SUNYAC picks: 1/20

Game of the Week
No doubt, the biggest matchup this weekend is Geneseo at Buffalo State.
Buffalo State sits in third place with nine points. Geneseo and Potsdam have eight points. Fredonia has seven points. So, not only are the two points ultra important versus each other, they are also ultra important to the teams around them. If there’s such a thing as a must-win game this early in the second half, this is it.
“Huge,” Buffalo State coach Nick Carriere said.
It’s not just the standing implications that makes this game so intriguing, it’s the matchup itself.
“Buffalo State is going to be game where we need to get our ducks all in order and get at them,” Geneseo coach Chris Schultz said. “They are a dangerous team, opportunistic, and have good goaltending. With those, that’s a torturous team.”
And, to add more fuel to the fire, it’s what happened when these two teams met in October which will surely ratchet up the emotions.
Geneseo scored twice late in the third period to tie it up, with the last goal coming with .9 seconds left on the clock. Then, Geneseo won it 17 seconds into overtime.
“We’ve had it circled on our calendars since we saw .9 seconds on the clock,” Carriere said.
This is a mighty tough game to pick. Teams better be able to finish their scoring opportunities, since there will be plenty of good goaltending, most likely few penalties, and a lot of hitting.
Maybe I should pick a tie, but I’ll make my decision based on goaltending, so that has me selecting Buffalo State.
Other picks
I was a bit mixed up last week. I forgot to include the Curry-Oswego game, where I would have picked Oswego, but it’s too late for that now. Plus, with simply picking splits in two series, I should only count whether I got the prediction correct or not, which I did for the Neumann-Fredonia series but did not for the Potsdam-Manhattanville series. With all that, I had a so-so (especially compared to the previous week) mark of 7-4-1 for a total of 66-19-11 (.745).
With the late-breaking news of Morrisville falling afoul of the same NCAA violations which Buffalo State, Geneseo, and Potsdam got in trouble for, it will be interesting to see how they respond. Will they do what Geneseo did, and play with something to prove? Or, will they tank it the rest of the season?
I’m going to continue to go with all the home teams on Friday: Fredonia over Brockport, Oswego over Cortland, and Potsdam over Morrisville.
On Saturday, I see Buffalo State sweeping with a win over Brockport. Geneseo will bounce back and win in Fredonia. Plattsburgh should have no trouble against Morrisville.
Three of the last four nonconference games on the schedule take place on Saturday. Oswego will avenge its loss to Hamilton in last year’s Pathfinder Bank Oswego Hockey Classic.
“A team that clearly has the ability to knock off teams,” Oswego coach Ed Gosek said. “They embarrassed us here in our tournament. That was no fluke. They won the battles, and our guys have respect for their program.”
Elmira should have no trouble against Cortland.
Potsdam at Hobart should be a good game, and very well might. However, Potsdam will have played the night before and then have to travel down to Geneva, while Hobart’s only game this weekend is against the Bears. Thus, I’m taking the Statesmen.