Game Picks, D-III East: January 9, 2020

Gianluca Baggetta will be the man in the crease for Pioneers’ big road game at Oswego (Photo – Utica Athletics)

The one thing that is not a surprise anymore is that there will be some big surprises on scoreboards each and every weekend. I started the New Year with a better slate of picks than I finished with in 2019, so there is optimism coming from my record of 6-3-0 (.667) among some interesting tournament fields. Overall, my record is now 40-26-4 (.600). Finally, at the 60% threshold but still looking for more!

Here are this week’s picks which see a return to league play for some and some power non-conference matchups elsewhere:

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Fitchburg State @ Wentworth
The Leopards have played better than their record indicates amongst the very tough CCC leaders. The Falcons are coming off a couple of tough losses in the Codfish Bowl but will struggle to find a road win in this game – Wentworth, 4-2

Friday, January 10, 2020

No. 1 Trinity @ Middlebury
The Panthers rebounded in their own tournament to take the consolation game from Manhattanville and now benchmark their status against one of the best teams in the country. These two always play close games and an ENG is needed for the Bantams – Trinity, 3-1

No. 7 Utica @ No. 15 Oswego
Two teams moving in different directions following last weekend. Utica swept two games at Adrian while Oswego lost a pair in their own tournament to open the second half. The Lakers are at home but Utica has found some magic on the road and maybe ekes this out in OT – Utica, 5- 4

No. 2 Geneseo @ No. 10 Stevenson
The Knights best not take the Mustangs likely in this non-conference affair of ranked teams. This one should be very entertaining and look for more offense on display from both teams – Geneseo, 6-5

King’s @ Albertus Magnus
The Falcons like the feeling winning brings after taking their first as an NCAA program last weekend against Fitchburg State. Déjà vu with yet another OT win over a game King’s squad – Albertus Magnus, 3-2

Saturday, January 11, 2020

No. 1 Trinity @ No. 13 Williams
The Bantams will need to start fast against a very disciplined and stingy Williams team. Depth is the difference here as some unsung players light the lamp for the visitors – Trinity, 2-0

Nichols @ St. Michael’s
The Bison have had some hard luck games in conference so will be looking to show their game off against a talented Purple Knights team that can play with anybody. Special teams are the difference here – Nichols, 4-3

Massachusetts-Boston @ No. 6 Hobart
The Statesmen are coming off a tournament win at the Boston Landing Invitational while the Beacons lost in the final of their annual Codfish Bowl tournament. Points matter greatly at the top of the NEHC as does the home-ice advantage that favors the Statesmen – Hobart, 4-3

Fredonia @ Bryn Athyn
The Blue Devils best be ready for the Lions from the opening puck drop or they may be surprised buy a group that is very capable of scoring in bunches. The visitors strike early and hang on for the “W” – Fredonia, 4-3

Ranked teams in non-conference play could be key data points in tie-breakers come NCAA tournament time so expect great hockey without points on the line – “Drop the Puck!”