So I was a bit too confident in my conference picks last week, and the conference proved to have more parity than I had expected. I fell below .500, yet again, with a 3-2-2 (.428) pick record. That brings my season record to 37-26-4 (.552). Yuck.
This week sees interesting division match-ups. The top dog in the Southern Division, Adrian, will host a two-game series with Marian, which is atop the Northern Division. Milwaukee School of Engineering and Lawrence, each the second seed in their respective division. Lake Forest and Finlandia will battle in a home-and-home series. Concordia will host Northland.
Friday-Saturday, Jan. 18-19
Marian at Adrian
Last weekend, Marian (6-4-0) beat MSOE, 3-0. Josh Baker earned the shutout, his second of the season. Adrian (8-0-2) is the top team in the conference, and skated to a pair of ties against Lawrence most recently. Marian and Adrian are the top teams in each of their divisions. The Bulldogs haven’t won a game since Jan. 4, when they beat Alabama-Huntsville (Div. I), 4-2. I’m predicting a split for these top teams. Marian 4-2, Adrian 5-1
Northland vs. Concordia
This is a home-and-home series. Northland (2-8-0) competed with Lake Forest last weekend and won Friday’s tilt, 5-3, before dropping a game on Saturday, 3-2. Six different skaters scored the Lumberjacks’ seven goals, including two goals from Cody Hasbargen. Concordia (6-4-0) swept Finlandia. Friday’s 3-2 win was followed by a 5-4 victory on Saturday. Martin Krestan and Morgan Sanchez each netted two goals for the Falcons. I think Concordia has found its groove. Concordia 4-2, 3-1
Finlandia at Lake Forest
Lake Forest (2-7-1) is hosting Finlandia (3-7-0) this weekend. Lake Forest split with Northland most recently. Finlandia was swept by Concordia. Both teams are desperate for wins to gain some strides in the standings. The teams are close; I think they’ll split. Finlandia 3-2, Lake Forest 2-1
Lawrence vs. MSOE
Lawrence (4-4-2) is within three points of MSOE (6-3-1) in the standings. These two teams are both looking for wins. MSOE was shutout for the first time this season as Marian beat them, 3-0. Lawrence battled nationally-ranked Adrian to two ties. I’m going to call a split, with each team winning in their home barn. Lawrence 3-2, MSOE 4-1