Game Picks, D-III East: January 30, 2020

Game Picks, D-III East: January 30, 2020
Norwich’s Tom Aubrun and the Cadets face a stern road test this weekend at Massachusetts-Boston and Babson (Photo by Michael Menn/Norwich Athletics)

We may officially be approaching the “scoreboard-watching” portion of the season even though most coaches won’t admit to it. Teams will be looking to take care of their own business on the ice but would appreciate a little help from other opponents in the battle for conference positioning and seeding. I finished with a record of 6-1-2 (.778) which certainly leads to some optimism for my scoreboard predicting moving forward into February. Overall, my record now stands at 59-31-7 (.644). It’s all about results now as the opportunities for big moves are dwindling like the weeks left in the regular season.

Here are this week’s picks that highlight some great conference matchups:

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Fitchburg State @ Massachusetts-Dartmouth
The Falcons and Corsairs are both chasing Plymouth State and can ill-afford to miss out on points in the pursuit. The Falcons have been more consistent than the Corsairs recently and that earns them a tough road win – Fitchburg State, 4-3

Friday, January 31, 2020

Skidmore @ No. 7 Hobart
The Statesmen scored a bunch against Castleton and then nothing at Norwich. The Thoroughbreds and Brandon Kasel will not make it easy for them, but the home ice and local crowd will help to generate enough offense for two points – Hobart, 3-2

St. Anselm @ St. Michael’s
Things are very congested in the NE-10 and after a week off, the Hawks will be in full drive mode to earn that top seed in the conference. These rivals make it interesting no matter what the standings say but the road team has more depth to pull it out – St. Anselm, 5-4

Curry @ No. 8 University of New England
The Nor’easters don’t have to look far in the rearview mirror to see a hot Curry team and want to make sure last weekend’s dominating wins over Salve Regina were not a one-time event. This one is close in the third period – in fact, overtime close – UNE, 4-3

Anna Maria @ Canton
The Kangaroos host a two-game series with Anna Maria with both teams looking for bragging rights as the best record among the Independent squads in the east. Both teams have some serious high-end skill, but the home team ekes it out on a late power play – Canton, 5-4

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Fredonia @ Buffalo State
The travel partner games are always a wild card and these teams have shown some great in their respective games this season that just hasn’t been consistent enough to move them up in the SUNYAC standings. This one will be close with an empty-net goal for the home team being the final margin – Buffalo State, 4-2

No. 1 Norwich @ No. 9 Babson
Every now and again it feels like an editorial obligation to supply a little bulletin board material for one coach or another in a pivotal game. This one will be a playoff style game and if the Beaver goaltending rotation holds true, Aubrun barely outduels Murphy for a one-goal road win – Norwich, 2-1

Stevenson @ Wilkes
The two UCHC leaders can’t worry about the chasers when they are facing each other in a key matchup. Really like, Barrow, Fea and Flynn to generate just enough to earn the regulation win in a game that could be a playoff preview – Wilkes, 4-3

Hamilton @ No. 4 Trinity
The Bantams are looking for redemption and a few more goals than the two they generated last weekend. They get back to their winning ways in a comfortable home win – Trinity, 5-2

It’s already February so these are the games that will have the most impact in the outcome of the season – “Drop the Puck!”