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Monday, January 28, 2013

Ten (+1) Elite Predictions (1/30-2/5)

By: Luke Devoe
1/28/13

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 week there are so many quality tilts I had to pick 10 (really 11).  Here are my week eight selections.  

Season: 32-19-2, Last Week: 3-4-0 w/ one more on Monday

1/30 Hamden @ Simsbury 5:45 @ ISCC
This one pits two teams going in opposite directions.  Hamden has struggled of late an laid a big egg Saturday against rival NDWH losing 7-1.  This team has been hard to read this year beating #7 Hingham but losing badly to NDWH, St. Joseph and ND Fairfield.  Simsbury has won three straight and is one win away from a D1 tourney bid.  Glastonbury would probably be the Trojans' most quality win of the year so a W over Hamden would go along way in legitimizing Simsbury.  I think Hamden bounces back and takes this one.  Hamden 3, Simsbury 2

1/30 West Haven @ ND Fairfield 6:00 @ Milford Ice Pavilion
CTHSHockey will be live at this one.  The Blue Devils bounced back nicely after a loss to Amity by beating an equally as capable D2 foe Milford Co-op on Saturday.  They have a tall task on Wednesday in ND Fairfield, a team who's season once looked lost and now has run off five straight and improved their record to (6-5-0).  This one features arguably the state's best goalie in Stone Denbok and a comparable opponent in the Westies' Mike Savino.  This should come down to fire power and at this point NDF is the deeper team.  NDF wins a game West Haven must have.  NDF 4, West Haven 2

1/30 Newington-Berlin @ Brookfield-Bethel-Danbury 6:40 @ Danbury Ice Arena
BBD was the #2 seed in last year's D3 state tournament.  A semifinal loss to Northwest Catholic spoiled their chance at Newington-Berlin.  They get their shot on Wednesday.  BBD has since moved up to D2 and has had a nice season to this point.  BBD is 8-0-0 against instate competition but is 0-3-1 against out of staters.  Newington-Berlin is doing their best to repeat at the D3 ranks.  This will be the fourth of five difficult games.  They are 1-1-1 over the first three beating Northwest Catholic, losing to Hall-Southington and tying Bolton-Coventry-Rockville.  This one could go either way and features one of the state's best goalie matchup's with the Indians' Drew O'Leary and BBD's Luiz Dibble facing off.  BBD has been very good, but Newington-Berlin takes this one.  Newington-Berlin 3, BBD 2

1/31 GAME OF THE WEEK Fairfield Prep @ Xavier 7:30 @ Ingalls Rink
CTHSHockey will be live at the Yale Whale for this tilt between two D1 heavies.  Fairfield Prep is the best team in Connecticut and can proudly lay claim to that title.  Xavier, in my opinion, is one of the only teams in the state with the grit, fire power and tenacity to hang with Prep, not necessarily beat them.  Xavier has relied on backup goalie Ben Guidobono and Paul Hotchkiss in starting goalie Shane Baldwin's absence.  If Baldwin is back on Thursday obviously the Falcons have a better shot against Prep but I think either way Prep's fire power  will be too much.  Fairfield Prep 4, Xavier 2

1/31 East Haven @ Amity 6:30 @ Bennett Rink
It's hard to get a read on East Haven this year.  They come into action (6-3-1) but when you look closer that record seems to be a little inflated with one goal wins over Cheshire and North Haven and a 2-1 loss to struggling West Haven as their only D1 action.  They are most recently coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to D3's St. Bernard-Bacon-NFA, the only D3 team on their schedule.  Amity shrugged off a bad 3-1 loss to Fermi-Enfield and has run off three straight.  They sit atop the D2 standings and are an impressive (4-0-0) against D1 teams.  I think that continues.  Amity 3, East Haven 1

2/1 Hall-Southington @ Bolton-Coventry-Rockville 8:30 @ Bolton Ice Palace
BCR got some redemption with a 1-1 tie against Newington-Berlin, a team that beat them 1-0 earlier this year.  Hall-Southington was riding high off wins over Newington-Berlin and East Catholic until they ran into a band saw known as North Branford who humbled Hall in a penalty-riddled affair.  BCR's Cam Earle has been much stronger than Hall's Jeff Moore in net and because of that I'm going with BCR to win this one.  BCR 3, Hall 1

2/2 TWO FOR ONE--- Hamden @ Fairfield Prep 1:00 Webster Bank Arena
2/2 TWO FOR ONE--- ND West Haven @ West Haven 1:00 Bennett Rink
These games are paired together because they are awfully reminiscent of each other.  Hamden and West Haven are both fighting it right now, trying to find consistency and an identity.  While I think Hamden is a bit further ahead of West Haven they have a tougher task in Fairfield Prep at Webster Bank.  West Haven gets their arch rival ND West Haven at Bennett.  I don't see an upset coming out of either of these.  Fairfield Prep 5, Hamden 1/ND West Haven 4, West Haven 1

2/2 Xavier @ Bishop Hendricken 6:00 @ Thayer Arena
Xavier's difficult week continues Saturday in Rhode Island.  They will face RI power Bishop Hendricken.  Out of state foes have given Xavier fits this year as they are only (1-3-0) against them with their lone win coming against Iona Prep (NY).  At press time, Xavier has only won one of the last five and they still have Prep on Thursday at Ingalls.  This could turn into a must win in a scary circumstance.  I think their struggles against out of state teams ends on Saturday and the Falcons upset BH.  Xavier 4, Bishop Hendricken (RI) 3

2/2 North Branford @ Newington-Berlin 8:30 @ Newington Ice Arena
The battle of the NB's.  North Branford legitimized themselves in a big way on Friday physically beating Hall-Southington and topping them on the scoreboard.  After a 2-2 start the T-Birds have run off 8 straight and done so against some good competition.  The Indians are comparable to a top D2 team and should give North Branford quite a game.  While I'm not blown away by North Branford's goalie Kyle Saroka, I think he'll do enough and get scoring from the Martone/Podbielski duo which will cause the T-Birds to stay flying high.  North Branford 5, Newington-Berlin 3

2/2 Fairfield Warde-Ludlowe @ Ridgefield 8:50 @ Winter Garden Ice Arena
Fairfield Co-op is red hot and has won five in a row.  Ridgefield is even hotter and has won eight in a row.  I selected this game because Ridgefield has been winning battles awfully defensively and close.  If Fairfield can stay with Ridgefield I think they have a shot at toppling on of D1's best.  But that's a big 'if'.  I'll take the Tigers to stay hot.  Ridgefield 4, Fairfield Co-op 2


- CTHSHockey will be in the building!

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