January 6 – 7, 2012, schedule

Back in action at long last!! Hate those long breaks that break up momentum and rhythm. A couple of important match-ups this weekend:

One of the biggest unanswered question is whether undefeated Amherst (5-0) can play as well on the road as it has played at home. The Jeffs hit the road for a match-up at no. 4 Bowdoin (3-2-1) after 5 straight home-ice wins to jump into first place in the NESCAC. Bowdoin’s been a bit inconsistent this season, with an unimpressive 3-2 OT loss to Wentworth on Tuesday night, so it will be instructive to see which version of the Polar Bears shows up on Friday night to administer Amherst’s its first road test.

Another important game is no. 6 Wesleyan (2-2) at no. 3 Middlebury (4-2), with the Cardinals being in sixth place in part due to the fact that they have played two fewer NESCAC games than most of their NESCAC brethren. It’s an important test for both teams as the Panthers faltered badly in the last weekend of NESCAC games before exams, losing back-to-back games to Amherst and Hamilton, and didn’t perform particularly well in their own recent holiday tournament. Wesleyan remains a bit of an unknown quantity with two 1-goal losses and one 1-goal win in its 2-2 NESCAC record.

Struggling Trinity (1-3) (tied with Colby and Hamilton for last place) heads to Williamstown to face no. 2 Williams (4-1-1). Williams, with its surprisingly strong offense, has put together a strong record, with its only blemishes being an opening night 3-3 tie with Bowdoin and a recent 5-4 loss to Amherst. A win over the Bantams could help the Eph maintain its no. 2 spot or, if the Polar Bears cooperate in ending Amherst’s undefeated season, move into first place.

Finally, two cellar dwellers, Hamilton (1-4) and Colby (1-5), face off on Friday night in Waterville, ME, with an opportunity to climb out of last place.

Jan. 6 (Friday):

no. 1 Amherst at no. 4 Bowdoin: 7PM (Bowdoin’s video webcast)

Hamilton at Colby: 7PM (battle between 2 of the 3 last-place teams)

no. 6 Wesleyan at no. 3 Middlebury: 7PM (Middlebury-oriented audio webcast; Middlebury’s pay-per-view option)

no. 8 Trinity at no. 2 Williams: 7PM (Williams’ really expensive pay-per-view and pay-per-listen options)

nonconference game:

Tufts v Southern New Hampshire University; 1PM (Codfish Bowl at UMass-Boston)

Jan 7 (Saturday):

Amherst at Colby: 3PM

Wesleyan at Williams: 3PM (Williams’ really expensive pay-per-view and pay-per-listen options)

Hamilton at Bowdoin: 4PM (Bowdoin’s video webcast)

Trinity at Middlebury: 4PM (Middlebury-oriented audio webcast; Middlebury’s pay-per-view option)

Nonconference games:

Tufts at UMass-Boston: 4PM (championship game of the Codfish Bowl) (livestats and maybe even video here)

Western New England College at Conn College: 7PM

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