East picks: Nov. 9

I can only hope that two weeks of prediction results is starting a trend, as last week the picks finished at 7-1-0 (.875), which brings the season total to 12-3-1 (.781). This week again sees the schedule offering up some key conference match-ups of nationally ranked teams, as well as some contenders seeking to showcase why they are formidable competitors. I’m looking to keep my own personal momentum going with the picks below.

Thursday, Nov. 9

Massachusetts-Dartmouth at Salem State
If this game were hosted by the visitor, I might have a different feeling for the outcome. The Vikings are scoring in bunches, and that could be a problem for the Corsairs, who aren’t quite clicking offensively at the same level. Look for the home team to take this one, but only with some breathing room in the third period. Salem State 6-3

Wentworth at Johnson & Wales
Wentworth isn’t finding the schedule getting any easier after a weekend with Endicott. The Wildcats took a split with UNE last weekend, and proved they can shut down a high-powered offense. That is not good news for the Leopards. Johnson & Wales 5-2

Friday, Nov. 10

Chatham at Buffalo State
The Bengals always play well at home and make it tough on their opponent. A fast start will be needed to keep the upset-minded visitors from gaining any momentum. Mac Wood and friends are more than happy to get the party started early. Buffalo State 4-1

Suffolk at Salve Regina
The Seahawks have been a little off the radar screen in the conference so far despite their opening night win at Norwich. Suffolk can claim the same thing in terms of recognition as a serious threat in the CCC, and this game shows off both as worthy challengers for the title. Salve Regina 3-2

Southern New Hampshire at St. Anselm
The battle for bragging rights in Manchester, New Hampshire begins on the ice Friday night. Sean Walsh’s squad will look to continue their tight defensive game, while St. Anselm looks to get their offense on track. It is a bit of both, and overtime may be needed to decide this one. St. Anselm 3-2

Saturday, Nov. 11

No. 3 Norwich at No. 10 Hobart
This is like a NCAA tournament game in November. We will see these teams match-up three times this season, and both are off to good starts in conference play at 2-0-0. Expect this one to come down to special teams, and one power-play goal makes the difference for the visitors. Norwich 3-2

Elmira at No. 7 Utica
These two teams can put up offensive numbers, so the question is which goalie makes the critical save to give their team the victory. Going with the home team and Patrik Virtanen. Utica 5-4

No. 13 Plattsburgh at No. 8 Geneseo
These two teams always but on a great show, and there probably isn’t a lot of difference between the two on paper. They play the game on ice, and this one is likely a hard-fought tie but will lean to the home team. Geneseo 5-4

I don’t remember the early regular season having so many ranked opponents playing against each other, but there’s no reason to complain about great hockey match-ups in early November. “Drop the Puck!”