Happy New Year!
There are still a lot of nonconference games that have marquee matchups this week, and several teams look to start the second half fast while others are still looking to get on track. The first picks in the New Year saw me missing a few tournament picks, going 4-2-2 (.625). That brings the season total to 36-17-3 (.670), which is short of my goal, so like a lot of teams time to step up my game.
Here are this week’s picks.
Thursday, Jan. 5
Manhattanville at Connecticut College
Which Camels squad shows up for this one? The one that lost to Massachusetts-Boston 8-1, or the team that spanked Franklin Pierce 8-3? A little goaltending goes a long way, but the Valiants prove to be a tough visitor. Manhattanville 3-2
Westfield State at Southern New Hampshire
The Penmen have successfully flown under a lot of people’s radar in the first half, but the Owls will give them a stern test in this nonconference matchup. Too much offense from the Penmen in this one. Southern New Hampshire 5-3
Friday, Jan. 6
Curry vs. Utica
The Pathfinder Bank Tournament hosted by Oswego may see the second game as the showcase of the opening round, but don’t get there late and miss two very good hockey teams that can open it up or shut you down. Expecting more of the latter with a Pioneers win. Utica 2-1
Norwich at Plattsburgh
This is the second time Norwich has played at Plattsburgh this season, but the first time they meet the Cardinals, as they won the Primelink tournament with wins over Middlebury and Concordia (MN). Same winning result for this trip in a tight contest. Norwich 3-2
Buffalo State vs. Becker
The Bengals are traveling a long way to play in the Boston Landing Invitational, so don’t look for the visitors to be charitable in their first-round game with the Hawks. Just too much depth for Becker to handle. Buffalo State 6-2
Saturday, Jan. 7
Elmira at Geneseo
This is a great ECAC West vs. SUNYAC matchup, with two teams that have some serious offensive skill. Expect it to be close and the home team gets the nod, well, because they are the home team. Geneseo 4-3
Bowdoin at Hamilton
There is only one team without a loss remaining in the D-III ranks, and the Continentals intend to keep it that way on home ice against the Polar Bears. Special teams and goaltending are the difference in this one. Hamilton 5-3
Daniel Webster at Skidmore
Nothing like a struggling team coming to visit after a tough series last weekend with Hamilton. The Thoroughbreds could use a little offense and DWC gives them a chance to put a crooked number on the board. Skidmore 6-1
It’s January, and time to get the holiday break out of everyone’s system and get back to playing good hockey. The time to show off all the New Year’s resolutions is here. “Drop the puck!”