Weekend picks are back this week after a far too long absence!
Although there are no games between two top-10 ranked teams this weekend, there are some interesting matchups that should lead to some good games and some tough games to predict.
Friday, Feb. 2nd –
Here’s an interesting game between two ECAC East schools jockeying for playoff position as we enter the home stretch of the regular season. Salve currently sits in third place once we take out the non-D-III schools from the standings, while UMB is in seventh just four points back creating quite the logjam in the middle of the ECAC East standings. UMass-Boston won the earlier meeting this season 5-2 and I’ll take the Beacons again this time. UMass-Boston:4 Salve Regina: 3
Oswego will have their hands full this weekend with the top-ranked Tigers coming to town for a pair of games at the Campus Center. The Lakers have solidly emerged as the No. 4 team in the ECAC West this year behind the triumverant three of Elmira, RIT and Plattsburgh. The Lakers were the only team to knock off RIT last year before the national championship game so the Tigers will be looking for a little revenge. Oswego might keep it close one night but I see RIT winning comfortably once and then by two or three in the other game. RIT: 6 Oswego: 1 and RIT: 4 Oswego: 2
Personally, I feel this two-game series is right up there for the most intriguing of the week with St. Scholastica and Lake Forest. Both teams are tied for the No. 3 slot in the NESCAC right now which was for the most part expected. However, the unexpected part to some degree is the fact Conn. College and Williams are just one and two points behind respectively. This weekend’s pair of games at Bowdoin’s Watson Arena could go a long way toward settling the No. 3 spot if one of the teams can take three of more points. Trinity’s Alexa Pujol is one of the best in between the pipes for the Bantams and she’ll lead them to one win this weekend. However, Bowdoin also gets a win as well and the two teams remain tied coming out of the weekend. Bowdoin: 2 Trinity: 1 and Trinity: 3 Bowdoin: 1
These two clubs are currently duking it out for the all important fifth place in the ECAC West, which would avoid a first round meeting with one of Elmira, Plattsburgh and RIT. Neumann is currently a point ahead of the Bears and I think they’ll take both of these games to firmly entrench themselves in the fifth spot. With the NCAA sanction behind them and an official statement from the league saying the Knights are eligible for the ECAC West playoffs, they’ll be ready and motivated this weekend. Neumann: 4 Potsdam : 1 and Neumann: 3 Potsdam: 0
The Pointers currently lead Adrian by three points for fifth place in the NCHA. This weekend is their chance to solidify their hold on the spot and start to challenge Scholastica for the 4th spot. After starting off 6-2-1, the Pointers are just 3-6 in their last nine. Adrian has won three in a row and I think the Bulldogs pull off three points this weekend on the road to tie things up for fifth. Adrian: 3 Point: 2, Adrian: 2 Point: 2
St. Scholastica/Lake Forest
This is the most intriguing matchup of the week for me. You have St. Scholastica who is having a breakout year led by the Waidacher sisters against Lake Forest who features one of the top players in D-III in Kim Herring. After a strong start, CSS has had a little bit tougher road in the second half of the season. Part of it came due to the Waidachers missing a combined eight games. With the Waidachers back teamed with captain Michelle Fischer, the Saints regain their mojo and take three points from Lake Forest to pull ahead of the Foresters for third place. St. Scholastica: 4 Lake Forest: 3, St. Scholastica: 2 Lake Forest: 2
Drop the puck!