Game of the Week
With the SUNYAC schedule half over, it’s wall-to-wall nonconference games for the last weekend of the fall semester.
Highlighting the dozen games is a rematch of the first round of the Primelink Tournament — Plattsburgh at Norwich. In that meeting, Norwich won, 3-0.
And therein lays a serious problem for Plattsburgh — lack of scoring recently. They were shutout in both Primelink games, scored just two before Thanksgiving against Geneseo (but won), and scored just two after Thanksgiving against Oswego (and tied). They did score six in their last game, but that was against Cortland. In big games recently, they’ve struggled.
On the plus side, they have been keeping the puck out of the net, shutting out Geneseo, notching a 0-0 tie against Middlebury, letting up just two goals against the strong Oswego offense, and letting Cortland score just one.
It appears coach Bob Emery has settled on sophomore Mathieu Cadieux as his top goalie. However, Josh Leis did get the shutout versus Middlebury. Overall, Cadieux has a 1.85 goals against average and a .933 save percentage. As a team, Plattsburgh has let up 1.90 goals per game.
Despite the recent scoring slump, Norwich is the only game Plattsburgh has lost in its last six.
Norwich, on the other hand, is cruising at 8-0 and ranked number one in the USCHO.com poll. The Cadets average 4.62 goals per game while letting up just 1.75.
Norwich is the last team you want to play to get your offense going, especially when you have to travel. I’ll take the Cadets in this one.
Once again, I did not get a conference game completely wrong, propelling me to a 7-2-2 record last week. I never mentioned the week before I went 3-2-1 for the Thanksgiving weekend games. Thus, overall I now stand at 34-11-6 (.725).
The only road team I am picking this weekend is Elmira over host Brockport.
“For us, it’s kind of a chance to be a statement game, playing a very good, ranked team,” Brockport coach Brian Dickinson said. “We played them very tough last year in their building. It was 2-2 at one point. We want to obviously be in a situation where we can grow into beating an Elmira, Oswego, Plattsburgh, be that type of team night in and night out. Gives us a chance to finish up the semester against a very good team and hopefully go into the break on a little bit more momentum.”
Two years ago when Potsdam played two games at Utica, that series turned into a ferocious hitting, playoff-style pair of games which the teams split.
After the second game, Utica coach Gary Heenan said, “It was a war out there. There were a lot of hard hits out there. We got guys hurt. I believe he’s got guys hurt. We haven’t played them in a number of years. It would be fun to get this going. I don’t think there’s a lot of love on the ice out there.”
Unfortunately, the teams did not play each other last year, and this season, Potsdam has had such a turnover of personnel, barely anyone remembers the grudges and paybacks. It will be interesting to see if the action is able to pick up where it left off two years ago.
Utica stumbled recently, but came back strong against Buffalo State. I’ll take Utica.
I expect to see Fredonia beat Johnson and Wales both times. Ditto with Neumann over Morrisville and New England College over Cortland. However, it won’t surprise me if Morrisville or Cortland or both can steal a game.
Geneseo will have no trouble against Salve Regina, but will the next night at Elmira, losing that one. Finally, Oswego will take Hobart.