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Monday, January 14, 2013

Eight Elite Predictions 1/16-1/22

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.  Here are my week six selections.

Season: 24-12-2, Last Week: 5-3-1

8 Elite Predictions: Mark these on the calendar
1/16 Notre Dame-Fairfield @ Hamden 7:00 @ Lou Astorino Rink
The Lancers are coming off a larger than life upset victory over #2 ND-West Haven.  Hamden put together a nice little week for themselves tying #3 Xavier in a hard fought game and topping rival West Haven on Saturday 3-2.  I believe NDF can win this game but Hamden is starting to click.  Head Coach Billy Verneris is starting to find the right combinations and goalie Matt Hoff has been excellent.  If the Lancers opt to go with Canadian import Stone Denbok in net fans will be in for a goaltending treat!  I'm going to go with the home Green Dragons in this one but a win for NDF here will go a long way.  Hamden 3, ND-Fairfield 2

1/16 Fairfield Prep @ West Haven 6:30 @ Bennett Rink
West Haven was their own worst enemy on Saturday at the Lou taking many careless penalties in a game they could've had.  At (4-5-0), the Westies are on pace to make the states but will have their hardest battle of the year at Bennett on Wednesday when the vaunted, undefeated Jesuits come calling.  Prep is coming off Chris Gutierrez' 3-0 shutout of Rhode Island power LaSalle Academy and are looking strong.  I think Prep wins but this one will be closer than most people think.  Fairfield Prep 5, West Haven 3

1/16 Daniel Hand @ North Branford 8:30 @ Northford Ice Pavilion
In a battle of two of the SCC's hottest D2 squads, the Thunderbirds "host" the Tigers.  Hand is coming off ties against two of the SCC's D1 competitors.  They are, however, without the services of stud sophomore Ben Solin who will still be out with injury I'm told.  North Branford comes in winners of four straight and is looking to avenge their 4-3 loss to Hand earlier in the season.  Without Solin, North Branford is probably the stronger team but I'm going with a gut call on this one and picking Hand.  They've burned me before so I wouldn't be surprised if that happened again, but for now.  Hand 3, North Branford 1

1/19 Newington-Berlin @ Hall-Southington 1:00 @ Veteran's Memorial Ice Rink
In a battle of D3 powers Newington-Berlin looks to get back on track while Hall-Southington will be playing their first game in 11 days after most recently beating D1's North Haven 5-3.  Newington-Berlin was handed their first loss in 27 games when they fell 4-1 to Northwest Catholic on Saturday.  Hall-Southington was dropped 11-5 when they face NWC so take that comparable for what it's worth.  I still think Newington-Berlin is an elite squad and should win this one.  Newington-Berlin 5, Hall-Southington 4

1/19 Xavier @ Notre Dame-West Haven 1:00 @ Bennett Rink
Notre Dame-West Haven needs a redeemer.  They will face North Haven on Wednesday before this and should be able to handle the Indians fairly easily.  A win over a top team is what they need.  They'll be given that chance when Xavier comes calling.  NDWH was most recently topped by ND-Fairfield and are riding a shocking two game losing streak.  Xavier is also winless in two, tying a decent Hamden squad and losing their redemptive game against St. John's-Shrewsbury (MA).  The two teams faced each other in the championship of the West Haven Christmas Tourney with NDWH emerging victorious 5-2.  The game, however, was much more even than the final score would indicate.  If Xavier comes out and skates with the struggling Knights they can easily take this one.  I think this is a bounce back game for the Knights and while Head Coach Bill Gerosa may take a while selecting his starting net minder it's with the same consternation that I'm picking NDWH.  NDWH 4, Xavier 3

1/19 Ridgefield @ St. Joseph 7:30 @ Shelton Ice Rinks
In a rematch of Saturday night's "Instant Classic" the Tigers and the Cadets face off again, this time in Shelton.  It took three goals including the game winner from Tigers forward Adam Karashik to top the Cadets the first time.  This time should be equally as exciting.  Ridgefield's only losses on the season have come against last week's #1,2,3 teams.  Until Saturday night the Cadets had run off five straight.  Both teams will be clinching D1 state tourney bids soon and this Saturday's tilt should again be a fun one to watch.  I think Ridgefield is a little better on the defensive end at this point in the season, an area where I believe St. Joseph is struggling allowing 31 goals in their 9 games.  Ridgefield 4, St. Joseph 2

1/21 Glastonbury @ Amity 2:30 @ Bennett Rink
In what has turned into a pretty good matchup, D1's Glastonbury 3-2 losers in their last two to East Catholic and Simsbury take on a D2 Amity squad who comes in (5-1-0) with three straight wins and a 2-0-0 mark against D1 teams this year.  Glastonbury has struggled of late but are still playing well enough to win.  Amity is showing after dropping down to D2 why many considered them a favorite at the D2 ranks this year.  I think Glastonbury breaks through this rough patch and puts one in the win column, though I wouldn't be surprised at all if Amity is able to win this one.  Glastonbury 5, Amity 2

1/21 New Canaan @ Xavier 4:00 @ Wesleyan Ice Rink
New Canaan (3-3-2) comes into this one after should wins against Norwalk-McMahon and Stamford.  Therefore the Rams should be riding tall.  Xavier will be playing this one after a Saturday afternoon matchup with the Green Knights of NDWH.  The Rams have shown the ability to win big this year in games against inferior opponents while also playing strong teams close (0-0 T vs. Darien, 2-0 L vs. NDWH).  This game features two very capable goalies in NC's Chris Koenneke and Xavier's Shane Baldwin.  I think Xavier is the deeper of the two and will emerge victorious in this one.  Xavier 4, New Canaan 1

- CTHSHockey will be in the building!

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