From here on out, it will be imperative to keep an eye on both the ECAC Northeast and MASCAC standings. Entering this weekend’s slate of games, three points separate first place (Curry) from second (Johnson and Wales) in the ECAC Northeast, while two points separate first place (Salem State) from third (Plymouth State) in the MASCAC. Salem State has a little extra initiative in the final weeks of the regular season; Vikings coach Bill O’Neill is approaching a milestone, as the longtime coach is two wins away from 500 career wins — a mark that can be reached within the next six days.
As for my picks from last weekend? Somehow I went 6-0, which brings my season record to 39-22-8.
Becker at Nichols, 1:40 p.m. Saturday
Becker has won three of its last five games, but the Hawks lost a 3-2 lead in Wednesday’s loss to Western New England, as the Golden Bears scored two goals in the final two minutes of regulation. Nichols entered the week on a four-game winning streak and the Bison boast the nation’s top Division III freshman scorer in Louie Educate (20 goals, nine assists, prior to Thursday’s game at Wentworth). Nichols 3-1
Wentworth at Johnson and Wales, 6 p.m. Saturday
Johnson and Wales aims for consistency in the final weeks of the regular season, and took a step in the right direction with Wednesday’s 8-1 win over Salve Regina, continuing a scoring clip in which the Wildcats are averaging 4.8 goals a game this season. Prior to Thursday’s game against Nichols, Wentworth had won six of its last eight games. Wentworth 5-3
Curry at Western New England, 7:15 p.m. Saturday
Curry entered the week atop the ECAC Northeast standings and unbeaten in its last four games after Tuesday’s 1-1 nonconference tie with New England College. Curry senior Ryan Barlock leads all ECAC Northeast and national defensemen in scoring with five goals and 20 assists. Western New England has struggled in the second half of the season, going 4-7 since the start of the new year, including Wednesday’s win at Becker. Curry 4-1
Fitchburg State at Salem State, 2 p.m. Saturday
The Vikings are atop the MASCAC standings entering Saturday’s game against the Falcons, but Tuesday’s 6-5 nonconference loss at St. Anselm ended the Vikings’ seven-game unbeaten streak. Fitchburg State has won three of its last four games, and enters the weekend in fourth place in the MASCAC. Salem State 4-2
Worcester State at Westfield State, 5 p.m. Saturday
Worcester State is winless in its last four games, and goalie Bryan Kalczynski’s goals-against average has gone up to 2.15, as the Lancers have surrendered an average of nearly three goals a game in that winless stretch. The Lancers face Westfield State, which earned a 4-3 overtime win last week in a nonconference game against Western New England. Westfield State 3-2
Framingham State at Plymouth State, 6 p.m. Saturday
Plymouth State is in third place in the MASCAC, a point behind Massachusetts-Dartmouth and two points behind first-place Salem State, and at this point in the season, every point is valuable for the Panthers. Prior to Thursday’s game against Westfield State, Plymouth State is 1-2-2 in its last five games — all MASCAC contests. Plymouth State 5-2