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It is the first weekend of conference play since winter break. Teams in the MCHA, MIAC and NCHA will be battling for positioning in the league standings before conference tournaments begin at the end of February.

I went 5-3 in last week’s picks, which makes my record 22-14 for the season, a .636 winning percentage. There was a full moon earlier week, plus it is Friday the 13th, so grab a lucky rabbit’s foot and do your favorite pregame ritual and see what is in store for the weekend.

{Predicted winners bolded}

Friday, January 13, 2012

Lawrence at Adrian
The first period will be an important one in this series. Lawrence is undefeated this season when leading after the first period, while Adrian has a 7-1 record. Neither team has a victory when behind after the first period.

Marian at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE)
Both teams have some of the best offensive talent in the MCHA. Dakota Dubetz and Brian Berger are the scoring leaders for Marian.  Jordan Keizer and Cole Gibson lead the way for MSOE. Connor Toomey and his 1.84 goals-against average will be the difference.

Augsburg at Concordia (Minn.)
Augsburg has not won a road game this season, while Concordia (Minn.) is 3-3-1 at home. Kelly Andrew will be the likely Friday starter for Concordia (Minn.); he has a 2.18 goals-against average for the season.

Hamline at St. Thomas
When the two teams last met in a nonconference game in December, St. Thomas won 3-2 in overtime on Hamline’s home ice. Hamline is 1-5 when playing a road game this season. Another close game should be expected from these two teams.

Wisconsin-Stout at Wisconsin-River Falls
When leading after two periods, Wis.-River Falls is 10-0 this season. Wis.-Stout is 0-6 when trailing after two periods. Wis.-River Falls averages 4.07 goals a game, while allowing 1.87 goals a game.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Northland at Lake Forest
Lake Forest has won its only game at home this campaign, posting a 1-4 mark. Northland has won only one game on the road this season.  Kraig Wright has 24 points and Collin McIntosh has 23 points on the season for Northland.

Wisconsin-Superior at St. Norbert
Always tough at home, St. Norbert is 3-1-1 this season, but Wis.-Superior has an equally impressive road record at 4-1-2. Wis.-Superior is 3-1 in its last four games, while St. Norbert is in a bit of a slump, with a 1-2-1 record in its last four games.

St. Scholastica at Wisconsin-Stevens Point
The teams have the top two goal scorers in NCHA action this season. Wis.-Stevens Point’s Kyle Heck leads the conference with nine goals scored and Brett Corcoran has seven goals for St. Scholastica. Nick Graves leads the NCHA in goals-against average with a 2.12 mark for Wis.-Stevens Point.

St. John’s at Gustavus
Playing in road games this year, St. John’s is 1-3 this season. Gustavus is riding a seven-game winning streak. John McLean has a 1.90 goals-against average for Gustavus.