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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Elite Eight Predictions Week Six (1/21-27)

I am going to stick to the 8 games per week. If you would like a "Twitter Pick" tweet @cthshockey and I'll send you a pick there!

RECORD: 27-10-3   LAST WEEK: 5-3

Elite Predictions: Mark these on the calendar

1/21 Notre Dame-Fairfield @ Hamden 7:00 @ Lou Astorino Rink
In my eyes Hamden proved themselves by not only beating Hingham, but doing so soundly. ND Fairfield will be playing their first game in 11 days and now have the services of a few bodies they started the season without. Hamden has won 3 of the previous 5 meetings but the Lancers have won the most recent two, handily. This should be an offensive affair as both teams like to score in bunches. The first period will tell a lot in this one and will test whether the Lancers have the legs to hang after the long layoff. If NDF can stifle Hamden's bread and butter of Routh/Ugolik/Blackwell, they could take this one. However, as hot as they're playing, I'd be a fool to pick against the Dragons. Hamden 5-4

1/22 Delbarton (NJ) @ Fairfield Prep 7:00 @ Ingalls Rink
Delbarton is the #1 ranked school in New Jersey and comes in with a (9-2) record. The Jesuits have handled challenges like this before and are (5-0-1) against teams from New Jersey over the past four seasons including a win over Delbarton two years ago. Prep is hanging around the pack more than they have in years past, leaving the door seemingly open for another team to take the top spot in the rankings with a slip up. I don't see that happening, yet. Prep 3-1

1/23 Cheshire @ North Haven 8:00 @ Northford Ice Pavilion
Both teams are in a bit of a slide right now. Cheshire lost two pivotal games last week to comparable D2 opponents in North Branford and New Milford and most recently gave D1's South Windsor their first win of the year. North Haven has only won two games this year and they both came against teams under .500 (East Haven & Trumbull). Cheshire has gone (0-4-1) against the Indians in their last five meetings. North Haven, even in losses, has been keeping games tight against good competition. I think the Indians keep their unbeaten streak alive against the Rams, in a close one. Cheshire 3-2

1/24 Glastonbury @ Xavier 10:30 @ Wesleyan Ice Rink
Four of Xavier's last five games have gone to extra time. They are (0-2-2) in those games. Their lone win over that span came against a decent Simsbury team. The Falcons seem to have what it take to win these games but are missing that killer instinct. The Tomahawks have won 6 of 7 with the lone loss coming in a 1-0 goalie display to East Catholic. These two haven't met in recent memory but Glastonbury is a good team. The early start time could cause for some jitters but Glastonbury should win this game. However, it wouldn't surprise me in the least bit if the Falcons find a way to finally get over the top against a good team. Glastonbury 4-3

1/24 Newington-Berlin @ Conard 1:00 @ Veteran's Memorial Rink
This is another measuring stick game for the Chieftains. Conard is 4-0 against D2 competition this year and has even notched two wins over D1 teams. The Indians have struggled of late, needing overtime to beat D3's Hall-Southington and falling to D3 powerhouse EO Smith-Tolland. I think Conard continues to prove they are for real this year. These two haven't met recently so there is some unfamiliarity and a win here would do wonders for New-Ber's confidence going forward. I just don't think it happens. Conard 5-3

1/24 Woodstock Academy @ Sheehan 1:15 @ Choate Ice Rink
Sheehan comes in with one loss all year so record-wise they look strong. I'm just not sure we entirely know who the Titans are. We know they can score goals but they tend to allow crooked numbers to teams they shouldn't. Woodstock, still the knew kids on the block, have proven they can compete with decent teams but they haven't proven they can beat top tier D3 teams. Do they have what it takes to beat a Sheehan, most definitely. But I don't think it'll happen. Sheehan 5-3

1/24 St. Joseph @ New Canaan 6:00 @ Darien Ice Rink
St. Joseph has been playing well of late winning four straight. The problem is two of those four wins have come against D3 FCIAC schools while the other came against D2 FCIAC clubs. New Canaan will be a serious challenge as they've proven they can compete with solid teams beating NDWH twice and challenging other top teams in close losses. This game should be closer than some would think. St. Joe's has given the Rams trouble in the past but those Cadet teams were a bit stronger than this version. I think the Rams put a 2-2 tie against Xavier and a loss to rival Darien in the rear view and take this one. New Canaan 4-3

1/24 NFI @ Masuk 8:00 @ The Rinks at Shelton
This is a D3 battle we've been waiting for. Anytime NFI, Masuk, EO or even Sheehan face off against each other you could be looking at a D3 semifinal or final preview. NFI has been winning by scoring goals, Masuk, while they're able to score in bunches, has really done a nice job keeping the puck out of the net. Both will be coming off challenging Wednesday games (NFI has New Milford & Masuk has Barlow). To me, Masuk's way of shutting down opposing offenses has been a little more impressive than NFI's goal scoring. We've seen NFI struggle against good teams (losing 6-2 to North Branford) and lose head scratches to teams that, on paper, they should beat (4-3 to Housy, 3-1 to Tri-Town). NFI is 5-2 over the past four years against Masuk, winning the most recent three meetings. I think this streak is broken. Masuk 3-2

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