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Monday, January 21, 2013

Eight Elite Predictions: 1/23-1/29

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 seven selections.  

Season: 27-15-2, Last Week: 3-3-0 w/ two more finishing on Monday

1/23: Newington-Berlin @ Northwest Catholic 7:30 @ International Skate Center
Newington-Berlin has been struggling dropping two of their last three.  NW Catholic, while not dismantling opponents are steadily winning and winning and winning.  I think NWC has a shot at a D2 title this year and while New-Ber will be in it all the way to the end at the D3 ranks, NWC takes this one again and sweeps the season series.  But beware, senior netminder Drew O'Leary is a difference maker for Newington-Berlin and if he's on his game I could be dead wrong.  NW Catholic 4, Newington-Berlin 2

1/23: East Catholic @ Hall-Southington 7:30 @ Veteran's Memorial Rink
Hall-Southington is coming in with back to back wins over quality opponents.  H-S topped D1's North Haven in convincing fashion and followed up toppling Newington-Berlin, declaring themselves as the top D3 team right now.  However, the last time they faced a top D2 squad they allowed 11 goals in an 11-5 loss to Northwest Catholic.  East Catholic has some serious resume wins on their side in Glastonbury and North Branford and while Hall-Southington is playing much better than when they lost to NWC, East takes this one.  East Catholic 5, Hall-Southington 3

1/24: Don Bosco Prep (NJ) @ Fairfield Prep 6:00 @ Wonderland of Ice
Prep is running through the competition moving to (10-0-0) on the season.  They are by far and away the best team in the state.  They are outscoring their opponents 55-15 on the year and have fared equally as well against out of state opponents going (4-0-0) in those games.  Scoring is coming from all over and the Jesuits are deep.  Don Bosco comes in at (10-3-0) with losses to Delbarton (NJ), whom FP beat, and touted BC High (MA).  Don Bosco is good and could be one of Prep's biggest challenges this season.  But there isn't a chance in hell I'm picking against the Jesuits.  Fairfield Prep 4, Don Bosco 3

1/26: GAME OF THE WEEK Notre Dame-West Haven @ Hamden 2:30 @ Lou Astorino Rink
The Green Knights seemed to get back on track on Saturday when after taking a 2-0 deficit into the first intermission, roared back and dropped six unanswered on Xavier backup goalie Paul Hotchkiss.  Hamden is coming off another impressive win in true anomalistic form.  The Green Dragons topped Hingham (MA) on Saturday shortly after getting trounced by ND Fairfield.  The good thing for the Dragons is that they are finally getting scoring from all over the roster, Matt Hoff is as good as they get in net and they should pick up another insurance win on Wednesday at Cheshire.  The bad news is that NDWH couldn't be hungrier coming into this rivalry game.  They're eager to show that they are still the elite team that we all thought they were.  While Hamden has the pieces to make a run, NDWH takes this one on enemy turf.  NDWH 5, Hamden 3

1/26: Northwest Catholic @ East Catholic 5:10 @ Champions Skating Center-Cromwell
This could very easily be the Game of the Week, but the D1 gods would get mad if I didn't make Hamden/NDWH the G.O.T.W.  Both teams could be undefeated coming in and boy wouldn't that be exciting.  They've both posted some real quality wins this year and this could be a preview of the D2 championship if one of D2's SCC schools doesn't have something to say about it.  Both of these squads are going to keep progressing and driving towards the D1 ranks.  I just think NWC has been more convincing this year in their undefeated run.  I'll take the Indians, barely.  Northwest Catholic 3, East Catholic 2  

1/26: Simsbury @ South Windsor 6:00 @ South Windsor Arena
The Trojans come in (6-3-0) and in comfy shape for the state tournament.  South Windsor comes in (4-6-0) and not in as sweet of a position.  This game means a lot for the Bobcats and at home in front of their faithful they need to take this one.  With the Bobcats in more of a desperation mode than Simsbury, I like them to take this one at home.  South Windsor 5, Simsbury 4

1/26: Darien @ North Haven 8:45 @ Northford Ice Pavilion
Let me preface this by saying I think Darien wins the game.  BUT, North Haven has surprised and has the tools to keep this close led by sophomore goalie Graziano.  The Indians have a Monday night matchup with Watertown-Pomperaug before this and at (2-6-2) there has to be a sense of urgency in the NIP locker room.  Darien comes in running off 5 straight, 6 if they beat Greenwich on Wednesday.  They've proven they can dismantle the D2 portion of their schedule outscoring the last four 24-4.  North Haven may be closer to a D2 program right now so it could get ugly but call me crazy, I think the Indians keep it fairly close.  Darien 4, North Haven 2

1/28: New Canaan @ Notre Dame-Fairfield 7:00 @ Milford Ice Pavilion
ND Fairfield has been on fire with wins over ND West Haven, Hamden and a convincing 7-0 drubbing against W-F-A.  They will have already faced underrated Fermi-Enfield and surprising New Milford before this one so who knows if the unbeaten streak will still be tact.  Either way New Canaan is a good test for the Lancers and vice versa.  New Canaan has won three straight, at press time, against bottom dwellers but has a stern test in Xavier on Monday 1/21.  This game pairs two borderline tournament teams and I think riding the coat tails of junior netminder Stone Denbok, the Lancers are actually the better of the two.  ND Fairfield 4, New Canaan 1

- CTHSHockey will be in the building!

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