Weekend picks: Feb. 10

Friday-Saturday, Feb. 10-11

Wisconsin-Eau Claire vs. No. 2 Wisconsin-River Falls (home-and-home)
Wis.-Eau Claire dealt Wis.-River Falls its only loss so far this season. The Blugolds scored early and on the power play, jumping out to an early lead to fend of Wis.-River Falls. Dani Sibley and Carly Moran have a combined 86 points for Wis.-River Falls, and Angie Hall has seven shutouts in net and a 0.922 goals-against average. Wis.-River Falls wants revenge and has one of the highest-powered offenses in the country. I’m not sure Wis.-Eau Claire can pull off the upset a second time. Wis.River Falls 5-2, 6-4

No. 9 Amherst at Hamilton
Amherst currently sits fifth in the NESCAC and does not have home ice for the playoffs, though just eight points separate first place from eighth place. Amherst is tied with Bowdoin with 14 points, two points behind Williams and a single point behind Middlebury and Hamilton. Hamilton has won every game its played against a ranked opponent so far this season, thanks in part to top-10 goalie Sam Walther and her six shutouts. Hamilton isn’t a high-powered offense, but if their defense can hold Amherst in check, it could be an interesting set of games. Based on Hamilton’s play so far, I have to call a split here — sorry Amherst fans. I’ll pick Amherst in game one, and Hamilton in game two. Amherst 2-1, Hamilton 3-2

Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 11-12

No. 4 Elmira at No. 1 Plattsburgh
Plattsburgh enters the weekend with a 14-game win streak. Elmira comes in unbeaten in their last 10 games. These teams come in about as evenly matched as possible. The Cardinals feature two of the best scorers in the country in Kayla Meneghin and Melissa Sheeran, while one of Elmira’s goalies, Kelcey Crawford, leads the nation in save percentage (0.964) and goals-against average (0.7974). Plattsburgh averages 4.86 goals per game. Elmira averages 3.81. Plattsburgh allows 1.05 goals per game. Elmira allows 1.10. Elmira has 12 wins, no losses and two ties in ECAC West play. Plattsburgh has 13 wins and a loss. Until they prove otherwise, I don’t see how you can pick against Plattsburgh, especially at home, but for the sake of chaos and parity, I hope Elmira can pull one out. I’m picking Plattsburgh to sweep, but I’m pulling for Elmira to make it interesting. Plattsburgh 4-3, 5-3

Buffalo State at No. 8 Oswego
Elmira and Plattsburgh own the top of the ECAC West with 26 points each, but these two teams are right behind. Buffalo State has 20 points to Oswego’s 19. These two are also rather evenly matched and the game could come down to special teams. Oswego is significantly better on the man advantage and Buffalo State averages nearly 10 penalty minutes a game. Both teams should have home-ice advantage in the playoffs, but Oswego is also fighting for national recognition. They need to win these games. I’ll pick Oswego to sweep at home. Oswego 3-2, 4-2

6 COMMENTS

  1. I think Merrimack will take it at home. Lawlor Arena is a tough little barn to go visit and it gets pretty wild there. Merrimack will be amped up.

  2. How can you really like how MC is playing? Solid D, the goalie situation seems to be figured out now, but they still can’t score.

    • In Hockey East games, Merrimack is averaging 3.00 goals per game, good for fourth in the league. The Warriors are only slightly behind UNH and BU in that category, only outclassed by BC. That’s hardly a team that can’t score.

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