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Monday, December 10, 2012

Eight Elite Predictions 12/10-12/16

By: Luke Devoe

For those of you new to CTHSHockey Blog, every week I select eight intriguing matchups and predict the winner as well as providing a reasoning.  This year,'s Kevin Pataky will be selecting along side me.  Here are our debut selections for this season.  This early in the year it's tough but it appears for the most part we are on the same page.  This will appear on the blog every Monday.

 8 Elite Predictions: Mark these on the calendar
12/12 Hamden @ Darien 3:50 @ Darien Ice Rink
Hamden comes into this game after what many would consider a disappointing year.  Opening with Darien has become something of tradition.  Both teams played fairly well in the preseason and while I may catch some flack for this, I like Darien in this one.  It's going to take Hamden a little while to get going.  The talent is there.  Carangelo will be a beast this year and Joe O'Connor will emerge as one of the state's best defensemen but Darien is experienced and boast some serious offensive clout.  Brendan Hathaway and Jack Knowlton are a dynamic duo and while this one really could go either way, I'm going with the Wave.  LUKE- Darien 3, Hamden 2, KEVIN- Darien 3, Hamden 2

12/12 GAME OF THE WEEK Ridgefield @ Fairfield Prep 6:00 @ Wonderland of Ice

Ridgefield ran through in state competition led in most part by Sean Wilkinson's other worldly play.  Fairfield Prep ran through in state competition led in most part by David White's other worldly play.  Wilkinson is gone and White remains.  Prep certainly returns more talent up and down the roster but both teams are in the midst of getting new goalies used to Division I caliber play, adjusting to losses and finding their identity.  After a rough exhibition slate the Tigers seem to be a little further away from who they were last year than the Jesuits.  Going with Prep.  LUKE- Fairfield Prep 4, Ridgefield 2, KEVIN- Fairfield Prep 5, Ridgefield 3

12/12 Notre Dame-West Haven @ New Canaan 6:00 @ Darien Ice Rink
In the night cap at the DIR, the defending state champs take on a team who seems to always be relevant.  The Rams lost some serious talent and Notre Dame-West Haven seems to already be in mid-season form with two competent goalies in Amatruda and Sliwinski and boast two of the state's most electric players in Vizzo and Zullo.  New Canaan is talented enough to keep it close but the Rams, traditionally, have a tough time out of the gate.  I think the Green Knights are too much to handle on opening night.  LUKE- NDWH 5, New Canaan 1, KEVIN- NDWH 5, New Canaan 2

12/12 St. John's-Shrewsbury (MA) @ Xavier 6:00 @ Wesleyan University
Xavier has one of the state's most difficult schedules after what many would consader a dud of a schedule last year.  I've already discussed how much talent Xavier returns and it will be put to the test right away against one of many quality out of state opponents.  I'm very high on the Falcons this season and think they are being overlooked by many in the state but they may need some time to find their identity.  I'm going to go with the perennial Massachusettes power.  LUKE- SJS 4, Xavier 2, KEVIN- SJS 5, Xavier 3

12/15 West Haven @ Darien 5:10 @ Darien Ice Rink
West Haven boasts one of the most entertaining players in the state in Austin Hansen.  But they've lost quite a lot.  They certainly at any point can pull the upset but Darien is primed to have a run similar to Ridgefield's last year.  I like the wave to get off to a hot start and quiet two of the SCC's finest.  LUKE- Darien 4, West Haven 3, KEVIN- Darien 5, West Haven 3  

12/15 Fairfield Prep @ South Windsor 6:00 @ South Windsor Arena

This matchup would have been more attractive last year.  Prep has plenty of pieces in place and South Windsor is trying to find out which of their pieces will be effective.  Forwards Josh O'Neal and Chris Gionfrido seem to be the real deal and will score in buckets this year but Prep is too loaded for that to happen on this day.  LUKE- Fairfield Prep 6, South Windsor 3, KEVIN- Fairfield Prep 4, South Windsor 2

12/15 Glastonbury @ Ridgefield 8:50 @ Winter Garden Ice Arena

My logical side tells me that Ridgefield wins this one. Ridgefield is at home in front of a raucous student section hopefully building on the success of last year despite the departed Wilkinson.  But, my gut is telling me after a few tough losses in the preseason the Tomahawks are ready to compete this year behind goalie Chase Gabor (whom I'm very high on this year).  Glastonbury in a mild road upset.  LUKE- Glastonbury 4, Ridgefield 3, KEVIN- Ridgefield 5, Glastonbury 3

12/15 North Branford @ Daniel Hand 7:00 @ Northford Ice Pavilion

Our only D2 matchup on EEP this week features a new SCC squad and one that was unceremoniously bounced from the D2 tournament last season&  Both of these teams were eliminated in the semi's last year and are out looking for redemption.  That redemption may come a little more easier for the Thunderbirds who return their top two scorers in Martone and Podbielski.  The Tigers have a tougher task after losing a ton of talent off their 12-6-2 club of last season.  In their SCC "debut" I think the Thunderbirds take this one.  LUKE- North Branford 3, Hand 1, KEVIN- North Branford 4, Hand 1

- denotes Kevin will be in attendance
- denotes Luke will be in attendance

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