New England D3 Report, April 6th

New England D3 Report April 6th, 2017

As the calendar turns to April the weather continues to cause problems as there were a few more postponements. Conference play really heated up this week, we’ll take a close look at the races for the AQ’s and possibly a couple of Pool C bids as well. Let’s start by looking at this weeks six pack, which is kind of a mid- season look at the NESCAC too.

  1. Tufts (9-0) Quiet week for the Jumbos beating Western New England and Conn College a combined 34-14. The clear favorite in the NESCAC, the names change the performance stays the same. As a team they are shooting 31% and save % of 57.7%.
  2. Amherst (7-2) Had a tremendous week beating a stingy Springfield 18-14, coming back on the weekend to pummel Middlebury 20-11 (who drops out of the top 6 this week). Freshman Dylan Finazzo had a decent week going 48/62 on faceoffs, 32 GBs and 4 assists. Jack Norton was firing away shooting 13/32 over the two games. For the season the big lefty has 25 goals with two assists. I know most will have Bates 2nd because they are unbeaten and beat Amherst earlier in the year. But, Amherst seems to have picked its game up and I like their schedule. Also, the Bates game was played in sub- zero conditions, therefore I’ll cut them some slack.
  3. Bates (8-0) the aforementioned Bobcats are unbeaten. They are coming off an easy 19-10 win over Hamilton. As advertised their SR trio of Charlie Fay, Andrew Melvin and Kyle Weber are leading the way combining for 72 goals. As a team I like their 32% shooting, 58% Save PCT and 59% FO PCT. Also, have shown the ability to beat Tufts in recent seasons.
  4. Wesleyan (7-1)The Cardinals only loss is to Bates. They had a solid OOC win at Union 13-4 and beat Colby at home in NESCAC action.
  5. Springfield (5-2) Lost to Amherst in a shootout 18-14, but came back in a big away shutting down upstart Babson in their NEWMAC opener 8-4. I like the GAA at 9.71, but the FO % of 34.7% will need to improve.
  6. Bowdoin (6-2) Started season (0-2) have now reeled off six in a row. Well balanced offense shooting 32%. FO man Sam Carlin is 80-120, with 2G 2A, 62 GBs.

Who will win the NESCAC? Preseason I picked Bowdoin. I will back off that pick and go with Amherst. I like their athleticism and depth at all positions. Picking Tufts would have been too easy!

Also…

The NEWMAC

In recent seasons I would say the CCC ranks just below the NESCAC are far as depth of conference. I am going to go with NEWMAC this year. Springfield is the only Champion since they joined the league.

Babson sits at 4-4, but all of their defeats have come against top competition, including Bates (8-10) and St Lawrence (8-11). Once again they came up short against Springfield this week 9-5 in the league opener.

Below the two favorites, Coast Guard, MIT, Clark and Wheaton will vie for league tourney spots. Coast Guard is a team to keep your eye on. They are (5-3) although a lot of their games have been against non New England Teams. I like the depth of the NEWMAC, but when all is said and done Springfield will be my choice. Although I would love to pick Babson, I just can’t.

Commonwealth Coast Conference

League heavyweights Endicott and Western New England both started out dreadfully, combining (0-13) at one point. However, both have started unbeaten in league play and will remain favorites.

The biggest thing Endicott has is their senior trio of Will Jennings, Tommy Hughes and Colin Bannon. Hughes is probably the player in the league. His 68% FO PCT with 7G, 1A, 101 GBs should make the difference against league foes. I will go with Endicott for the AQ.

Little East

Let’s be honest here, it’s Keene St and everyone else. Who will be 2nd is a much better question. I like the way UMass Boston is playing and will pick them as runners up.

GNAC

This will be a race to the finish with Lasell, Mt Ida, Emmanuel and Norwich all looking to be pretty equal.

I have seen Lasell a couple of times this year, I will pick them to end the reign of Emmanuel.

3 Stars:

1st Star: Jack Norton, Amherst: If the lefty continues his hot shooting Amherst has what it takes to beat Tufts.
2nd Star: Will Jennings, Endicott: Shot 11/31 with 2 assists in CCC wins over UNew England and Wentworth.

3rd Star: Devin Newell, Curry: Shot 7/15 with 6 assists in two Curry wins, including a big 19-10 win over Nichols.

Check out Twitter for more hot takes: @bernasconirich

FACEOFF Player of the week:

Dylan Finazzo, Amherst: The freshman controlled possession in two big wins over Springfield and Middlebury