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College Hockey:
This Week in the MIAC

There have been very few surprises so far this season in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. St. Thomas is atop the standings and everyone else seems to be falling into place.

One surprise is how poorly the MIAC has performed against non-conference opponents. It is no secret that MIAC teams have had their struggles against ranked opponents. They have posted a record of 3-11-6 against teams in the top 15. Wisconsin-Stout has dominated MIAC teams with a 4-0-1 record and has outscored them 22-12.

Next weekend brings with it another set of conference match-ups. The most intriguing series of the weekend will be St. Johns and St. Olaf. The Oles are tied with St. Thomas in the conference standings and could show the hockey world they are for real with a sweep. St. Johns was swept out east by Plattsburgh and Middlebury but played good hockey and will give St. Olaf all they can handle.

St. Olaf

(2-0-0, 4-2-1)

St. Olaf faced off against Concordia of Wisconsin on Friday. The Oles won 6-2 with junior Nick Stalock collecting two goals and an assist in the game. First year goaltender Nick Krauss made 19 saves and allowed two goals in his 60 minutes of work.

St. Olaf faces St. Johns in a big conference meeting. Both teams are struggling in the special teams area, which means the games will undoubtedly come down to even strength play and who plays smarter hockey.

St. Thomas

(2-0-0, 5-1-1)

St. Thomas and Wisconsin-Stout ended in a 3-3 tie last Tuesday. Nick Pernula had a goal and an assist in the game for the Tommies. St. Thomas upset top-ranked Wisconsin-River Falls this Tuesday, 5-0. The Tommies Tyler Chestnut shutout the top team with 28 saves, while teammate Tom Knutson notched two goals in the big victory.

St. Thomas is idle this weekend.

Bethel

(1-2-0, 5-2-0)

Bethel matched up against St. Scholastica last Wednesday and came out victorious by the score of 7-4. Seniors Jeff Balvin and Matt Hall each had two goals and two assists for the Royals.

Bethel takes on Augsburg this weekend in what should be a one-sided series. The Auggies have had trouble putting the puck in the net so far as they have been outscored 25-12 in five games. The Royals, on the other hand, have outscored opponents 36-22 in seven games this season.

Gustavus Adolphus

(1-1-0, 3-3-0)

Gustavus and St. Marys face off this weekend in a battle of teams that are 1-1-0 in conference play. The Gusties are winless on their home ice (0-2-0) while they are 3-1-0 on the road. The Cardinals troubles have come with not getting enough shots. They have been outshot by more than 2-to-1 on average this season.

Hamline

(1-1-0, 1-3-2)

Hamline and Concordia square off this weekend. Both teams were 3-13-0 last season in conference play and tied for last place. This series is important for both teams if they want to improve from last season and climb the standings ladder.

St. Johns

(1-1-0, 3-5-0)

St. Johns did not fair well against the East Coast powerhouses. The Johnnies lost to Plattsburgh on Friday and Middlebury on Saturday, both by the scores of 4-3. St. Johns was an impressive 2-3 on the power play against Plattsburgh. Senior Pat Eagles led the Johnnies with an assist on Friday and two goals on Saturday.

St. Johns faces St. Olaf in a big conference meeting. Both teams are struggling to put the puck in the back of the net so these should be hard-fought contests.

St. Marys

(1-1-0, 1-4-2)

St. Marys took on Wisconsin-River Falls on Tuesday and tied 4-4. Adam Gill recorded two goals in the game for the Cardinals. St. Marys converted on its only power play while blanking the Falcons on their four opportunities. St. Marys goaltender Dan Smith notched 55 saves in 65 minutes of play.

St. Marys and Gustavus face off this weekend in a battle of teams that are 1-1-0 in conference play. The Gusties are winless on their home ice (0-2-0) while they are 3-1-0 on the road. The Cardinals troubles have come with not getting enough shots. They have been outshot by more than 2-to-1 on average this season.

Augsburg

(0-2-0, 0-5-1)

Augsburg takes on Bethel this weekend in what should be a one-sided series. The Auggies have had trouble putting the puck in the net so far as they have been outscored 25-12 in five games. The Royals, on the other hand, have outscored opponents 36-22 in seven games this season.

Concordia

(0-0-0, 1-3-0)

Concordia and Hamline square off this weekend. Both teams were 3-13-0 last season in conference play and tied for last place. This series is important for both teams if they want to improve from last season and climb the standings ladder.

Conference Leaders

Goals: Nick Stalock (St. Olaf), Jr., F — 7 games, 8 goals
Assists: Jeff Balvin (Bethel), Sr., F — 7 games, 11 assists
Save Percentage: Zachary Faust (Hamline), So. — 77 saves, 4 goals against, .951

Co-Offensive Players of the Week

Jeff Balvin (Bethel) and Matt Hall (Bethel) — Each player had two goals and two assists in Bethels 7-4 win over St. Scholastica. Obviously, these two were key pieces in the game for the Royals

Goaltender of the Week

Dan Smith (St. Marys) — Smith faced 59 shots from Wisconsin-River Falls and stopped 55 of them. He is ranked fifth among MIAC goaltenders in save percentage with .908.


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