East picks: Nov. 3

So, week one is in the books and despite all the upsets, I managed to go 5-2-1 (.688) with my picks that included an exact score and call on the empty-net goal in St. Anselm’s hard fought 4-2 win over Bryn Athyn. Week two doesn’t get any easier and includes several major rivalries we usually don’t see until the end of the first semester. I owe coach Alex Boak at Canton an apology, as I incorrectly noted/quoted their wins over Middlebury and Geneseo last season. The Roos actually beat Middlebury and tied Geneseo. They also defeated Potsdam, and this year’s rematch will be one of the picks this week.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Massachusetts-Boston at No. 5 Norwich
No question that the Beacons can score goals, especially when Nolan Redler and Colin Larkin are on the ice. The Cadets are coming off an opening season loss to Salve Regina, so will have a bit extra focus in this, their first conference game of the season. Look for Kevin Salvucci to lead the way in a very energetic contest. Norwich 4-3

No. 10 Hobart at Southern Maine
Welcome to the NEHC and Hobart’s first trip to Maine in conference play. They proved they could win a tight defensive game at Oswego last week, and this one will showcase a little more offense to provide a bit more cushion. Hobart 5-2

No. 8 Oswego at Cortland
If there is such a thing as a trap game this early in the season, this one might be it. Cortland can be very tough at home, and Oswego is young enough not to care or notice in their only game of the weekend. Still, it is closer than coach Gosek would like. Oswego 3-2

No. 9 Utica at Nazareth
The Pioneers hit the road in conference play and look to send a message that they are equally formidable away from the friendly confines of the The Aud. Utica is firing on all cylinders early, and a fast start leads to a comfortable win. Utica 5-2

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Bryn Athyn at Post
The Lions are already proving to be road warriors, but winning makes any bus trip feel a bit shorter and more enjoyable for the coaches and players alike. This one is close between two independents, but the visitors roar out of the gate and hang on at the end in the first game of a two-game series. Bryn Athyn 3-2

SUNY Canton at Potsdam
It is the second game of a home-and-home series between the two teams and Dylan Vander Esch and company want to make sure they get their power play on track and help their cause with a couple of special team’s goals. One might just do it in a game that could be tie through regulation. Potsdam 4-3

Stonehill at Plymouth State
Another nonconference game for the Panthers, who will be looking to delight the home crowd with another strong showing to open the season. Stonehill will be a worthy challenge, but Plymouth State has too much firepower to be stopped. Plymouth State 6-2

University of New England at Johnson & Wales
The challenge for the Wildcats will be how to slow down the offense of the Nor’easters, who scored 16 times in their first two games. UNE was not a great road team last year, but coach Kevin Swallow has them focused on improving that record. University of New England 6-4

The week includes some great rivalries and a good mix of conference and nonconference battles as teams are still figuring out how all the pieces and players fit together. I’m expecting another interesting weekend. “Drop the Puck!”

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