I didn’t do quite as well last week, so here’s my shot at redemption. There are several crucial NCHA games on tap this weekend, starting with the Wisconsin-Eau Claire vs. St. Norbert showdown in De Pere, Wis.
Can the Blugolds keep their undefeated streak going against the third-best team in the NCAA Division III?
Friday-Saturday, Nov. 16-17
Wis.-Eau Claire at St. Norbert
This is a tough call. The Blugolds have looked good so far, winning with a balanced offense, solid goaltending and the second-best defense in the NCHA. They moved up to the No. 8 spot in the latest USCHO.com Division III Poll. However, St. Norbert goaltender David Jacobson continues to stymie opponents. The sophomore has allowed one goal this season in conference play, and the Green Knights (6-1, 4-0) are playing at home, where a loss is as rare as a lunar eclipse. I think St. Norbert flexes its muscle and shows why its still the top program in the NCHA. St. Norbert 4-1, 3-1
Wisconsin-River Falls at Wisconsin-Stevens Point
The Pointers (3-4, 0-4) are desperate for a conference win, while the Falcons are coming off two losses to St. Norbert where they were outscored 11-1. After dropping two tough games at Wis.-Superior last weekend, the Pointers rebound with a split at home. I think Wis.-River Falls, ranked No. 11, takes Saturday’s game in a thriller. Wis.-Stevens Point 5-3, Wis.-River Falls 3-2 (OT)
Wisconsin-Superior at Wis.-Stout
The Yellowjackets, ranked 14 in the country, have to be feeling confident after sweeping the Pointers last week. Wis.-Superior is 5-1 and 3-1 in the NCHA, and has a dangerous scoring attack led by Pat Dalbec, who has six points in conference play. Meanwhile, goalie Drew Strandberg has allowed just four goals in four NCHA contests. On the other side of the ice, what Blue Devils team will show up? Wis.-Stout is 2-2-2, but 0-2 in the NCHA. I see Wis.-Stout grinding out a win in Friday’s opener; however, Wis-Superior rebounds to steal Saturday’s finale. Wis.-Stout 3-2, Wis.-Superior 6-2