Women’s D-III Weekend Picks Jan. 25: Tight conference races are creating intense match ups for the weekend

Tory Harshman of Adrian (Adrian Athletics)
Tory Harshman of Adrian will lead the Bulldogs against Lake Forest this weekend.  (Adrian Athletics)

Endicott versus Nichols
Endicott seems to be playing consistently all three periods. The Gulls do not have one period where their opponents are scoring more goals than any other period. The same cannot be said for Nichols. The Bison seem to be starting their games out slowly, as most of their opponent’s goals have come in the first period. If Endicott can figure out how to score on the power play, they will have a better chance at winning this series. Endicott’s power play percentage is 6.8, and Nichols’ penalty kill is 89.7. I’m going to have to go with Nichols this time. Nichols 3-2, 2-1

No. 7 Hamline versus Bethel
Bethel’s playoff hopes are not destroyed yet. In order to better their chances at earning a playoff spot, they will need to get as many points as possible from this weekend’s series against Hamline. This appears to be a difficult task, as Hamline is a tough team that will score many goals against their opponent. Bethel could possibly hold them to a tie, but I don’t see an upset happening. Hamline 5-1, 4-2

No. 4 Adrian versus Lake Forest
This matchup features two top teams in the NCHA. The last time Lake Forest beat Adrian was Nov. 14, 2015. This rivalry has great potential to bring out the best in each team. I see this series going one of two ways: a complete domination by Adrian, or a tight matchup that is determined by one goal. Lake Forest has only one loss while playing at home. So therefore that is why I’m picking them to win one of the games. Lake Forest 3-2, Adrian 3-1

Suffolk versus New England College
New England College is having a hard time scoring, averaging .78 goals per game. Trying to get a few more wins on their record is possible. However, Suffolk is a good team this year, and they are more than capable of fending off New England College from grabbing some conference points. Suffolk 4-0, 3-1

Amherst versus Williams
Amherst and Williams sit on top of the NESCAC standings along with Middlebury. This matchup will be important for both sides to win as they continue their quest for the NESCAC regular season title. Williams and Amherst have weaknesses that can be seen in their team statistics. I think that the similarities between these teams will cause them to split over the weekend. Amherst 2-1, Williams 4-2

No. 3 Plattsburgh versus Oswego
Plattsburgh pretty much has the NEWHL regular season championship in their back pocket. Oswego is fighting for the second spot in the standings, which is currently held by Potsdam. As we have seen this year, anything is possible, and Oswego could certainly upset Plattsburgh. However, I don’t see it happening this weekend. The main reason for my prediction comes down to the power play. Scoring opportunities come only so often against teams like Plattsburgh. Oswego’s 7.4 power play percentage is just not good enough. Plattsburgh 6-0, 4-1

No. 1 Elmira versus William Smith
Clearly, there is a lot of hockey to be played, but I’m convinced that the winner of this series will be the regular season UCHC champions. Elmira is currently ranked number one and seems to be peaking at the right time. Elmira may be too strong for William Smith. Elmira 4-2, 2-1

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