Conference action is back this weekend! And I could not be happier for my pick percentage. Last week, I had an abysmal 1-2-0 (.333) record with nonconference picks. That brings my season record to 34-24-2 (.566).
All eight teams are back in conference action this weekend. Lawrence will host Adrian in a weekend series. Concordia and Finlandia will compete in home-and-home tilts. Lake Forest will be at Northland for two games. Marian and MSOE are battling in a lone conference Saturday game. There will be nonstop conference action for the next six weekends.
Friday-Saturday, Jan. 11-12
Adrian at Lawrence
Adrian (12-1-0) remains the top team in the conference with an 8-0-0 conference record. Lawrence is 4-4-0 in the conference and 5-8-0 overall, putting them in the fifth spot. The Bulldogs most recently beat Alabama-Huntsville, 4-2, on the road. The Vikings most recently played in the Oswego Hockey Classic, where they beat Castleton State, 2-1, before a 7-2 defeat to Oswego in the championship game. I don’t see Adrian slowing down at all, although I think Lawrence will give the Bulldogs a challenge. Adrian 3-2, 2-1
Concordia at Finlandia
Finlandia (3-5-0) will be hosting Concordia (4-4-0) this weekend. Finlandia competed in the Wisconsin-Superior Holiday tournament on Jan. 1-2, where they dropped a 3-0 game to nonconference foe Curry before losing to Nichols the following day. Concordia hasn’t competed since Dec. 7-8, where they too dropped two games against nonconference St. John’s. I think both teams will want to make a strong start to the second part of conference play. Finlandia 3-2, Concordia 4-2
Lake Forest at Northland
Lake Forest (1-6-1) is itching for a win as they travel to Northland (1-7-1) this weekend. The Foresters are playing better than their record shows, and haven’t played since the beginning of December, when they swept nonconference opponent St. Mary’s. Northland has had a bevy of struggles this season, but they were able to split with Concordia (Minn.) over the holiday season. Lake Forest will want to finish the season in the top half of the standings, and is making strides in that direction. Lake Forest 3-2, 4-2
Saturday, January 12
Marian at MSOE
These two teams met on Dec. 8, when MSOE beat Marian, 2-1. Marian is the top team in the South Division, and third in the conference with a 6-4-0 record. MSOE currently is second in the MCHA standings, holding a 6-3-1 record. I think Marian will look for some revenge this weekend. Marian 2-1