D-III East Hockey Game Picks – October 28, 2022 – College Hockey

Ryan Kenny of Stevenson is looking to put his team in the win column when they open against SUNY-Canton this weekend (Photo by Sabina Moran)

The end of show season is upon us and while the action was exciting, it hasn’t counted yet. Luckily, the official puck drop of the new season is upon us this weekend and, WOW, what a list of games with some top-ranked teams battling it out. Tournament action is also on tap this weekend with the Woo Cup tournament in Worcester, MA among local institutions with online material to open the season. Here are the first predictions of the season from a varied and exciting group of non-conference action:

Friday, October 28, 2022

Salem State vs. (14) Endicott

The Battle of the North Shore opens the season with the Gulls welcoming the Vikings. Expect this one to be close, but CCC trumps MASCAC with a few power-play goals to get the “W” – Endicott, 4-3

Massachusetts-Dartmouth v. Massachusetts-Boston

The Beacons and Corsairs have faced each other for many years despite different league affiliations. Rivalry is always a lively and fast-paced encounter. The combination of Sam Best in goal and new incoming attacking talent leads the Beacons to victory – UMB, 4-1

(13) Oswego v. (5) Hobart

Nothing like a top 15 game in the Cooler to open the season. While the Statesmen discover their goaltender, their skaters can smother an opposing team with their talent and immense crowd support. Home ice is worth at least one goal in this one and the home team needs it – Hobart, 3-2

Plattsburgh vs. Plymouth State

The Panthers won’t look past the Cardinals on Friday night, especially on a home opener. Look for a physical game that includes lots of special teams. The power play is the difference in this one with Myles Abbate making the winning difference for the home side – Power supply, 4-3

Stevenson v. Canton

Mustangs need to be very focused and not worry about who will visit their barn next weekend. Better to avoid the upset alert and take care of business against the Roos. Ryan Kenny makes sure the boys are focused in a semi-comfortable win – Stevenson, 5-2

St. Anselm vs. Southern New Hampshire

This NE-10 opener may be a preview of something we’ll see much later in the season – oh, like next March. Nick Howard vs. Aaron Mercer in goal for the respective teams are the best two in the conference. George Thurston scores for Penmen but not enough to beat Hawks on opening night – Saint Anselm, 3-2

Saturday, October 29, 2022

(2) Geneseo c. Nazareth

The Knights are still looking to get off to a quick start, and an early lead here provided by Justin Cmunt and Peter Morgan leads to a comfortable lead. Matt Petzian in goal secures a Geneseo win on the road – Geneseo, 5-2

(3) Utica c. (1) Adrian

The Pioneers love a challenge, so there’s nothing like starting the season on the road against the reigning National Champions. Big-game experience matters to Utica and they capitalize on it in a thrilling one-goal win on Saturday – Utica, 5-4

Cortland v. (11) Wilkes

The Red Dragons went to Wilkes last season and won, and Luca Durante didn’t play in that game. Flip the script where he’s in the blue paint for the home team and Cortland opens the season with an upset victory over a quality ranked team – Corland, 3-1

Chatham vs. Skidmore

Rob Hutchison’s squad won’t surprise anyone this season given their success last year. Tate Brandon will build on his strong freshman season and the Thoroughbreds will move past the Cougars with a late insurance goal – Skidmore, 4-2

Plymouth State vs. (7) Babson

The Beavers open their season with a young roster that will be tested against Plymouth State. Last season saw a one goal game between these two teams and this year will see more goals but the same differential – Babson, 3-2

St. Michael’s v. Albertus Magnus

The Falcons don’t want to repeat last season’s slow start, so an opening weekend win or two is exactly what their coach is looking for. Logan Bateman does his thing in goal and Alex Gagnon and company find enough to win – Albertus Magnus, 3-1

It is the sprint of the first half which starts this weekend until the beginning of December. Everyone is looking to get off to a hot start and get big wins and momentum in their favor. It should be a very exciting season in every conference. Buckle up! It’s going to be a wild ride. My weekly game pick endorsement is always a tribute and appreciation to John “Jocko” Connolly for letting me use it over these many years. It’s time – “Drop the puck!”

Catherine J. Martinez