ECAC Northeast/MASCAC picks: Dec. 30

Don’t look for any conference games this weekend, as ECAC Northeast and MASCAC teams will ring in the new year with a slate of nonconference and tournament games.
The holiday break will officially be over Friday for the ECAC Northeast, when Salve Regina and Becker open against nonconference opponents in the St. Michael’s Holiday Classic in Colchester, Vt. Three days later, the MASCAC schedule resumes after the holiday break when Salem State hosts Colby on Monday.
I went 4-2 on my picks last week, moving to 22-12-5 this season. Here’s this week’s pick-six:
ECAC Northeast
Becker vs. Wesleyan, St. Michael’s Holiday Classic, Colchester, Vt., 1 p.m. Friday
Becker opens the tournament at St. Michael’s against Wesleyan, looking to snap a four-game losing streak, and will play the first half of back-to-back tournament weekends in its schedule. Nik Tasiopoulos leads Wesleyan with 12 points (eight goals, four assists) in his first eight games. Pick: Wesleyan 3-2
Salve Regina vs. St. Michael’s, St. Michael’s Holiday Classic, Colchester, Vt., 4 p.m. Friday
Salve Regina is winless since November 27, and in that time the Seagulls have scored four goals, all in a 7-4 loss December 9 at Geneseo. This could be a battle of attrition of sorts; St. Michael’s has one win this season, a 5-3 decision November 11 at Southern Maine. Pick: Salve Regina 3-1
Hamilton at Curry, 2:35 p.m. Saturday
Curry resumes its season after a 23-day break between games, while Hamilton resumes its season after a 21-day break between games. However, Curry enters the final weekend of the calendar year on a seven-game winning streak, while Hamilton has lost three of its last four games. Pick: Curry 5-2
Bowdoin at Wentworth, 7 p.m. Tuesday
Wentworth won three of its final four games before the holiday break, and opens the new year with three nonconference games: first hosting Bowdoin, then traveling to New Hampshire next weekend (January 7-8) for two games at Plymouth State. Against Bowdoin, the Leopards will face goalie Richard Nerland. The senior is second in the nation with a 1.77 goals-against average, and is one of three goalies tied for sixth in the nation with a .932 saves percentage. Pick: Bowdoin 3-1
Colby at Salem State, 6 p.m. Monday
Salem State will play three nonconference games in a five-day stretch next week, opening the new year against Colby, a team that has only two wins so far this season. The Vikings meanwhile, look to start the new year with a clean slate — Salem State ended its four-game December schedule with a 4-0 loss to Worcester State in a MASCAC game. Pick: Salem State 4-3
Williams at Westfield State, 7:35 p.m. Tuesday
Westfield State scored five goals in its final four games before the holiday break — all losses — and faces Williams, a squad that’s lost once this season. Williams is 10th in the nation in team defense, allowing an average of 2.12 goals a game, Westfield State is the most penalized team in the nation, averaging 25.3 minutes a game. Pick: Williams 6-3



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