Yet again, it’s another weekend of nonconference games for the ECAC Northeast, save for Friday’s Wentworth-Becker game. One would think the endless road trips and the unfamiliar teams would produce some monotony, but it’s actually the opposite. Many of the conference’s schools are still on winter break, so this is the time when each team can focus solely on hockey. In the MASCAC, the conference schedule resumes this week.
I went 3-1-2 last week, bringing my season record to 27-17-7. By the way, today is Friday, January 13. Which means that if tradition (or superstition) holds, I’ll either get every pick right or every pick wrong.
Western New England at Geneseo, 7 p.m. Friday
Western New England plays its fourth of five road games in an 11-day stretch, traveling from eastern Connecticut to Western New York. Western New England goalie Eric Sorenson leads the nation with a .944 saves percentage and is second in the nation with a 1.76 goals-against average. Geneseo enters Friday’s game on a five-game winning streak. Pick: Western New England 4-3
Buffalo State at Johnson and Wales, 1 p.m. Saturday
Johnson and Wales plays the second of two nonconference games at home against Buffalo State. Johnson and Wales forward Jeremiah Ketts entered the weekend tied with Potsdam’s Sy Nutkevitch as the nation’s leading scorer (26 points). Ketts is also tied with Castleton’s Justin Alonzo for second in the nation with 17 assists. Pick: Johnson and Wales 6-3
Nichols at Hobart, 4 p.m. Saturday
Nichols freshman Louie Educate was named ECAC Northeast Player of the Week for the second time this season and entering the weekend, Educate is the second-leading scorer in the nation among Division III freshmen with 12 goals and eight assists. Yet while the Bison have struggled this season, they have won two of their last four games. Pick: Hobart 5-2
Salem State at Fitchburg State, 4 p.m. Saturday
Salem State snapped a three-game losing streak with Sunday’s 2-1 win at Southern Maine and after a six-day layoff, the Vikings resume their schedule with their first MASCAC game since a 4-0 loss December 10 to Worcester State. Salem State is fourth in the nation on the penalty kill (64 of 69, 92.8 percent), behind Western New England (42 of 45, 93.3 percent). Pick: Salem State 3-2
Westfield State at Worcester State, 6:30 p.m. Saturday
Westfield State lost five in a row from November 22 to January 3 and gave up an average of 42 shots on goal in its first 11 games, including 48 shots on goal January 3 in a 2-1 loss to Williams. Worcester State goalie Bryan Kalczynski entered the week in three-way tie for seventh nationally in saves percentage (.935) with Gustavus Adolphus’ John McLean and Johnson and Wales’ Matt Cooper. Pick: Worcester State 4-1
Massachusetts-Dartmouth at Salve Regina, 7 p.m. Saturday
Massachusetts-Dartmouth forward Mike Owens entered the week as the leading scorer in the MASCAC with nine goals and seven assists in 11 games. Salve Regina ended a six-game winless streak January 4 with a 2-1 win over Lake Forest, then took 10 days off between games before it resumes its schedule against the Corsairs. Pick: Massachusetts-Dartmouth 6-3