ECAC East picks: Jan. 18

Wow! The pursuit of consistency is elusive, as last week’s 4-3-1 (.563) record clearly shows. The season still looks very strong at 35-13-6 (.704), but I will need to get back on track if I aim to keep my winning percentage over the 70 percent success rate.
The bonus games killed me last week, so back to the weekend slate of games only. Here are the picks.
Friday, January 18, 2013
Norwich at St. Michael’s
The Cadets may have shown a chink in their armor in going 3-2-0 over the last week, with losses to Neumann and Babson. Just one game with their travel partner to the north this weekend, and I would not want to be the Purple Knights, who clearly have a bull’s-eye painted on them. Nice rebound win and a chance to focus on some line-up tweaks. Norwich 7-3
Massachusetts-Boston at St. Anselm
The first match-up of the year was a wild one that ended up going to overtime. This one is likely to be a wild one too, but I don’t see any bonus hockey happening. The Beacons are targeting moving up in the standings, and the Hawks are a team they are trying to catch. They catch them here by a goal. Massachusetts-Boston 5-4
University of New England at Castleton
The Spartans want to continue to build on recent success in the new year and regain their home-ice mojo in the four remaining games they have in Rutland. This one is not any pushover game, but the revenge factor will be key for the Spartans in posting a close win. Castleton 4-3
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Babson at St. Anselm
The two teams are fighting for second behind league leader Norwich, so the head-to-head battle will be key should any tiebreakers come into play. The Beavers took a huge win at Norwich last weekend and are riding high. That’s enough to pull out another close one. Babson 3-2
University of New England at Skidmore
The road trip to play Skidmore after Castleton may be one of the most challenging in D-III. The big sheet favors the home team, but not by much, as Brad Holt’s team continues to improve and challenge the best in the ECAC East. Skidmore 4-3
New England College at Massachusetts-Boston
It is imperative that the Beacons get more than two points on the weekend, and ironically New England College would like to get more after splitting last weekend in Maine. The Beacons just have more firepower that even in the tight confines in Henniker produces more than the home team. Massachusetts-Boston 6-3
It is all about TCOB (Taking Care of Business). With league races tightening up, a win means points for you and a gap to chase for your opponent — just don’t count the two points before you play the game. There truly are not any more upsets — drop the puck!