Game of the Week
This is the second consecutive weekend of all nonconference games for SUNYAC teams, with another 14 taking place, plus one more on Tuesday. Like last week, there are plenty of good games to choose from.
I’m going with two, one on Friday and one on Saturday.
Plattsburgh travels to Middlebury for the second time this year. The first was for the Primelink Tournament, where they met in the consolation game. It ended in a scoreless tie. Expect more of the same when these two rivals get together again.
And don’t expect too many power-play goals, if any at all. Plattsburgh leads the nation in penalty killing at 95.3 percent. Second is Middlebury at 93.6 percent. In fact, Plattsburgh has let up two power-play goals while scoring two short-handed goals, a zero sum game while they are down a man.
The Cardinals are on a four-game winning streak, while Middlebury has only won twice in its last six. I expect that streak to continue, with Plattsburgh taking the win in a tight battle.
Oswego has lost just two games, with one of them against Utica, 3-2, back in October. The Lakers get an opportunity to avenge that loss as they get to host the Pioneers on Saturday.
Scoring shouldn’t be a problem, as Utica is third in the nation with 4.87 goals per game and Oswego is 10th with 4.21 goals per game.
Utica has had some big wins recently, but it hasn’t been against the strongest competition. Nonetheless, they are a team to be reckoned with. The Lakers lost last week, so they will be trying to avoid a two-game losing streak. I think they will avoid that streak, as I’m taking the home team.
Too bad Vegas doesn’t take bets on Division III college hockey. I would have made out like a bandit. Other than the Potsdam tie, I was perfect over the weekend, and Elmira beating Fredonia was my only outright loss all week as I went 15-1-1. That upped my overall total to 59-15-10 (.762).
For the third time in two weeks, a quirk of the schedule has two teams which just met in tournament play face each other again, this time in a home-and-home series.
“We didn’t expect to see Elmira in the consolation game [of the Norwich Classic],” Morrisville coach Brian Grady said. “We got them twice again. There was a lot of physical play, which I expect to carry over.”
Morrisville is struggling, and they certainly didn’t make it easy on themselves with this schedule.
“No game is easy at this time of year,” Grady said. “We want to just carry momentum for the SUNYAC schedule. Everybody does.”
Unfortunately, despite Elmira’s struggles against SUNYAC teams this season, I don’t see Morrisville winning any of these games.
Another two-game series has Fredonia hosting Neumann.
“A hard working team. A very complete hockey team,” Fredonia coach Jeff Meredith said of his opponent. “We want to play teams like that. That’s going to get us ready for the second half of the SUNYAC.”
I see a split in this series. I also see a split when Potsdam travels to Manhattanville for a pair of games, despite the Rye Playland being a tough place for visitors. However, Manhattanville has been off its usual form this season.
Buffalo State also plays an opponent twice on the road, traveling to Johnson and Wales. Take the Bengals in both. Buffalo State then travels to Hobart on Tuesday, where it will make it three for three for the week.
Brockport plays its fifth game in eight days, hosting Nichols, which should be an easy win for the Golden Eagles.
Geneseo hosts Western New England College and the Ice Knights will extend their five-game winning streak.
Plattsburgh continues its road trip at Williams, where the Cardinals will complete their weekend sweep.
Happy Friday the 13th everyone.
Game of the Week