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Thursday, February 16, 2012

CTHSHockey Elite 8 (+4) Predictions

By: Luke Devoe

8 Elite Predictions, too many good games this week so we're adding four more games.  You're welcome.  Mark these on the calendar: (Season 18-12-2, Last Week: 2-3-0, waiting on two Thursday 2/16 games.)

2/18 #1 Fairfield Prep @ #3 Notre Dame-West Haven 1:00 @ Bennett Rink
This week's Game of the Week is the first one featured here.  The mighty Jesuits head to the chilly confines of Bennett Rink to take on, what many people would say is the only team that has a chance to dethrone them.  This game has everything, dynamic scorers in Colby Cretella, Greg Zullo and Bill Vizzo for ND and David White, AJ Unker and Connor Henry.  It also has strong fanbases that should be out in full force Saturday, proven coaches in Sather and Derosa and strong defensive cores.  The edge I see here is Riley Wikman in goal for Prep over the combination of Luc Amatruda and Paul Sliwonski for NDWH.  That being said, the Jesuits stay undefeated in the state.  Prep 4, NDWH 2

2/18 #7 West Haven @ #5 Hamden 2:30 @ Lou Astorino Rink
Tuesday's overtime thriller was one of the state's best this year.  Hamden looked dead in the water late in the third against the Blue Devils until the Jeremy Germain show began.  Germain potted the game tying and game winning goals to propel the Dragons to victory.  The Westies won't soon forget the loss and have to be encouraged in the effort they were given in net by Forrest Schell who turned away 31 Hamden shots, many of which were of the highest quality.  Hamden plays Thursday against East Haven while the Blue Devils are off until Saturday giving them some time to stew over the loss.  West Haven probably has about three players better than Hamden's best but Hamden's depth is their lifeblood.  Should be a dandy at the Lou but Hamden is the deeper team and I think they sweep the Blue Devils out of Hamden Saturday.  Hamden 4, West Haven 3

2/18 Notre Dame-Fairfield @ #6 Glastonbury 6:00 @ Trinity College
Glastonbury after a tiny tough stretch has run off five straight wins and has done so in impressive fashion outscoring their opponents 25-9 during that stretch.  The Lancers have a tough final four games playing a quality opponent in each.  They will be coming off a game with South Windsor on Thursday so their mindset could be in two totally different places depending on what happens then.  With the exception of their win over West Haven, ND-Fairfield got back into the mix with wins over lesser caliber teams.  Glastonbury is deeper and has been getting incredible outings from speedster Ethan Holdaway.  The Tomahawks take this one. Glastonbury 5, ND-Fairfield 2

2/18 Amity @ #8 Xavier 7:00 @ Wesleyan Ice Rink
Amity needs to win three of its final five with this game against Xavier being the most difficult.  If they could ever steal a win here they will be in good shape to climb into playoff contention.  I just don't see it happening.  They could very well win 3 of 5 but one of those three won't be against the Falcons.  Xavier is coming off an instate win over East Haven and an out of state beatdown, losing to St. John's Shrewsbury 6-2 most recently.  Out of all top ten teams Xavier would be most susceptible to the upset.  Doubt it happens though.  Xavier 4, Amity 0

2/18 New Canaan @ St. Joseph 8:00 @ The Rinks at Shelton

In a matchup of two teams on the cusp of breaking the rankings and in all reality doing some damage in the tourney, St. Joseph looks for some revenge against the Rams who trounced them 6-1 earlier in the season.  If this was last season this matchup would probably be the Game of the Week but for now it's two borderline quality teams trying to gain some confidence heading into the tourney.  I'll take the home team in this one.  St. Joseph 3, New Canaan 2

2/20 Amity @ Fermi/Enfield 1:00 @ Enfield Twin Rinks
Amity gets another shot to notch a win and get one step closer to getting all SCC Division 1 teams in the tourney, they would be number 9 of 9.  This one is way more doable than the Xavier game.  The only problem is the Falcons of Fermi/Enfield are just as hungry still needing a win to qualify.  The other factor playing against the Spartans in this one is "The Twin".  Enfield Twin Rinks is not an easy rink to go in and win and because of that I'm going with Fermi in this one. Fermi/Enfield 5, Amity 4

