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College Hockey:
MIAC picks: Nov. 23

It is Thanksgiving week, and I am hungry for success in my predictions on games in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. I haven’t been bad up to this point. Through 27 games, I am 14-11. But I would like to stretch out that gap a little more, and so with a lighter schedule on tap for this week, I’ll see if I can come through with my best effort yet.

So without further delay, here is my latest round of predictions for MIAC games.

Friday, Nov. 23

St. Thomas at Norwich
The Tommies are playing well. They are unbeaten in conference play and have done a phenomenal job on the defensive end of the ice, allowing only 11 goals. It looks like the game against Norwich, however, will be a test of wills, because the Cadets have won their last six and have given up just two goals in their last four games. I’ll give the edge to the Tommies. St. Thomas 2-1

Gustavus at Amherst
This is a quality nonconference matchup. Gustavus is in a bit of a funk heading into this tilt, as it has yet to win a game in conference play. Getting back on track won’t be easy, especially against the Jeffs, who reached the final four of the 2012 NCAA tournament.  Amherst has not only won its first three games, but it has yet to give up a goal. The edge goes to the Jeffs. Amherst 4-1

Lake Forest at Hamline
The Pipers are searching for their first win of the season. They could be in luck, considering they will be playing a Foresters team that has won only once this season and is riding a four-game losing streak. The key for Hamline is to get an early lead, because it will rattle the confidence of a struggling opponent. My guess is Hamline plays a little better offensively and gets its first win of the year. Hamline 4-2

St. Olaf at Babson
St. Olaf has been one of the better teams in the MIAC early in the season, and has done a good job of attacking defenses, as it leads the league in shots-on-goal with 246. Babson has played a lot of close games, including skating to a pair of ties, and so it will be key for the Oles to take control early and not give the Beavers a chance to hang around. St. Olaf 5-2

Bethel at Milwaukee School of Engineering
The Royals are off to a strong start to the season, in part because they have had a lot of different players step up offensively. They will be tested on the road against a Raiders team that has lost three consecutive road games, but now returns home for this nonconference tilt. Bethel will play tough but will come up short. MSOE 5-3

Saturday, Nov. 24

Bethel at Milwaukee School of Engineering
The finale of this nonconference series will be interesting, and I think the Royals are playing too well to not at least come away with a split. It will be another hard-fought game, but Bethel will grind out a big road victory. Bethel 3-2

Gustavus at Williams
Williams has only played two games, and that could work in the favor of the Gusties, who need a shot of momentum. The Gusties will get back on track on this night and knock off the Ephs for a road win. Gustavus. 3-1

Lake Forest at Hamline
Hamline hasn’t had a ton of luck this season, but it should be able to find a way to complete a sweep of the Foresters. If this was on the road, it might be a different story, but playing at home will make a difference. Hamline 3-2

St. Mary’s at Adrian
This could be one of the better matchups of the weekend in D-III hockey. The Cardinals have had a heck of a run so far and are unbeaten in conference play. They have scored 29 goals and have given up 19, and while those numbers are impressive, it’s going to take a monster effort by the Cardinals to knock off the third-ranked Bulldogs. Adrian seems too good on both ends of the ice to let that happen. Adrian 5-1

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