D-III East picks Nov. 8-11: Oswego vs. Hobart on the docket

Josh Zizek of Oswego celebrates a goal (Oswego Athletics)
Josh Zizek of Oswego celebrates a goal (Oswego Athletics)

Everyone but NESCAC has entered the fray, and early-season action has been outstanding with some terrific early season matchups that have delivered on the marquee names. Last weekend, I finished at 6-3-0 (.667), which moves the early-season total to a 13-3-2 (.778) record, which is definitely in the starting fast bracket. I want to keep momentum going, and this week brings some more prognostication challenges, with great games in and out of conference.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Plymouth State at Fitchburg State
This Panthers are off to a fast start, and this road game could be a big statement game if they can down the Falcons while they are still trying to find their game. Plymouth State will eke this one out with a big goal from a senior like Ryan Stevens and Matt Volonnino. Plymouth State 4-3

Friday, November 9, 2018

Endicott at Nichols
Both teams are flying high early in the season, and offense has not been a problem for either team. The Gulls will need an empty-net goal to finish this one off for a key two points in the conference standings. Endicott 5-3

No. 2 Geneseo at Plattsburgh
The Knights are coming off a tie at Buffalo State last weekend, while the Cardinals enjoyed a two-game sweep of Morrisville to pen league play. This one is always a nail-biter, and Devin McDonald makes one more save than Jimmy Poreda to earn the two points. Geneseo 3-2

Curry at No. 7 Salve Regina
Curry has been firing on all cylinders in the first weeks of the season and now face their biggest challenge on the road. The Seahawks salvaged a split with a road win at UNE last weekend and will now look to get it going on home ice. They score enough, but barely. Salve Regina 4-3

No. 8 Norwich at Massachusetts-Boston
This game pits two competitors that should be in the mix for the NEHC title all season long. Both are off to good starts, and both like to pressure the opposition and push the tempo. The Cadets are riding high after downing Hobart last week, so look for the momentum to carry over this weekend. Norwich 4-3

Saturday, November 10, 2018

No. 5 Hobart at No. 6 Oswego
Wow, what a great nonconference game between ranked teams. Oswego just started playing for real last weekend and seemed to have the power play going early. That is the likely difference maker for the Lakers in a one-goal game. Oswego 3-2

Elmira at Manhattanville
Every time these two teams play, it can go either way. That is how big rivalry games work. No surprise here in that it is close and exciting. I am going with the home team, because that may be the only intangible that makes a difference on the scoreboard. Manhattanville 4-2

Stevenson at King’s
The Mustangs had all they could handle with a pesky Chatham team last weekend, and coach Dawes isn’t likely to let them take King’s lightly, especially on the road. A fast start and early lead gets things going for a Stevenson win. Stevenson 5-1

St. Anselm at Assumption
St. Anselm won a see-saw affair at St Michael’s last weekend, but David Zulauf has been great in goal for unbeaten Assumption, and he just might come up with a save or two to make a difference in this one. It is another one-goal thriller, and likely in OT. Assumption 4-3

We are just barely into November, and already the importance of games is showing on the schedule and the play on the ice. Teams are starting to find their game and are anxious to keep it going in a positive direction. “Drop the Puck!”