SHARE

Another weekend of important conference games is on the schedule for the Midwest this weekend. The top teams in the MCHA face each other again, as conference leader Adrian travels to Marian, which is just one point back in the standings. St. Olaf and Bethel face off in the MIAC, as both teams try to catch St. Thomas in the standings. In the NCHA, first-place Wisconsin-River Falls is on the road for an important series with third-place St. Scholastica, and second place St. Norbert has an exciting series planned with Wisconsin-Stout, as the two teams play Saturday afternoon in St. Paul.

I went 5-4 in last week’s picks, that made my record 27-18 for the season, a .667 winning percentage.

{Predicted winners bolded}

Friday, January 20, 2012

Concordia (Wis.) at Northland
Both teams average over three goals a game, but give up over five goals a game in MCHA play. I expect a high scoring series. The statistic that puts this game in favor of Northland: Concordia (Wis.) has yet to win on the road this season.

St. Olaf at Bethel
Just two points behind Bethel in the MIAC standings, St. Olaf can move up in the MIAC standings with a good weekend. St. Olaf has been a good road team, only losing once this season. It also plays tough defense, allowing 1.83 goals a game, the best of the MIAC teams. Bethel also plays a good defense, the third best in the MIAC, allowing 2.38 goals a game.

Wisconsin-River Falls at St. Scholastica
The series between Wis.-River Falls and St. Scholastica features not only the top two power-play teams in the NCHA, but also the top two penalty-kill units. St. Scholastica succeeds 29.7 percent of the time, while Wis.-River Falls converts over 25 percent of its power plays. Wis.-River Falls has the top penalty kill at just over 91 percent, and St. Scholastica killed off 89.5 percent of its penalties this season. Wis.-River Falls is 5-1 on the road during this campaign.

Wisconsin-Eau Claire at Wisconsin-Superior
Wis.-Superior has been .500 at home this season with a 4-4 record, while Wis.-Eau Claire is 5-3 on the road. Both teams are evenly matched in most categories. Wis.-Eau Claire is 2-1-1 in its last four games, while Wis.-Superior is 1-3 in its last four games.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lake Forest at Finlandia
Lake Forest has not won a road game this year.

Lawrence at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE)
After being swept by Marian last weekend, MSOE finds itself in third place in the MCHA. MSOE will get back into the win column this weekend, especially at home, where it is 6-2 for the season, because it travels to Adrian next weekend. Lawrence has a road record of 2-4-2.

St. Mary’s at St. Thomas
St. Mary’s has been a tough team to beat at home, but not on the road this season with an 0-5 record. St. Thomas gained plenty of momentum with a hard-earned sweep of Hamline last weekend. St. Thomas averages 3.5 goals a game in the MIAC, tied for first in the conference.

St. Norbert at Wis.-Stout
In an afternoon game at the home of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, St. Norbert will use its big game experience in the big arena. St. Norbert can apply more pressure to Wis.-River Falls as it climbs up the NCHA standings.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Adrian at Marian
With its sweep of MSOE last weekend, Marian catapulted itself to just a point behind Adrian in the standings. Marian is undefeated in MCHA play, but it has yet to play the conference powerhouse. Adrian is 6-2 on the road this year.