East picks: Jan. 19

It is all about consistency and playing at a high level now and for the next several weeks if teams expect to be contenders and playoff ready. Last week’s picks saw a pair of ties to open and close the weekend picks, which actually didn’t hurt me too much. I finished at 5-1-2 (.750), and that brings the season total to 46-20-6 (.681), which keeps the trending moving upward.

Here are this week’s picks noting some great conference matchups.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Nichols at Curry
A tie is what I really think here. as both teams are comfortable in the low-scoring, tight-checking game this is likely to be. Colin Brennan has been very good for the Bison, but so too has Brett Sinclair in net for the Colonels. Going with the visitors, well, just because. Nichols 3-2

Fitchburg State at Salem State
This battle between legendary coaches Dean Fuller and Bill O’Neill is more about making a move in the conference standings. The Vikings held conference leader Plymouth State to a 1-1 tie this weekend and hope to build on the strong effort against the Falcons. This one may also go to overtime. Salem State 4-3

Friday, January 20, 2017

Neumann at Manhattanville
The Valiants are going to need to figure out how to slow down one of the nation’s best scoring teams, and in particular Jory Mullin. Too many weapons for the Knights to just focus on one or two players and Neumann has been a tough out on the road. Neumann 4-2

Tufts at Trinity
The Bantams were on a roll until a rough weekend in Maine stopped them cold. Now facing an amped up Tufts squad that knocked Hamilton from the unbeaten ranks means the schedule didn’t give either team a break. Special teams hurt the Bantams last week, so look for the hockey gods and a week of practice to fix that. Trinity 3-2

New England College at Norwich
The Pilgrims have flown under the radar most of the season and would very much like to stay in the top four in the conference. The Cadets have shown the resilience in winning the close ones and late in games as well. That is the case here, and maybe even an OT session. Norwich 3-2

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Oswego at Geneseo
The Lakers handed Geneseo their first loss in conference play and now the home team gets to avenge the loss and make their run towards catching the league leaders. This one should be very entertaining for the fans as both teams have a solid lineup and lots of firepower. Geneseo 5-4

University of New England at Endicott
This is the ultimate battle of great offense meeting great team defense. Kevin Aldridge will need to be at his best for the Gulls and it will take an empty-net goal to seal the deal for the home team. Endicott 5-3

Elmira at Hobart
The Statesmen finally returned to action last weekend and took down two worthy nonconference opponents with great balanced scoring. Look for more of the same this weekend with the lens now focused on the all-important conference games. Hobart 4-1

Not sure anything qualifies as an upset anymore with the level of competition so high around all the conferences. That said, there are no freebies, so everyone best be ready to play!! “Drop the puck!”

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