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The MIAC will host NCHA teams this weekend in nonconference action. The games will be the final warm-up before teams head into the second half of the conference schedule.

After starting out hot last Friday, going 4-0, I came crashing down in predicting the rest of the games, going 0-3. That makes me 17-11 for the season, a .647 success rate.

{Predicted winners bolded}
Friday, January 7, 2012
Wis.-Stout at Bethel
One of the hottest teams in the MIAC, Bethel should continue to impress, and is 4-1 at home this season. Wis.-Stout had a frustrating beginning to the season in 2011, and has only one road victory this season.

Wis.-Eau Claire at Concordia (Minn.)
Goaltending will be the highlight of this game. Kelly Andrew has been the Friday starter for Concordia (Minn.), meaning Chris Neamonitis will start against the fiery offense of Wis.-River Falls on Saturday. Brandon Stephenson will be the likely starter for Wis.-Eau Claire. On average, both teams do not allow more than three goals a game. Concordia (Minn.) is 6-1 in one-goal games, while Wis.-Eau Claire is 2-3 in one-goal games this season.

Wis.-River Falls at St. John’s
The speed and offensive prowess of Wis.-River Falls should outlast St. John’s. Wis.-River Falls has outscored opponents by a margin of 55-27 so far this season.

Wis.-Stevens Point at St. Mary’s
All three of St. Mary’s wins this season have come at home, but the team has not played a game since December 9. Wis.-Stevens Point played last weekend against Adrian and split the series.

Saturday, January 8, 2012
Wis.-Superior at Gustavus Adolphus
Wisconsin comes to St. Peter, Minn. Gustavus went 4-0-1 when playing in the Badger State this season. Wis.-Superior has a good offense, and has not lost on the road this season, going 3-0-2. A Wis.-Superior win would not necessarily be an upset, but Gustavus is coming out of the winter break on a five-game winning streak.

St. Norbert at St. Mary’s
Iit is time for the defending national champions to kick it into gear. St. Norbert is undefeated when scoring first, with a 3-0-2 record, but when opponents score first, the team is 4-3-1. If St. Mary’s wants a chance in the game, it has to score early.

St. Thomas at Bethel
It is being considered a nonconference game in the standings, but a St. Thomas win would be a signal to the rest MIAC that it is the top contender in the conference. A win for Bethel would give the team an even bigger confidence boost and put them into contender status.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012
St. Scholastica at Northland
A handful of the top scorers in Division III will play in Tuesday’s game. For Northland, Kraig Wright and Colin McIntosh are No. 2 and No. 3 in the country for scoring. Brett Corcoran is No. 9 in scoring and plays for St. Scholastica. Northland has to stay out of the penalty box to have a chance. St. Scholastica has the second best power play in Division III, scoring in over 30 percent of its chances with the man advantage.