East picks: Jan. 12

It is back to conference play for many this week, with of course some interesting nonconference matchups, including several long-standing rivalries. Last week saw an 0-2-0 start on Thursday night picks, but a solid 5-0-1 on Friday and Saturday to finish the week strong at 5-2-1 (.688). That brings the season total to 41-19-4 (.672), which has me tracking in the right direction.

Here are this week’s picks.

Thursday, Jan. 12

Cortland at Assumption
A SUNYAC/NE-10 match-up might be a mismatch for some observers, but the Red Dragons best be mindful of getting out of the gates fast against this Assumption team. The visitors make the best of a long bus trip. Cortland 3-2

Massachusetts-Boston vs. Babson
This year’s D-III installment of the Frozen Fenway pits the travel partners against each other in what is Babson’s home game. The Beavers have certainly played enough at Fenway to qualify as it being home-ice, but the Beacons have historically played well as the visitors against Babson. Mass.-Boston 4-3

Friday, Jan. 13

Western New England at Fredonia
The Blue Devils would love to get the weekend against two CCC opponents off to a good start with a home-ice win. It is a lot closer than they would like against the Golden Bears. Fredonia 3-1

Salve Regina at Hobart
The Seahawks have played quite a bit of hockey following the Christmas holidays, including winning the Codfish Bowl. Hobart, on the other hand, has not, but will be flying to get out of the gates in the second half against a quality opponent in a playoff style game. Hobart 3-2

Trinity at Colby
The Mules got off to a fast start, but have come back to earth a bit in the very tough NESCAC standings. The Bantams have it going the other direction and the only way to catch teams above you is to beat them. Trinity 4-2

Saturday, Jan. 14

Plymouth State at Salem State
This game always seems to be a preview of what could be the conference tournament final, but the Vikings have struggled and need this to show the Panthers they are still a contender. The Panthers find a way to match their first-half victory. Plymouth State 4-3

Williams at Plattsburgh
This is the back-end of a NESCAC doubleheader for the Cardinals, who would very much like to re-establish some success on home-ice. This should be a track meet on skates. Plattsburgh 5-3

Nichols at Manhattanville
The Bison gave Buffalo State all they could handle, and despite the loss know they can compete with any conference. Colin Brennan may be nation’s most under-appreciated goalie, and he is the difference against the Valiants on the road. Nichols 4-1

It is already approaching mid-January, so there is no time like the present to get the game in gear!! “Drop the puck!”

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