The sky is not falling, even for those teams, like me, that may not have had the best of weekends and lost a bit of momentum heading into the February stretch run. Redemption is as close as the next game away and there is still time to get on a streak and build confidence for the playoff positioning and conference tournaments. For the first time, I found myself on the losing side of my picks at 3-4-1 (.438) which drops the season total to 54-26-8 (.659). It is time to rally with a solid week of picks.
Here are this week’s picks that include some great rivalries and key conference games.
Thursday, Feb. 2
Curry at Western New England
The Colonels can be one of the very best teams in the CCC on any given night, but beating teams they need to separate from in the standings has not always been so easy so far this season. This one is close, but they get it done on the road. Curry 3-2
Worcester State at Massachusetts Dartmouth
This is a game the Corsairs need in a big way if they want to stay in the top three comfortably or maybe sneak up on Salem State in second place. Casey Shea and Matt Baldino have been carrying the load offensively and do it again at home. UMass Dartmouth 4-3.
Friday, Feb. 3
Norwich at Babson
The Cadets aren’t about to go into cruise mode having clinched the number one seed, and the rivalry with Babson helps stoke the fire for keeping the intensity high. The Beavers have had trouble scoring and the Cadets would prefer to keep that trend going. Norwich 4-2
Trinity at Williams
Very quietly, Williams has risen to the top of the NESCAC standings but faces a stern challenge in the Bantams, who would prefer two-point wins over last week’s tie results. This one may very well be a tie but will pick the home team because their power play is deadly. Williams 2-1
Potsdam at Oswego
Beware the TRAP GAME on the night before the rivals from Plattsburgh come to town. The Lakers best be careful and not underestimate Dylan Vander Esch and company and not likely they will. Too much offense for the home team. Oswego 4-1
Saturday, Feb. 4
Franklin Pierce at Southern New Hampshire
The second half has been extraordinarily ugly for the Penmen, who have not won a game since the break. The good news is that they have defeated the Ravens in their two prior meetings by 4-1 and 4-2 scores. The Ravens inch closer but don’t avoid the sweep. Southern New Hampshire 4-3
University of New England at Johnson & Wales
This is simply a question of whether or not the Wildcats can stop the B-F-F line of Bloom, Fleurent and Fleurent and their knack for collecting multiple points apiece each and every game. Nobody has slowed them down yet and J&W is the latest team to suffer their combined offensive skills. University of New England 5-3
Hobart at Utica
The battle for first place in the ECAC West is a home game for the Pioneers, but Hobart is looking to return the favor of inflicting a loss as the visitor Utica did to them way back in November. This one should have a playoff atmosphere and the outcome is a one-goal thriller. Hobart 2-1
Regular season weekends are down to low single digits and that means there better be some sense of urgency in everyone’s game! “Drop the puck!”