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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Elite Predictions (1/8-14)

By: Luke Devoe

Going big this week with 15 predictions. East Haven/North Haven as well as NDWH/Darien and New-Ber/BCR have been postponed so when those games are replayed I will repick them as I am doing with Newington-Berlin/BCR this week. One last thing... save your ribbing for your mama. I'm picking closely contested games here. My picks won't always be spot on. It would be very easy to pick Wethersfield to lose to Newington-Berlin, but that's no fun, is it? No offense directed towards Wethersfield by the way, keep plugging guys.  So lay off, and enjoy.  

Elite Predictions: Mark these on the calendar
Last Week: (6-1-1)  Season: (20-15-1)

1/8 Xavier @ Hamden, 7:00 @ Lou Astorino Rink
The Dragons are off to a stellar start. They eeked one out against a tough St. Joe's squad and face a Xavier team who sort of resembles Xavier teams of the past. They snuck out an overtime win over Cheshire but it was sandwiched between two losses to Ridgefield. Hamden is the better team. Xavier isn't a bad team, but they have some growing to do. Dragons win this game and continue undefeated. Hamden 4, Xavier 1
1/8 Tri-Town @ Newtown, 5:30 @ Danbury Ice Arena
I picked Tri-Town last week to continue their winning ways. They dropped a heartbreaker 2-1 to Hall-Southington. Since a 4-0 loss to Westhill, Newtown has looked to be back on track and has a legit talent in senior Jonathan Lovorn. They will be too much to handle for Tri-Town. Nighthawks soar. Newtown 4, Tri-Town 2
1/8 Simsbury @ West Haven, 6:30 @ Bennett Rink
The Trojans sneakily sit at (4-1) with quality wins over North Haven and Northwest Catholic, two squads comparable to West Haven. The Westies are tough to read. They've beaten ND Fairfield but were trounced by East Haven in a game, at the very least, I thought they could keep close. I think Simsbury is a deeper team right now with too many questions for WH to answer. Trojans prevail. Simsbury 5, West Haven 3
1/8 Hand @ North Branford, 6:30 @ Northford Ice Pavilion
Hand is struggling. Struggling to find goals, to help Briggs in net, really to regain their early season form which saw them beat New Milford, their only quality win so far this year. North Branford, slowly, just keeps doing the right thing and sit at (3-1) at press time. Their wins, Newington-Berlin, Milford and Fairfield could all be considered solid to good. This is a home game to both teams so eliminate that factor. Hand has cost me two wins this year but like Rihanna, I'm coming back for more. Tigers win this one and regain some confidence going forward. Hand 3, North Branford 1
1/8 Ridgefield @ Darien, 8:00 @ Darien Ice Rink
After a 1-2 start, the Tigers were handed the Xavier Falcons. Now they sit at 3-2 and a much more confident hockey team. Darien is probably the toast of the FCIAC in the early going.  They've beaten Prep and handily beat New Canaan which partially wipes away the opening night blemish to Hamden. Darien is a more complete team right now. I'm tempted to say these are the best two teams out of the FCIAC right now given New Canaan's struggles and I think the Wave takes this one. Darien 4, Ridgefield 2
1/9 GAME OF THE WEEK Fairfield Prep @ ND Fairfield, 7:00 @ Webster Bank Arena
Not only because of the venue, not only because of the blooming Fairfield rivalry and not only because of the star power on the ice, this game is the Game of the Week because of the magnitude of a possible win for NDF. Prep is as ripe for the picking as they've ever been. Defensively, they've yet to make up for key graduation losses. They sit at an un-Prep-like (3-2-1) and NDF is coming off an inspiring overtime win against New Canaan. That said, I think Prep wins. While Prep has defensive woes, NDF has shown spells of ineptitude as well especially in net. Prep looked good for large stretches against NDWH Saturday and if they bring even half of that intensity to what should be a quiet, cavernous Webster Bank Arena, they should win. Prep 5, NDF 2
1/10 Newington-Berlin @ BCR, 8:20 @ Bolton Ice Arena
I originally called for a 5-2 Newington-Berlin win in this one that was supposed to take place Friday 1/3. The next day BCR, on enemy ice, was able to top their rival 2-1 in overtime on a Bruce Smith tally. Both teams are good. The Indians showed this in an impressive showing during a three game set in New Hampshire. BCR returned a ton of defensive stalwartness from a team that was tops in terms of D last year. I originally called for a 5-2 NB win. I'm going to stick with the Indians to win because it would be pretty lame to switch that plus it's hard to sweep rival games this close together, However, the final score will be a little less severe. Newington-Berlin 3, BCR 1
