there is one last round of league games Friday night before the teams head back out for nonconference play.  My upset special this week is Neumann over Elmira Friday night.  The Knights need to reign in Elmira if anyone hopes to catch the Soaring Eagles for the title later in the season.
Last Week:  7-3      
Overall:  15-5 (.750)
{predicted winners bolded}
Friday, December 2
Utica at Manhattanville – Which Manhattanville team will show up?  The one that beat Neumann on the road 7-4, or the one that lost to WNE and tied Williams?  Utica seems like a more consistent pick.
Elmira at Neumann – “It was a tough, hard-fought game up at our place three weeks ago,” said Elmira coach Aaron Saul.  “They always seem to do very well in their rink.”
Saturday, December 3
Fredonia at Elmira – Elmira will need to break through the usually staunch Fredonia trap.
Geneseo at Hobart – Hobart is idle on Friday, while Geneseo has a tough league game against Morrisville.  A more rested Statesmen team should have the advantage.
Buffalo State at Utica – Buffalo State has big wins against Plattsburgh and St. Thomas, so Utica has to be careful after coming off the game against Manhattanville.
Tuesday, December 6
Manhattanville at Conn. College – The Valiants need to become more consistent, particularly when playing the schools from New England.
Wednesday, December 7
Hobart at Buffalo State – Hobart gets a midweek road game at Buffalo State to warm up for Oswego next weekend.

154 COMMENTS

  1. What’s with all the Union hate? I true;y see Union as a serious contender for a national championship. They’re very balanced through every line and have solid goaltending. They have just a good shot as any other team there.

    • I think they do have a chance but when they have to go through BC and then either MN or UND you have to understand that it is Union with zero national titles versus three teams that are regular visitors to the FF as well as getting the job done and winning it all. Just much larger fan bases for the other three schools.
      Honestly I am as big a UND fan as there is and really hoping they can get through MN to the championship game but the honest truth is that if all 4 of these teams play their best and no crazy goals, etc the two best team seem to be BC and MN and that would make a great game, but they play the games for a reason. Both UND and Union have a chance for sure and I would not be that surprised to see Union in the championship game but to have to beat BC and MN in three days is a lot to ask of any team.
      And even though the ECAC had a great year last year until the conference wins it a few more times, you are still going to have people thinking to themselves, Union is from the ECAC and just not as well tested maybe as the MN’s and BC’s of the world.

      • Also, I think people give a lot of respect to big name talent, which is what fills the roster at MN, UND, BC, MI, WI, etc. every year.
        Problem is, a bunch of talent does not necessarily make a great team. Plus, it’s really hard for the perennial powerhouses to keep all that talent for four, sometimes even three, years.
        So once in a while there’s a great opportunity for a team with a lot of less-famous talent, experienced leaders, and a good coach to grab a title.
        I think that’s what UMD did three years ago, and what everyone in the FF almost did last year.

  2. Recent (last 8-9 years) history: seems to me that the Gophers start out the season fast & slow down. This year, they’ve found another gear and will be ready on the 10th. The Sioux, with yet another young & talented team (15 NHL draftees!) did their normal start 4-7-2(I think) & finished 25-13-3. Both teams can skate, and both are riding great goaltending. I think ZGot is hotter right now & that’s what matters. I also see UM not playing on a “big sheet” and that’s a big deal for them. The Sioux are tougher & have a chip (deserved) on their shoulders for squeaking into the round of 16 and I see them winning 4-2.
    I can’t believe that the nimrod who thought up the extra-week delay, still has a job! Play Friday / Sunday! I’m quite sure that the hockey championship game & the NCAA Women’s championship game will not hurt each other!!!
    Go SIOUX!!!

    • Gophers haven’t played on a big sheet in a few weeks. They managed to beat Michigan on their small sheet to win the B1G reg season title and they also managed to completely dismantle and send both Robert Morris (who cares) and St. Cloud St. (NCHC reg season champ) home in the fetal position in the West Regional on a small sheet at the Xcel Center.
      Don’t you worry yourself, the Gophers can play on the small sheet. The question is can NoDak keep up? It should be a great game…it usually is between these two schools.

      • UND can most certainly keep up. Speed will be matched with speed come next Thursday. I think UND has an advantage in a key spot and that is depth. Rodwell, Gaarder, St. Clair/Odonnell/panzerella, etc., 3rd/4th line all play with speed and power (Rodwell is an absolute beast. Combo of speed and power) and rarely lose puck battles. UND wins if this is grind-it-out type of game. Contain, contain, contain.

        • Sorry to burst your bubble, but the Gophers have more depth than NoDak. They have been winning by playing four strong and speedy lines all year.

          • Burst my bubble? Hardly. I think we’re gonna have to agree to disagree here. My point is that it’s the KIND of depth. Speed and power. Riley, Guertler, Letterri vs. Gaarder, Rodwell, O’Donnell is a win for UND.

          • A one line win for UND. But isn’t that your third line? Your comparing them to the MN fourth line? Not really a fair comparison. Maybe they should be compared to Kloos, Cammarata, and Condon. Good luck with that.

          • I saw ND get owned by a last place team in the NCHC semifinals at Target Center. Must’ve left all that speed and power back in Grand Forks,because it sure wasn’t visible in Minneapolis.

          • I saw Minny get owned by a garbage OSU team, too, but hey… look… both teams are still playing! This all you got, buddy?

