Tonight starts the women’s Division III conference tournaments and all six (well, seven) figure to be riddled with competition, which for those loyal diehards, is par for the course at this level.
Candace and Matt make their picks for this weekend’s games.
Thursday, Feb. 26
Bethel at St. Mary’s
Candace: I like the home team in this one, but it will be closer. St. Mary’s 3-2
Matt: Home ice seems to matter in the playoffs and that’s the case here as St. Mary’s wins 4-1.
Friday-Sat. Feb. 27-28
Wisconsin-Eau Claire at Wisconsin-River Falls
Wisconsin-Superior at Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Candace: Both home teams have been strong throughout the year, and should advance to a much-anticipated clash. Wis.-River Falls 4-1, 3-1 Wis.-Stevens Point 3-1, 2-1
Matt: River Falls and Stevens Point should meet in the finals, so both get the win here at home.
Saturday, Feb. 28
Southern Maine at Castleton
Massachusetts-Boston at Manhattanville
Univ. of New England at Norwich
Nichols at Salve Regina
Candace: A tough conference to pick, except for Norwich. Castleton 2-1, Manhattanville 3-1, Norwich 4-0, Nichols 3-1
Matt: Norwich is my pick to come out of the ECAC East, so the Cadets win here, along with Castleton, Manhattanville and Salve Regina.
Cortland at Oswego
Buffalo State at Utica
Candace: Oswego has been probably the third best team in this conference. Oswego 3-0, Utica 3-1
Matt: Oswego has been my dark horse all season and the Lakers get the duke here. So does Utica.
Concordia (Minn.) at St. Thomas
Matt: St. Thomas is just too well-rounded for Concordia and gets the win, let’s say 4-0.
Marian at St. Norbert
Concordia (Wis.) at St. Scholastica
Matt: St. Norbert poses a serious threat to Adrian, waiting in the wings next weekend and the Green Knights win here. St. Scholastica has Nina Waidacher and she’s the difference against Concordia.
Colby at Amherst
Bowdoin at Connecticut College
Hamilton at Middlebury
Williams at Trinity
Candace: I don’t see anything stopping an Amherst-Middlebury final. Amherst 4-1, Bowdoin 2-1, Middlebury 4-1, Trinity 1-0
Matt: Middlebury is my lock to win the NESCAC, so let’s pick a Panthers’ win here, in addition to wins by Amherst, Bowdoin in a major upset, and Trinity.
ECAC Women’s Open
Holy Cross vs. St. Anselm
Franklin Pierce vs. St. Michael’s
Candace: St. Anselm has been the bane of the Crusaders of late, but I’m picking my alma mater to face St. Michael’s. Holy Cross 3-2, St. Michael’s 3-1
Matt: Always been a fan of Holy Cross, so the Crusaders win in what should be a tightly contested affair. I also like Franklin Pierce’s talent base and it carries the squad to a win in this event.