Game Picks: D-III East, January 3, 2020

Senior Nolan Redler leads the Beacons into battle at the Codfish Bowl Tournament this weekend (Photo by Massachusetts-Boston Athletics)

It is the New Year and a fresh start for every team getting back on the ice either in tournament or non-conference action to get their game back into high-gear. I could use a refresh as well on the game picks as I finished the first-half with an uninspiring record of 4-3-2 (.556) in the final week which had me looking for answers and some Santa-intervention in my stocking over the holiday break. Overall, my record entering the New Year is 34-23-4 (.590). No time like the present to get off to a good start and build some positive momentum for the all-important second-half.

Here are this week’s picks which include some great first round tournament matchups as well as some intriguing non-conference games:

Friday, January 3, 2020

Anna Maria @ Western New England
The AmCats had a great first half up to the final weekend where they lost two in a row to Johnson & Wales and New England College so they will be looking to start some new positive momentum going into the New Year. The combination of Jack Sitzman and Sam Cyr-Ledoux has been electric up front for the AmCats and they lead the way in a win over the Golden Bears– Anna Maria, 3-1

No. 14 Williams vs. No. 9 University of New England
This is a great matchup of ranked teams in the first round of the Pathfinder Bank Oswego Tournament. Expect this game to be played with a lot of pace and see a lot of scoring in a very entertaining game that goes to the Nor’easters– UNE, 5- 4

Endicott vs. Elmira
The Gulls picked up their game in the later part of the first-half and now face a challenging Elmira team in the first round of the Plattsburgh Tournament. Look for the Gulls to eke one out with Conor O’Brien starring in goal – Endicott, 4-3

Assumption @ No. 4 Norwich
The Cadets host the Northfield Bank Tournament and will be motivated to get the championship game in front of the Kreitzberg faithful. Assumption won’t be a push over, but a good start and early lead will be important for the home team – Norwich, 4-1

Fitchburg State vs. Wesleyan
If you believe in history, then Fitchburg State’s success in the Codfish Bowl is something to consider in this first round game where the Falcons have stolen wins on the strength of great goaltending. Brian McGrath can steal a game but will need to out-play Tim Sestak for the Cardinals – Wesleyan, 4-3

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Suffolk @ No. 2 Trinity
The Bantams have depth in all aspects of their game and balance that is difficult for other teams to matchup with on the ice. Loss to Hobart to end the first half left a bad taste just waiting to be forgotten with a win. All areas are clicking enough in this one against a Rams team that won’t quit – Trinity, 3-0

Franklin Pierce @ Curry
Watch Alex Lester for the Ravens and Michael Curran for the Colonels as they are a good barometer for the offenses for their respective teams. This game will seesaw back and forth, and the home team gets a late goal to steal a win – Curry, 4-3

No. 8 Hobart vs. St. John’s
The Statesmen knocked Trinity from the ranks of the unbeaten to close their December schedule and now face a worthy opponent from the west in the Boston Landing Invitational. Hobart is built for tournament play and earns the shot at the title on Sunday – Hobart, 3-2

Sunday, January 5, 2020

No. 11 Utica @ No. 7 Adrian
Here’s another terrific east vs. west game featuring ranked teams in the second of a two-game series. This one is very close and needs an empty-net goal to seal the win for the home team and a split of the weekend series – Adrian, 4-2

The second half means there isn’t a lot of margin for error for a bad start or stretch of losing hockey. It’s time to ramp up the intensity – “Drop the Puck!”