D-II/III East Hockey Game Picks – March 1, 2022 – College Hockey

Geneseo is one of several teams in the East looking to celebrate their conference win and qualify for the NCAA Tournament (Photo by Geneseo Athletics)

All I can say about last week is that it probably reflected the incredible parity across all teams and conferences. That’s exactly what you want in the playoffs – teams have to come out and get the win. My picks at 9-10-0 (.474) last week reflected the astonishing results – took too many presumed favorites. The overall numbers of 103-62-11 (.616) are good but not championship caliber, so one last shot before the annual one-on-one contest with Brian Lester in the NCAA Tournament. Everything is at stake this week and next weekend. With the semi-finals taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday, here are this week’s expanded picks, including the matchups scheduled for the weekend from the previous results:

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

MASCAC semi-finals

Framingham State v Plymouth State

The Rams are coming off a huge peak while the Panthers have been out for a week. Blake Carlson was amazing in goal for FSU but now faces a powerful Panther attack that comes in waves. It’s closer than the score indicates with an empty-net goal, or two – Power supply, 4-1

Salem State vs. Westfield State

The Vikings didn’t look like much until the calendar turned to February where they took 50% of their win total for the season. Erik Larsson and Joe Smith are dangerous scorers and Aaron Mercer was steady in goal. Vikings surprise Owls in OT – ASU, 3-2

NE-10 Semi-finals

Post vs. Southern New Hampshire

The Penmen claimed the top seed with a great first half and enough good play when it counted in the second half. It matters most now, so look for George Thurston, Joe Fiorino and goalkeeper Adam Mercer to lead the home side to victory – SNHU, 5-2

Stonehill v. Assumption

UPSET ALERT — the Greyhounds better not take the Skyhawks lightly as St. Anselm found out last weekend. The match against Franklin Pierce showed the need to go the full 60 minutes, so look for the home team to start fast and finish strong – Assumption, 6-3

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

SUNYAC semi-finals

Brockport vs. Geneseo (3)

The Knights are at home and well rested but face a reinvigorated Brockport team that found a way to win in a hostile atmosphere. This one is close but the regular season champions are punching their ticket to the title game – Genesis, 4-3

Cortland v. Oswego (12)

Luca Durante versus Steven Kozikoski. Goalkeepers will be key here in a game that may not see a goal in regulation time, but will definitely need one in extra time to decide the winner. The Lakers get away with it – Oswego, 2-1

CCC Semi-Finals

Nichols v. University of New England (11)

The Nor’easters are very tough at home and Nichols will try to slow them down. Tough to do for three periods and the power play will be key for the home team. Jake Fuss and company use a big third period for the victory – A, 5-2

Curry vs. Endicott (13)

This one will be a battle as soon as the first puck drops. Both teams are quick, competent and very opportunistic. Go only with Gulls because of home ice, home crowd and Conor O’Brien between the posts – Endicott, 2-1

Saturday, March 5, 2022

CCC Championship

Endicott (13) v University of New England (11)

The league game won’t be high profile like their game a few weeks ago at Biddeford. This one will be a chess game with the visitors scoring late to win the game and defend their 2020 CCC title – Endicott, 3-1

MASCAC Championship

Salem State vs. Plymouth State

The seniors and graduate students returning to make that final run are sure to be in for a game, especially at home. JR Barone leads the Panthers to victory but not without biting his nails – Power supply, 3-1

NE-10 Championship

Assumption vs. Southern New Hampshire

This one will see plenty of goals as these two teams will take advantage of special team opportunities. The home team rallies in the final period to send the game into extra time and celebrate in grand style – SNHU, 5-4

NEHC Championship

Skidmore vs. Babson (6)

The NEHC is the deepest conference in the nation, with the two finalists knocking out the top two seeds last weekend. Surprise, surprise, it will be a Babson victory in overtime. The only question is who gets the championship goal – Babson, 2-1

NESCAC semi-finals

Williams v. Trinity

The Bantams have been the hottest team at NESCAC for the past three weeks, winning six in a row. Make it seven against a strong Williams side that can’t score enough to beat the Bantams – Trinity, 3-2

Hamilton vs. Colby (14)

The Mules can show off their new setup as Final Four weekend hosts, but that won’t mean anything if they don’t play on Sunday. The Mules take care of business with Andy Beran closing the door on the Continentals – Colby, 4-3

SUNYAC Championship

Oswego (12) vs Geneseo (3)

The Lakers haven’t fared well in two games against the Knights this season and they say the hardest part is beating a team three times. The Knights have enough home playoff experience to defend their crown – Genesis, 2-0

UCHC Championship

Wilkes (8) vs. Utica (2)

The Trailblazers are locked down and loaded with a roster built for playoff hockey, but so are the seasoned Colonels who lost in a shootout to Utica just weeks ago. This one will be a very intense game with the home team winning it in extra time – Utica, 2-1

Sunday, March 6, 2022

NESCAC Championship

Trinity vs. Colby (14)

The Mules will have learned something from their last loss at Trinity and that is to get the first goal of the game and build from there. Mules score early but still need overtime to decide NESCAC champions – Colby, 4-3

Lots of presumed results that may be a reach on the prediction side, but either way, it’s all in play this weekend with conference titles and NCAA tournament berths up for grabs. Tons in play, so go get it – “Drop the puck!”

Catherine J. Martinez