1/11 LaSalle Academy (RI) @ Fairfield Prep, 1:00 @ Wonderland of Ice
Fairfield Prep's frightening schedule continues with a visit from Rhode Island power LaSalle Academy. LaSalle is not having the year they are used to and come into action at (3-4-1). Prep is either going to be feeling confident after a win over NDF on Thursday or reeling severely as a .500 hockey team. Because of LaSalle's struggles and my anticipated Prep victory Thursday, I think the hot streak continues.  Prep beats their Rhode Island neighbor. Prep 2, LaSalle 1
1/11 Hamden @ West Haven, 1:00 @ Bennett Rink
Mean, tough, hard nosed. These are all ways to describe this age old public school clash. Hamden has certainly gotten off to a better start this year than the Westies but throw out that noise. When these two meet, records rarely matter. That said, Hamden is 5-1-2 over the last 8 meeting with the Blue Devils. This trend continues. Hamden 3, West Haven 0
1/11 Darien @ New Canaan, 3:50 @ Darien Ice Rink
Such a great FCIAC rivalry. Like Hamden/WH, when these two meet it's always fun. Unlike Hamden/WH, this rivalry has been pretty even. Over the last three years these two have faced off nine times, Darien has won 4, New Canaan has won 4 and they've tied once. Darien is the better team this season and they showed it the first time these two met. I think Darien takes another and sweeps the regular season series. Darien 4, New Canaan 3
1/11 East Haven @ ND West Haven, 5:15 @ Bennett Rink
Consider this Game of the Week B. The anticipated undefeated Yellow Jackets swarm to Bennett to take on the mighty Green Knights who will be (5-1-1) at puck drop. Can the Easties continue their impressive streak and topple NDWH? This would certainly legitimize the Easties in the eyes of all those doubters in the state. For their sake I almost hope this happens. I just don't think it does. The NDWH team that skated toe to toe with Prep Saturday is nothing like the seven teams East Haven has beat. Furthermore, Wade Conlan finally seems like the answer in net for NDWH after a couple solid starts. NDWH wins and East Haven is no longer perfect. NDWH 5, East Haven 4
1/11 East Catholic @ Northwest Catholic, 7:15 @ ISCC
A good old Catholic school rivalry. Get out the rulers and nun's habits and let's get weird! East Catholic is off to a great start at the D2 level this year. They sit atop all of D2 with a (5-1) record and 20 points. They are coming off a gigantic win over D1's Glastonbury. NWC, in the first D1 year, sit at (3-2) and are coming off a tough to swallow 1-0 loss to South Windsor. NWC just doesn't seem to have the fire power were used to. That being said they are still a good team. East Catholic may be better and could end up being a D2 champion. Give me the Eagles. EC 3, NWC 2
1/11 EO Smith-Tolland-Windham @ Newington-Berlin, 7:20 @ Newington Ice Arena
The Bucks of EO Smith-Tolland-Windham need a win over a legitimate power to show the rest of D3 they are for real. They are gaining some believers with a convincing win over low level D2 foe Farmington Valley but they would earn a ton of clout with a win over now D2 Newington-Berlin. The combined record of the four teams the Bucks have beaten is 6-15. That's all well and good. Newington-Berlin is a different type of beast and should be able to handle the Bucks. I think they do, but in a game that is way closer than many would think. Newington-Berlin 5, Bucks 3
1/11 Simsbury @ Glastonbury, 7:30 @ Trinity College Rink
In a great CCC-North D1 tilt, the Tomahawks host the Trojans. Glastonbury has struggled of late dropping a pivotal tilt against D2's East Catholic but the Tomahawks who sit at (2-3) have played one of the harder schedules in the state. Simsbury has played a similar caliber of teams and sit with a pretty (4-1) mark. I think the Trojans might be the better team but I think Glastonbury is due. Give me the 'Hawks in this one. Glastonbury 2, Simsbury 1
1/11 Amity @ Cheshire, 8:00 @ Wesleyan Rink
Amity may be reeling after a tough loss to undefeated Trinity Catholic. They will still have to best a tough Milford team before this game and once here, deal with a Cheshire team that can beat just about any D2 foe. The Rams got a much needed win Saturday over Daniel Hand but still only sit at (2-4) on the year so this one is direly needed. I think Amity needs their big guns (Shea, Seymour, McNeil) to really step up and light up the scoreboard. I think this happens and I think the Spartans get back in the win column. Of course, now that I picked them, I probably cursed 'em. Amity 4, Cheshire 2
- denotes CTHSHockey will be in attendance

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