Hockey Game Pick D-III East – February 17, 2022 – College Hockey

The University of New England are looking to celebrate the top seed in the CCC with two games to play this weekend (Photo by Tristan Durgin)

It’s already been a wild week with losses from Geneseo, Endicott and Plymouth State heading into Wednesday. It’s also the opening week of the playoff season for the NEHC with Wednesday’s opening round games seeing New England College and Southern Maine complete quarter-final pairings with wins in extension.

It’s also the last week of the regular season just about everywhere else and races are tight at all levels, so there’s plenty to play for before conference tournaments even start elsewhere. And then there’s the first GNAC commissioner’s cut being played out among the D-III independents this weekend for some bragging rights. My picks still have a lot to play for despite going 6-4-4 (.571) last week. The overall numbers of 80-46-11 (.624) are not worthy of a playoff contender, so no time like the present to pick winners. Lots of great action to choose from as teams play both the regular and rescheduled schedule to wrap up the season. Here are this week’s expanded picks:

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Fitchburg State vs. Westfield State

The Falcons are still in contention for the top spot, but the Owls have the same motivation to crack the top three in the standings. JoJo Carbone is hot for the Owls, but at this time of year it’s always good to have a proven goalie. The Falcons have Brian McGrath – that’s it – USF, 4-2

Friday, February 18, 2022

Salve Regina v. University of New England (11)

It’s a three-game week for most of the conference and this one is a battle between the top two. The Nor’easters will need to shut down a powerful Seahawks offense and home ice helps Billy Girard and company do just that – A, 3-2

St. Anselm vs. Southern New Hampshire

It’s the battle for Manchester that adds a bit of spice when these two teams play anything. Friday nights haven’t been good for the Penmen lately. Sticking with the trend and a recently hot Hawks team – Saint Anselm, 3-2

Trinity v. Wesleyan

The home-and-away series has a lot at stake for both teams and the Bantams looking to continue their strong play streak. The first goal scored will decide the game and the Bantams prepare as soon as they leave the bus – Trinity, 3-2

Chatham v Wilkes (9)

The Colonels want to be the second seed in UCHC and shouldn’t take the Cougars lightly. They’re minding business ahead of a date with Stevenson on Saturday – Wilkes, 5-3

Oswego (12) vs. Fredonia

The Lakers are looking for the top spot if Geneseo stumbles into their revamped schedule. They won’t miss out on a Blue Devil team that can play great hockey any night, as Geneseo found out on Tuesday – Oswego, 4-3

Tufts vs. Colby

A tough one-goal loss to Trinity still didn’t sit well with the Mules who came back to victory in a close game against Tufts. Justin Grillo leads the way – Colby, 3-1

Arcadia v. Lebanon Valley

The Flying Dutchmen’s final regular season games are a home-and-away series with Arcadia. Friday is home where the Dutch should fly. They equal their home record with a win – CVL, 3-1

GNAC Commissioners Cup

Rivier against Albertus Magnus

The top-seeded Falcons shouldn’t take the Raiders and Milan Breczko lightly. This one could be an offensive showcase, but goaltender Logan Batemen will keep the Raiders in check for the win – Albertus Magnus, 5-3

Canton v. Anna Maria

The AmCats started their game in the second half and the offense produced more expectation to start the season. A timely score and another great effort between pipes from Julius Huset helps AMC to the final on Saturday – Anna Maria, 4-3

Saturday, February 19, 2022

NEHC Quarter-Finals

Norwich (14) v Babson (8)

How deep is this conference that the No. 4 vs. No. 5 game features two nationally ranked teams? It will be hard fought, fast and low scoring with the home team winning in OT – Babson, 3-2

Skidmore v. Massachusetts-Boston

Game No. 6 against No. 3 is a replay of last week’s draw in extra time which saw Skidmore level the game with just two tenths of a second left in regulation time. This week, the Clark Center sees the Beacons holding on for the win – UMB, 2-1

New England College vs. Elmira (6)

First time in the NEHC playoffs for Elmira and better beware of a Pilgrims team that can score a lot. Not your typical defensive playoff battle with the home team winning with a big third period – Elmire, 5-3

Southern Maine vs. Hobart (5)

The Huskies last saw Hobart in early November in a 6-1 loss. The game in Hobart has been postponed, so there is no second half on how the Huskies will compete against the No. 1 seed. The home team is rested and focused. Same result as in November – Hobart, 6-1

Stevenson vs. Wilkes (9)

The Mustangs have been on the UCHC schedule lately, but this game will show where they stand. Ryan Kenny and the Special Teams make the difference in the big win that decides the MAC Championship – Stevenson, 6-4

Williams v. Amherst

Victory over Middlebury (sort of pick two games here) on Friday puts the Mammoths in a position to deliver Amherst alum and longtime coach Jack Arena halfway through his 500and college victory (currently stands at 496). Sounds like even more motivation to play a good game against their biggest rival – Amherst, 4-3

Endicott vs. Salve Regina

The game is expected to be light with excellent goaltending in Conor O’Brien of the Gulls and Nicholas Latinovich of the Seahawks. Special teams make the difference with a goal in an empty net for the home team – Saving Regina, 3-1

Geneseo (3) vs. Brockport

The Knights lost the first game of their catch-up games against Fredonia, so now it’s a quick reset and a return to their brand of hockey for the last three games remaining – Geneseo, 5-2

Franklin Pierce v. Assumption

The Greyhounds end their playoff game and Dante Maribito leads the offense to another much-needed conference victory against a team they face three straight – Assumption, 5-4

Sunday February 20, 2022

Morrisville vs Geneseo (3)

The home crowd knows what’s at stake for the Knights and their support is helping Geneseo close to the regular season title to defend the SUNYAC Championship – Genesis, 6-1

Exciting playoff action began in the NEHC on Wednesday, while the final weekend of the year is set to see drama in many other conferences with critical clashes between the teams battling for the top spot in the standings. Buckle up, it’s going to be an interesting race – “Drop the puck!”

Catherine J. Martinez