2/20 South Windsor @ #4 Darien 2:10 @ Darien Ice Rink

Parity has reigned supreme this season in the state and that was no more evident than Tuesday when Darien was romped 4-0 by New Canaan mere days after topping the dynamic Ridgefield Tigers.  It's gotten to the point where you can throw a good 12 teams' names in a hat with the exception of Prep and not truly know who will take the victory.  This is very exciting heading into tourney time but must be keeping coaches up at night as well.  With that said, South Windsor will win games and could be a dark horse to make a run in the tournament but Darien, like normal, is hot this time of year and will bounce back well from the New Canaan loss.  Darien 4, South Windsor 1

2/20 #3 Notre Dame-West Haven @ North Haven 7:30 @ Northford Ice Pavilion 
North Haven keeps posing as giant killers and taking some hard losses on the chin in the process (2-1 & 1-0 to Xavier, 4-3 OT to East Haven and most recently 2-1 to Prep).  They surely possess enough talent to beat some of these top teams and with Amarone in goal backstopping them they will be a team to watch in the tourney for the yearly upset.  North Haven will keep this one close, but the Green Knights are way too talented.  If only the Indians had an offense.  NDWH 3, North Haven 0

2/21 #2 Ridgefield @ #6 Glastonbury 2:30 @ Trinity College
A dandy of a game on a day when not a lot of local hockey will be played should bring the fans to Trinity College.  Ridgefield is still a force to be reckoned with and Glastonbury is riding as hot as anyone in the state.  A battle of the undersized scoring machines takes place here as Sean Wilkinson (fresh off a hat trick against Trumbull) and Ethan Holdaway go at it.  This game will serve more as a serious confidence boost heading into the tourney than really affecting the rankings.  RIdgefield proves their might in this one! Ridgefield 5, Glastonbury 3

2/22 #6 Glastonbury @ #9 Simsbury 5:45 @ ISCC
I feel like SImsbury is on the verge of beating another really good squad.  They've put together a to of quality games this year and have competed against some of the best in the state.  I think this day is when they upset Glastonbury the same way they did to South Windsor and West Haven.  The Tomahawks are riddled with tough games and just may overlook Simsbury in this one.  Simsbury 2, Glastonbury 1

2/22 North Haven @ #4 Darien 2:40 @ Darien Ice Rink
I'm quite tempted to pick North Haven in one of these top 10 matchups but it's just so hard to figure out which Indians squad will show up, the team that's lost Amity and WFA or the team who nearly beat Prep and beat a good Glastonbury team.  The Indians are defensively sound enough to top the Wave, but Darien is playing well.  Well enough to beat North Haven.  Darien 4, North Haven 3

2/22 #3 Notre Dame-West Haven @ Notre Dame-Fairfield 6:00 @ Milford Ice Pavilion
The Lancers will keep this game much closer than their 8-1 loss to Prep.  But they won't win.  Their only hope is that Notre Dame will be overlooking them to Hamden the following week on senior night.  If the Lancers are to win they'll need another stellar performance out of junior Dave Canafrotta.  Canafrotta has had two hat tricks on the year and recorded the Lancers' lone goals in beatdowns to Hamden and Prep.  The kid's a gamer and they'll need his A game.  NDWH has more than enough players to match his talent level.  NDWH 3, ND-Fairfield 2

#5 Hamden and #1 Fairfield Prep will take on some out of state teams.  Hamden is heading to Springfield Cathedral in Springfield, Massachusetts next Wednesday for a two day tourney.  The Green Dragons will take on Malden Catholic of Malden, Massachusetts in the opener and face the winner of host Springfield Cathedral and Needham, MA.  Malden Catholic is the #1 ranked team in Massachusetts and will be the number one seed in the state's Super 8 tournament.  See article here.  Hamden has already lost to Mass powers Hingham (#4) and St. John's Shrewsbury (receiving votes) so topping Malden Catholic could be quite the feat.  Fairfield Prep will welcome Catholic Memorial, MA on Wednesday.  Catholic Memorial is having a down year by their standards coming into the game at the Wonderland at 7-7-2 on the year.  

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