D-III East weekend picks Nov. 15-17: NESCAC starts up

Liam Feeney of Trinity (Trinity Athletics)
Liam Feeney of Trinity (Trinity Athletics)

Now all conferences are heard from with NESCAC joining in to open their season this upcoming weekend. If they start like the rest of the conferences have so far, we are upping the entertainment value around New England in the D-II/III ranks. What was not entertaining was the outcome of my picks last week that saw a dreadful 3-4-2 (.444) record, which drops the season totals down to 16-7-4 (.667). There is no time for any sulking around. Time to get back into the win column and bump that percentage back up over 70 percent. Here are this week’s picks.

Thursday, Nov. 15

Fitchburg State at Framingham State
This battle of FSUs features a Falcons team looking to rev up the offense a bit in support of Brian McGrath, who has been solid in goal. The Rams look to be stubborn with giving up any quality chances, so something must give here. The Falcons find their scoring touch. Fitchburg State 4-1

Friday, Nov. 16

Williams at Bowdoin
It is opening night for NESCAC and at Williams, the return of coach Bill Kangas from his one-year sabbatical. This will be a high-speed game that just might need some bonus overtime to decide the winner. Williams 3-2

No. 15 Babson at Suffolk
This one has all the makings of a trap game for Babson following the emotional high of beating rival Norwich last weekend. The new kids in the league from Suffolk would like to make a statement of their own and get the Beavers’ attention early. Not enough for the home team to earn the two points. Babson 5-2

No. 10 Salve Regina at Endicott
The Seahawks have frankly played better on the road in conference play with wins at University of New England and Curry. This weekend finds them opening on the road against another tough competitor in Endicott, which split with Nichols last weekend by winning at home. Expect a close one here with Blake Wojtala figuring in the win for the visitors. Salve Regina 4-3

Southern New Hampshire at Assumption
Last weekend, both teams came out on the short end of games with St. Anselm, and the Greyhounds’ loss ended their unbeaten streak at five games. Both teams rebounded with wins on Tuesday in convincing fashion. A league game is more important, and the Greyhounds get it done, but barely, against the Penmen. Assumption 4-3

Saturday, Nov. 17

No. 3 Oswego at Buffalo State
The Lakers earned a big win at home last weekend against Hobart and face a team that is very tough on their home ice. It will be a good test for Oswego and an important two points in the SUNYAC standings. Oswego 3-2

Morrisville at No. 6 Geneseo
The Knights fell one goal short in coming all the way back from a 3-0 hole at Plattsburgh, so look for a better start from the home team in front of their very raucous crowd. Last year, the Mustangs gave Geneseo all they could handle, so coach Schultz will have the boys ready to play. Geneseo 5-2

Bryn Athyn at King’s
The Lions have not had much success on the road so far this season. King’s is closing out a five-game homestand and looking to finish it with a flourish. This battle will be low-scoring and close with an empty-net goal being the final marker for the visitors in a hard-earned win. Bryn Athyn 3-1

No. 11 Trinity at Connecticut College
The Camels were a second-half sensation and hope to build on last year’s success early in this campaign. The Bantams have been a fixture at the top of the standings and will want to establish their brand of hockey early in conference play. Think this one could be a tie, but will pick a Bantams OT win. Trinity 4-3

Finally, all the teams are playing in their regular season schedule. There isn’t a lot of time left in the first half of the season, so momentum will be critical over the next few weeks heading into December. All the fans are anxious for the action. “Drop the Puck!”