College Hockey Game Picks, D-III East: February 20, 2020

Senior Nolan Redler leads the Beacons into a quarterfinal matchup with New England College as the NEHC playoffs get underway this weekend (Photo by Massachusetts-Boston Athletics)

It is amazing how much is still left at stake for teams in many conferences entering the final 7 to 10 days of the regular season. Teams have to take care of their own business before any scoreboard watching to see if there is help from a spoiler elsewhere. Just watching my own game right now which is rounding into playoff shape as I finished the week with a mark of 7-2-0 (.778) that improved the overall percentage with just a few games to pick remaining. The season record stands at 76-39-9 (.649) so now is the time to keep the positive momentum on big-game predictions.

Here are this week’s picks including a bonus Tuesday selection, showcasing ranked teams and key conference matchups:

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Westfield State @ Fitchburg State
The Owls and the Falcons are battling at the top of the standings and this one could go as long way in determining playoff seeding and home-ice benefits. Two very tested goaltenders will keep this one very interesting but the home team gets it done in front of Brian McGrath – FSU, 5-3

Friday, February 21, 2020

Buffalo State @ Oswego
There is certainty that the overall record for Oswego is not where they wanted it to be but if they expect to make a playoff run then downing a tough Bengal squad looking for the No. 3 seed will hold them in good stead moving forward – Oswego, 4-2

Curry @ Nichols
Beware the Bison! After a rough start they have their game kicked into high gear and are playing well and are unbeaten in their last eleven games. Curry has been good on the road but can’t find enough goals to win this one – Nichols, 3-2

Hamilton @ No. 12 Williams
The Continentals have been very quietly going about their business and have moved up the NESCAC standings with a chance to contend at the top for home-ice. The Ephs know they are in for a battle and this one will come down to the final minutes – Hamilton, 3-1

Franklin Pierce @ Assumption
There is a lot on the line for playoff seeding and both teams have showcased some great offense. Look for Alex Lester to continue his torrid play and lead the Ravens to a big road win to further complicate the NE-10 standings – FPU, 5-4

Saturday, February 22, 2020

No. 2 Geneseo @ Brockport
The Golden Eagles can create challenges for anyone in the SUNYAC so Geneseo isn’t walking in for an easy two points. Brockport is playing for a lot in their head-to-head battle with Buffalo State for position. Third period magic from the Knights’ seniors get it done – Geneseo, 4-3

Massachusetts-Boston @ New England College
It is the dreaded No. 4 vs. No. 5 quarterfinal matchup in the NEHC and both these teams deserved a better fate than facing each other. Fornaris and Pintusov end up a goal better than Redler and Albano – NEC, 4-3

No. 7 Trinity @ Wesleyan
The Bantams need this one against a tough travel partner that likely made Friday night difficult for the home team. Reverse the script and the road team gets it done – Trinity, 4-2

No. 13 Wilkes @ No. 3 Utica
The Pioneers have been in a three-way battle for the top spot for weeks and found ways to win big games against teams sitting above them. Hmmm, déjà vu? Home ice is worth the extra goal, a regulation win and top seed in the UCHC tournament – Utica, 3-2

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Salem State @ Plymouth State
This one could be a preview of a playoff match-up in the not so distant future. The Panthers aren’t looking out that far and want to send a message about where the MASCAC championship will travel through in their rink. Sean Cleary and company keep it close for the Vikings but PSU gets it done on home ice – Plymouth State, 4-2

It’s now down to the wire and there is so much still to play for in virtually every conference – “Drop the Puck!”