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So far this season, I am picking half (6-6) the games correctly, which is not bad, I guess, but there are teams that surprise me every weekend. Bethel delivered the biggest surprise by sweeping Hamline in the MIAC, and Wisconsin-River Falls proved it is the most improved team in the NCHA with a pair of victories at Wisconsni-Superior.

The NCHA is the only conference in action this weekend. Some MIAC teams will play each other in games that will not count in the conference standings, and MCHA teams play a limited nonconference schedule.

Let’s see if I can pick better than .500 this week

{Predicted winners bolded}

Friday, December 9, 2011

St. Scholastica at St. Norbert
St. Scholastica is on a hot streak. It is undefeated in its last five games, with four wins and a tie. St. Scholastica was the last team to defeat St. Norbert at home, in 2009. Since then, St. Norbert has not lost at home, a 27-game unbeaten streak that includes only one tie. St. Norbert has to play with a sense of urgency, because St. Scholastica is right behind them in the NCHA standings.

St. Thomas at Hamline
Friday’s game will not be counted as a conference game. Both teams are coming off of disappointing series last weekend. St. Thomas needed some last-minute heroics to avoid the sweep at Concordia (Minn.), and Hamline was unceremoniously dumped in both games against Bethel. St. Thomas is the better team at this point in time.

Marian at St. Mary’s
St. Mary’s won its first game of the season against another MCHA team at home in overtime against Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) in November. St. Mary’s did not win its second game of the season until last Saturday, against St. Olaf, on a last-second goal. Marian is 1-1-2 in its last four games. If St. Mary’s can keep the game close, it can improve to 2-0 against the MCHA.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Wis.-River Falls at Wis.-Eau Claire
Wis.-River Falls passed its first road test last weekend, taking two games at Wis.-Superior. It has another tough set of road games this weekend at Wis.-Eau Claire. Wis.-Eau Claire is 3-1 in its last four games, including impressive wins at Adrian’s Thanksgiving tournament. Wis.-River Falls is undefeated this season.

Gustavus Adolphus at Lawrence
Gustavus had a successful weekend in Wisconsin already this year, winning at Wis.-Stevens Point and giving St. Norbert its only home tie in the last couple of years in November. The two teams have not met since January 7, 2006, when Gustavus defeated Lawrence at home by a score of 5-2. Lawrence has only won one game in its last four attempts.

Finlandia at Wis.-Superior
Finlandia has had a difficult season. It has not won on the road this season, and has only one victory overall. Wis.-Superior has had a rough stretch as well. It has lost its last three-out-of-four home games, scoring only one goal in each of those losses.