The final weekend of the regular season is upon us, and I stand with an overall pick record of 53-40-3 (.552). Last week, I went 5-2-1 (.625) in my picks, not bad considering the disastrous picks I was making in the beginning of 2013.
This weekend, every team is playing, with each team competing against a team in the opposing division. All the match-ups are fresh, as none of them have played each other earlier this season. With neither division having a set playoff field, it’ll be an exciting eight games.
Friday-Saturday, Feb. 15-16
Finlandia at Adrian
The Adrian Bulldogs (15-0-3) are the 2013 MCHA regular season champions, and have earned themselves a first-round bye to the Harris Cup Four. The Bulldogs remain the lone team in the nation who are undefeated in their conference. Most recently, the Bulldogs swept Concordia. Finlandia (7-11-0) swept Lawrence last weekend. This is a do-or-die weekend for the Lions. They have 14 points in the North Division, with Lawrence and Northland tied right behind them with 12 points. The fourth spot in the division doesn’t make the playoffs. Finlandia is going to need to dig deep and play desperate for at least one win this weekend. Adrian 4-1, Finlandia 3-2
Northland at MSOE
Milwaukee School of Engineering (11-5-2) secured a hosting gig for the first round of the postseason with a tie and a win over Lake Forest last weekend. Northland (6-12-0) was swept by Marian. Northland is tied with Lawrence for the bottom spot in the Northern Division, however, the LumberJacks are tied with the Vikings and only two points out of the second spot, where the Lions sit with 14 points. Northland will need to play with some solid hockey to garner four points this weekend, but there is still a lot at stake depending on how Lawrence and Finlandia do. MSOE 3-2, Northland 2-1
Lake Forest vs. Lawrence
All Lake Forest (6-9-3) needs this weekend is one win to solidify its spot in the postseason. Lake Forest is three points ahead of Concordia in the Southern Division. Last weekend, Lake Forest fought to two overtime games with MSOE, tying the first, 2-2, before a 5-4 loss the next night. Lawrence (5-11-2) is tangled in the web of “what-ifs” that is the Northern Division right now. The Vikings are holding on with 12 points, but are on a five-game losing streak. Lake Forest 5-2, Lawrence 4-1
Concordia vs. Marian
The Marian Sabres (11-7-0) have captured the top spot in the Northern Division with two convincing wins over Northland last weekend. They, along with the Bulldogs, earned a first-round bye, and we’ll be seeing them in the Harris Cup Four. Concordia (6-12-0) lost two games to Adrian over the weekend. They lost, 6-1, the first night before battling to a 6-5 loss on Saturday. The rookie team is eager to play in the postseason this year. This is the first meeting for the two teams, as first year coach for the Falcons Jasen Wise left the Sabres last year to take the helm with Concordia. The Falcons will need two wins this weekend, and losses from Lake Forest, to make it to the first round of the playoffs. Marian 3-2, Concordia 5-1