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Monday, December 23, 2013

Elite Predictions (12/25-12/31)

By: Luke Devoe

For those of you new to CTHSHockey Blog, every week I select intriguing matchups and predict the winner as well as providing a reasoning.  Week one is usually a challenge and that was no different this week going (3-7) on regular picks and (2-2) on WH Xmas D1 Tourney picks.  This is a thin week because of Christmas and New Years and many teams are in tourneys but nonetheless, here are this week's top games and picks!

Elite Predictions: Mark these on the calendar
Last Week: (5-9)  Season: (5-9)
12/26 Fairfield Prep vs. Bishop Hendricken (RI) @ MSC Tourney 12:00 @ Adelard Rink
Prep is coming off their first in state loss since 2/18/12 when they lost to NDWH 2-0.  They are the defending Mount St. Charles Holiday Face-Off champions and open up the tourney with Rhode Island power Bishop Hendricken (3-0-1). I don't think this year's Prep team is anywhere near as good as last year, but I wouldn't want to face them after a loss. Prep wins the opener. Fairfield Prep 4, Hendricken 3

12/26 Branford @ North Haven 6:00 @ Northford Ice Pavilion
North Haven has looked good early this year beating up Amity and narrowly falling to D1's Simsbury. Branford has been the state's best D2 team, starting (2-0) and outscoring opponents 11-2.  North Haven is much better than Fairfield and Stamford but I think the Hornets and Tyler Criscuolo are too hot to handle right now. Branford 5, North Haven 3

12/27 New Milford @ North Branford 8:30 @ Northford Ice Pavilion
I'm very intrigued by this new look T-Birds squad who just doesn't seem to back down. New Milford needs better starts. The Wave started flat against Hand Saturday and by the time Harrison O'Connell scored and the team seemed to wake up, it was too late.  I'm torn on this one but I'll take the hot hand, North Branford wins. North Branford 3, New Milford 1

12/28 GAME OF THE WEEK New Canaan @ Darien 4:00 @ Darien Ice Rink
Both teams posted impressive early season wins over NDWH and Prep, but both fell to a Hamden team not many people expected anything from. Now both these teams sit at 1-1.  This one could come down to the goaltending. Mac Wright was fantastic for the Rams against NDWH but faltered against Hamden. Darien goalie Mike Colon has been outstanding. I'm going to ride the Wave of momentum from the Prep win. Darien wins. Darien 2, New Canaan 1

12/28 Stamford @ Suffield-Granby-Windsor Locks 6:00 @ Enfield Twin Rinks
Not your usual 'Elite Predictions' matchup.  Suffield-Granby-WL comes in 1-1 but played Northwest Catholic tough. They are much improved this year.  Here, they take on a Stamford team who will still play two more games before this one. Stamford ain't too shabby either but 12/23's tilt with East Haven will go a long way in determining who Stamford really is.  I like Suffield-Granby-WL in this battle of two under the radar squads.  Suff-Gran-WL 3, Stamford 1

12/28 Branford @ Daniel Hand 6:30 @ Northford Ice Pavilion
Two Branford predictions in one week.  They must be good.  This is probably my boldest prediction of the week. While I'm not sure the Hand Tigers have enough fire power to hang with Branford, I'm going out on a limb and calling for a Chase Briggs shutdown display.  In an upset, Hand topples the Hornets giving them their first loss. Hand 3, Branford 2

12/31 Xavier @ Cheshire 3:45 @ Wesleyan Ice Arena
Former D1 foes, Xavier will be coming off at least two more quality games in the WH Xmas Tourney, Cheshire will have played a couple of their own in the D2 version.  The Rams are struggling to win close games out of the gate and Xavier may be too much for them in this one. Xavier 4, Cheshire 2

D2 West Haven Holiday Tournament Semifinals (12/23)
5:00 Guilford vs. Cheshire
Cheshire gets their first win over a rebuilding Guilford group but could still end up 1-4 by 2014.
7:00 East Catholic vs. Amity
Great game, Amity started putting things together in their win over NFI. I think the Spartans win this one but I think East Catholic should be favored, if that makes sense.

D1 West Haven Holiday Tournament Semifinals & Consolations (12/26)
1:00 South Windsor vs. West Haven
Westies get some redemption in their own tourney and take down the Bobcats.
3:00 Notre Dame-Fairfield vs. St. Joseph
NDF is too good to have been paired against NDWH. Lancers take it.

5:00 Ridgefield vs. Glastonbury
Ridgefield looked impressive in defeat against Prep and took care of the Westies easily. They do the same to the 'Hawks.
7:00 Notre Dame-West Haven vs. Xavier
NDWH played way more inspired than they did in the opener against New Canaan.  Green Machine certainly helps influence this.  NDWH moves on.

- denotes CTHSHockey will be in attendance

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