Last week was my first attempt at picking Northern Collegiate Hockey Association games and I fared well, going 5-1 (.833). My only blemish was picking St. Norbert to nip Gustavus Adolphus. However, this week, I’ll have a greater challenge selecting winners, with all conference teams returning to NCHA play.Nonetheless, there should be a few entertaining battles on the ice this weekend.
Friday-Saturday, November 9-10
Wisconsin-River Falls at St. Norbert
After beginning the season with three shutouts, St. Norbert goalie David Jacobson finally allowed a few goals last weekend and suffered his first loss. Can Wis.-River Falls penetrate Jacobson’s wall? The Falcons are 4-0 and ranked ninth in NCAA Division III. Since the Green Knights almost never lose at home, even stealing one win would be huge for Wis.-River Falls. The Falcons did defeat St. Norbert on the road last season. The Falcons have solid defense and goaltending, but haven’t showed a lot of offensive punch. That will be a problem against Jacobson. I see the Green Knights earning a sweep in two hard-fought victories.
St. Norbert 4-3, 2-1 (OT)
Wisconsin-Eau Claire at St. Scholastica
The Blugolds (4-0) will be looking to keep their momentum going when they travel to Duluth for a crucial two-game series. St. Scholastica, on the other hand, is desperate for a win. After topping Wis.-Superior in their opener, the Saints have dropped three straight. The Blugolds have been sparked by their offense, outscoring their foes 16-9 through four games. However, I expect the Saints, fighting for momentum on their home ice, to skate away with one win. Wis.-Eau Claire 5-3, St. Scholastica 4-3
Wisconsin-Stevens Point at Wisconsin-Superior
Another pivotal battle in the NCHA. Wis.-Stevens Point is 3-2, but the Pointers’ only setbacks were two road losses at St. Norbert. Wis.-Superior, after falling to St. Scholastica in its opener, has rolled off three-straight wins. I think the Pointers take the opener, but the Yellowjackets bounce back and prevail on Saturday. Wis.-Stevens Point 5-2, Wis.-Superior 3-2