Weekend picks: Jan. 5

Amanda Conway of Norwich (Norwich Athletics)
Amanda Conway of Norwich (Norwich Athletics)

No. 7 Middlebury at No. 10 Amherst
Amherst is hosting and coming off a series split with Elmira before the break. Middlebury won, and the two teams tied in their meeting last season, but I think we’ll see a series split this time around. Statistics wise, these two teams are virtually indistinguishable. Amherst will likely win at home in game one, with Middlebury taking game two. Amherst 4-2, Middlebury 3-1

East West Showcase

No. 3 Plattsburgh vs. No. 1 Norwich
Probably the biggest game so far in the regular season, this is guaranteed to be interesting. The only blemish on Norwich’s record is a tie with Wisconsin-River Falls in the last week of October. They beat Plattsburgh for the first time in 14 tries in November, so this will be a big matchup. Plattsburgh will be looking to avenge the loss, and it would be a big boost for them. Norwich is looking to stay unbeaten and to hold on to their No. 1 ranking. Norwich is averaging 5.83 goals scored per game, while Plattsburgh’s defense leads the country by allowing just 0.83 goals per game. I’m sticking with Norwich, as their offense has been absolutely unstoppable so far this season. Norwich 4-3

No. 4 Adrian vs. No. 2 Elmira
Anyone that has a chance to check out the East West Showcase that isn’t in the arena this weekend is missing out. This really is a showcase of the best talent in Division III and getting to see Adrian and Elmira matchup will also be intriguing. Adrian came out on top of both of their meetings last season, including a 5-4 overtime win in the opening round of the NCAA tournament. It looks like Elmira may get their revenge, though. They seem to just have a bit more firepower. Adrian goalie Kate Turner is just a freshman, but is the third-ranked netminder in the country. I’m picking Elmira, but I think this will be a close game. Elmira 5-4

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