        • We’ll see next Thursday if they can keep up. Minny runs four lines deep (any of which can score at any time), three pairs deep on D and has young Mr. Wilcox in goal.
          Univ of NoDak will need more than talk to deal with that. They’ll need to play flawlessly and get lucky.

          • Just like they got lucky against Wis, then got lucky against Ferris? Must b kinda nervous if the “lucky” excuse is already coming out. If, I repeat, IF, the Goofs beat the Sioux it will be because they are the better team, not because they didn’t get the bounces, had the refs against them, or whatever excuse is convenient. I’m looking forward to a great matchup, and if it goes Minny’s way, I will be heartbroken. I will also tip my cap.

          • TT, I’m not sure who said anything about refs or made any other excuses for the Gophers. IMO both schools earned a spot in the Frozen Four the good old fashioned way…its just that the Gophers are a deeper team that had a much better regular season and a much easier time of things in the regional against a Robert Morris team that they should have beaten something like 7-3, and a SCSU team that not even Gophers fans thought the boys in Maroon and Gold would take out 4-0. So why don’t you go ahead and take that chip on your shoulder somewhere else. Quite honestly … it really hasn’t been missed in Minneapolis.

          • Their fourth line and most of their third line goal totals seem to suggest that no, they can’t score at any time. Give me a break…. you make Minny sound like they shouldn’t be giving UND the time of day. UND can beat this Minnesota team. You tell me that UND needs more than talk to deal with your team, same goes for your precious Gophers, pal.

          • I can see that its still way too easy to get under the skin of a NoDaker. One doesn’t even have to be trying to do so. A little insecure about that place in the Frozen Four? Well, come next Thursday that insecurity will more likely than not be borne out.

          • It’s just the old, worn out “holier than thou” attitude that you and other Minny fans constantly spew. They are a good team. Not questioning that . But to suggest that UND can’t hang with them and will need to “play perfectly and get lucky” to win, is just simply not true. They can play with Minny and if they do pull off an upset, it won’t be simple luck that got them there. UND isn’t getting the respect that they deserve in this one from the overwhelming majority of UM fans. That’s all I’m saying. UND can and will hang with the mighty gophers.

          • That “holier than thou” attitude you write of is far more a figment of yours and a lot of other NoDak fans imaginations than anything else. You read into these posts what you wanted to. Now, I’m done with this exchange because honestly, its boring the heck out of me. Enjoy the game next Thursday.

  3. Union and Minny fans, props to your great team’s and great seasons, but remember the top line wasnt together 2013 and wasnt together for the weekend in Minny either, keep in mind this BC team starts 9 freshman 3 starting D, 1 starting in net, youngest team in NCAA so even if the Eagles lose this year(which I dont think they will) be very afraid for the next 4 years, as next years 1a or 1b reccruiting class is coming to the heights as well, looking forward to some great hockey, world class talent on Minny, world class systems on Union, NoDak you had a great run

    • As long as the games are exciting and well-played, none of us will have anything to complain about, really.
      Disappointed if our team loses, yes, but no reason to be too upset.

    • Also keep in mind MN starts 8 freshmen, 2 of which are defensemen, and scored the most goals of any freshmen class. BC really only starts 8 freshmen, including the 3 D and the G. Include the 2 sophomores on D for BC and you see the reason why they might lose, they are a little green on the back end.

    • Seriously? The first two of the three are about both teams. And even if that weren’t the case, it’s all about where the story lies, not some “to the victor goes the spoils” quota. I had already written an entire segment on Woll outplaying Oettinger, until the two goals in the closing minutes rendered that segment useless and it got replaced by “It ain’t over.” In the past, I’ve been called “that BC grad” (which I’m not) by BU partisans for all the glowing things I’ve written about the Eagles. It’s all about the story. In fact, you’ll see that my mini-feature/recap was 80 percent about Notre Dame leaving Hockey East without any hardware even though Lowell won the game.

    • Seriously? The first two of the three are about both teams. And even if that weren’t the case, it’s all about where the story lies, not some “to the victor goes the spoils” quota. I had already written an entire segment on Woll outplaying Oettinger, until the two goals in the closing minutes rendered that segment useless and it got replaced by “It ain’t over.” In the past, I’ve been called “that BC grad” (which I’m not) by BU partisans for all the glowing things I’ve written about the Eagles. It’s all about the story. In fact, you’ll see that my mini-feature/recap was 80 percent about Notre Dame leaving Hockey East without any hardware even though Lowell won the game.

  4. So BC won a typical BU-BC game and UMLowell won somewhat handily… Lowell has owned BC last 2 seasons or so… Is BC playing well enough to get a must win or will they be going home? Any thoughts?

    • Jake – UMASS Lowell has owned BC because their players are 23 – 25 years old. Big age difference…..don’t you think ?!???

      • Maybe so, but the talent gap isn’t as wide as it was during BC’s championship runs a handful of years back. The same (age factor) could be said for ECACH teams Yale and Union, even QU, for some of their success.

  5. So BC won a typical BU-BC game and UMLowell won somewhat handily… Lowell has owned BC last 2 seasons or so… Is BC playing well enough to get a must win or will they be going home? Any thoughts?

    • Jake – UMASS Lowell has owned BC because their players are 23 – 25 years old. Big age difference…..don’t you think ?!???

      • Maybe so, but the talent gap isn’t as wide as it was during BC’s championship runs a handful of years back. The same (age factor) could be said for ECACH teams Yale and Union, even QU, for some of their success.

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