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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Eight Elite Predictions Week One (12/17-23)

By: Luke Devoe

Never easy picking the first week of games. I am going to stick to the 8 games per week. More than that gets too cumbersome. If you would like a "Twitter Pick" tweet @cthshockey and I'll send you a pick there!

Elite Predictions: Mark these on the calendar

12/17 Ridgefield @ Fairfield Prep, 6:00 @ Wonderland of Ice
The mighty Jesuits return to action against a strong Ridgefield squad with an abundance of offensive firepower. Jack Taubl finally gets his turn in net as Prep's number one guy. Picking against Prep is foolish and I'm not about to start my season doing that. However, it could take them a while to get going given all the new bodies. Look for Blanchette and Deering to set a tone early. Prep 4, Ridgefield 2

12/17 NDWH @ New Canaan, 4:00 @ Darien Ice Rink
New Canaan opens at home against a SCC power. Belcher's squad, however, like Prep, are in major retool mode. The pieces are there and Wade Conlan is a strong net presence but until I see some offensive potency from NDWH, I'll stick with the home dogs with the early start time at the often loud Darien Ice Rink. New Canaan 3, NDWH 2

12/17 ND Fairfield @ East Catholic, 6:40 @ Cromwell Ice Rink
East Catholic certainly didn't get a cupcake for their first DI game out of the gate. The Lancers are loaded and primed for a strong year. They do have question marks in net, but so does East Catholic with the graduation of Usseglio. I think the Eagles' home rink will be loud for their first game at the highest CIAC level, but I can't pick against Dupuis, Suporn and company first time out. NDF 5, East Catholic 3

12/17 Amity @ North Haven, 6:00 @ Northford Ice Pavilion
In a battle of two strong, proven SCC DII foes, North Haven hosts Amity. I think the Indians are a bit deeper than Amity right now. Losing McNeil, Shea, Seymour, Uscilla, Mosher, etc. could be too much for the Spartans right off the bat. They will settle in eventually but for now I'll go with North Haven in the home opener. North Haven 3, Amity 2

12/20 New Canaan @ Hamden, 2:30 @ Lou Astorino Rink
It's hard to put stake in the exhibition slate of games but man did Hamden lay an egg up at the Vineyard. They will be riding sophomore Stephen Richitelli in net and do have many bodies back from last year's team. The Lou should be rocking and I smell upset in this one. Hamden was able to take down Darien and New Canaan to start last season and I think they do at least half that well this year. Hamden 4, New Canaan 3

12/20 Sheehan @ Newtown, 4:10 @ Danbury Ice Arena
In a battle of two DIII powers from last year, the defending champs host a strong Sheehan team. Sheehan is a bit more in tact than the champs. No Lovorn, no McLoughlin, no Sabia and so on could be tough to replace. It wouldn't surprise me in the least bit if Newtown won, but I think if Sheehan keeps enough pucks away from Femniak, they can take this one. Sheehan 4, Newtown 2

12/20 East Haven @ Newington-Berlin, 4:25 @ Newington Ice Arena
Like East Catholic, well sort of, East Haven starts anew in Division II. Saturday, they get Newington-Berlin, a proven team who's seemingly plateaued after winning at the DIII level. Dante Gugliotti is the next breakout Indians star and will be able to skate freely against a depleted East Haven squad. I think Newington-Berlin gives East Haven a rude awakening in this one. NewBer 5, East Haven 4

12/23 Glastonbury @ Northwest Catholic, 3:50 @ International Skating Center
In a great under the radar DI matchup, Northwest Catholic hosts a hungry Glastonbury team on a Tuesday afternoon. NWC lost McLain, Yao and more but both of these teams return proven, steady goaltending. Kyle Thibodeaux is one of the area's best while Mike Camasso is emerging as a rock solid backstop for the Indians. I'll take Glastonbury as the road dog in this one mainly because they return more pieces than NWC. Glastonbury 2, NWC 1

- denotes CTHSHockey will be in attendance

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