College Hockey:
MIAC picks: Dec. 14

This will be the last time I will make picks on games involving Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference teams in 2012. It could be the last time I ever make predictions if the world comes to an end on Dec. 21.

At any rate, there are only four games on the schedule this week, as most teams are already on break until after the holidays are over.

I am 3-6 so far on the predictions I made last week, although there is hope for a 5-6 finish since two games still have to be played. Worst-case scenario is I end up 28-27. Good thing I’m not putting money down on these predictions, or I would be hurting.

So, without further delay, here are my picks for the week. Enjoy your Christmas everyone and have a Happy New Year as well. See you next year.

Friday, Dec. 14

Milwaukee School of Engineering at Hamline
The Raiders are on the road, and that could be a bad thing, but considering the Pipers have yet to win a game, my guess is playing on the road won’t be a problem for MSOE. The Pipers are 0-11-2 on the season, and have been shutout three times in their last six games. Hamline has scored only 24 goals and has given up 56. The Raiders are likely going to capitalize on the defensive struggles of the Pipers and roll to an easy win. MSOE 7-1

Saturday, Dec. 15

MSOE at Saint John’s
The Johnnies haven’t been bad on the defensive end of the ice, giving up only 22 goals, and have gained a little momentum lately, winning their last three games. But playing against an MSOE team that has won five of six (the other game ended in a tie), it could be tough to keep that momentum on their side, even if they are playing at home. Saint John’s needs to start quick if it’s going to have a chance against the Raiders, who will be playing the second game of a road swing through Minnesota. If the Johnnies can jump in front early, they may be able to play well enough defensively to seal the deal on a big nonconference win. I’m going to give the Johnnies the edge in a close game, but I won’t be surprised if the Raiders win either. Saint John’s 4-3

Saturday, Dec. 15 and Sunday, Dec. 16

Northland at Concordia
Northland will be playing its third consecutive team from the MIAC. It beat Bethel, 6-3, and tied Augsburg, 3-3. The Lumberjacks have given up a lot of goals, allowing six or more goals seven times. That could play into the favor of Concordia, which has scored 31 goals on the season. Concordia shouldn’t have a problem scoring goals. The key is can it play well enough defensively to have success in this weekend series. The Cobbers have given up 30 goals this year. If they can avoid getting into a shootout, I give Concordia the edge. So I guess I’ll go with the Cobbers to sweep the series. Concordia 5-2, 6-3

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