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Back on the ice doesn’t mean back at each other’s throats. SUNYAC schools will finally return to action this weekend after the long holiday break (excepting Oswego and Plattsburgh, which both hosted holiday tourneys last weekend), but for this week and next, the battling will be strictly of the nonconference variety. Even so, all nine teams will want to launch into 2013 in fine style before finally getting down to the business of beating up on each other. With that, there are some interesting tilts to examine. (Record last time, 1-2).

Friday, Jan. 4

Oswego at Elmira
Oswego took care of business just before New Year’s by winning its own Pathfinder Bank tourney, something it hadn’t done in three years. With the holiday rust duly shaken off, the No. 2 Lakers appear to be ready to take on all comers, including Elmira, which hadn’t expected to be below .500 at this or any stage. Oswego 6-1

Saturday, Jan. 5

Plattsburgh at Castleton
This tilt looked to be a possible top 10 clash before the season began, but Castleton has been a big disappointment as the season has unrolled. The Cardinals like to play it close to the vest, which should be enough to rack up this road win. Plattsburgh 3-1

Tuesday, Jan. 8

Cortland at Nazareth
A rare, non-weekend skate for the Red Dragons, who are one of the feistier teams in the region. They should be strong enough to take care of varsity newbies Nazareth, but would do well to remember that the Naz did upset poll-hungry Geneseo in the very first game of the season (and of the Golden Flyers existence). Cortland 3-0