East picks: Nov. 17

Just like the games on the ice that appeared to be in control on the ice in the early action, I found out the result isn’t final until the last whistle. A mediocre 4-4-0 (.500) week sees the early season numbers drop to 9-6-1 (.594), so I have some early ground to make up and the complication of NESCAC teams joining the fray to open their season.

No complaining here — just focused on finding the winners among games where there truly may not be any upsets anymore.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Plymouth State at Framingham State
This week the Panthers hope they do not have to play another overtime game, but if they do and the outcome is the same as last week they will take the two points. Too much achieved in knocking off Salem State last week to rest against the Rams — coach Russell has already advised there should be no trap game here. Plymouth State 5-2

Johnson & Wales at University of New England
Both teams are looking for some consistent play in the CCC and the home team certainly has some firepower in the Fleurent brothers and Dylan Bengtson to deal with. Always good to be rested at home for a weekday game, but it takes an empty-net goal to ultimately settle this one. University of New England 5-3

Friday, November 18, 2016

Williams at Bowdoin
It is the season opener for both teams, who have aspirations of competing for the conference title in March. There is a new coach behind the bench at Bowdoin for the first time in over three decades, where the tradition for great hockey lives on. A great game, but not coach Jamie Dumont’s first win for the Polar Bears. Williams 2-1

Oswego at Potsdam
The Bears are always tough at home and the Lakers do not want to see the outcome of what has happened to virtually all teams that have fallen from the ranks of the unbeaten. Either team could take this one, but Oswego has demonstrated the art of finishing games early in the season. Oswego 4-3

Norwich at Skidmore
The Thoroughbreds proved they are a team to reckon with in splitting with Babson and Massachusetts-Boston last week on the road. They continue their tour of the conference with Norwich on Friday night and it again is a close battle. Overtime alert, overtime alert! Norwich 3-2

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Southern New Hampshire at Assumption
This game is truly a flip the coin affair in NE-10 competition. Both teams have shown the ability to score goals, but the Penmen have been better in shutting down the opposition behind goalie Ryan Slatky. Southern New Hampshire 4-3

Utica at Hobart
The rematch of last year’s title game is again at Hobart, where the Statesmen have created a very difficult home-ice environment for opponents. This one should be a great indicator as to which team has the early upper hand in the battle for the top of the conference leaderboard. Hobart 4-3

Canton at Buffalo State
This nonconference affair may be to your liking if you are looking for a lot of goals. Last week Canton put up 11 on Geneseo in a two-game set, so the Bengals better play some defense if they want to secure the “W.” Buffalo State 5-4

Now all of New England is engaged in the season and the rush to make ground in the truncated first half is in full swing. “Drop the puck!”

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