It’s almost the most wonderful time of the year, but for now, it’s the best time of the week, the weekend with games on the schedule.
USCHO Women’s Editor Candace Horgan and Division III writer Matt Mackinder give their thoughts on the big games on the upcoming schedule.
Friday, Nov. 21
No. 3 Norwich at Salve Regina
Candace: Home ice will make this close, but I like the Cadets to pick up the win. Norwich 3-2
Matt: This Friday night contest could conceivably go either way.
Norwich is ranked third in the country for a reason, while Salve Regina is playing very respectable .500 hockey (2-2-0) so far, including a 2-1-0 mark on home ice.
That being said, Norwich is, well, Norwich, and the Cadets’ 4-1-1 overall record to date moves to 5-1-1 tonight. Give a couple goals to Erin Joyce, too.
Friday-Saturday, Nov. 21-22
No. 5 Wisconsin-Stevens Point at No. 8 Wisconsin-Superior
Candace: I don’t go into as much detail as Matt does, but I do like his idea of a split. It seems to be the trend with ranked teams facing each other. Wis.-Superior 4-2, Wis.-Stevens Point 3-2
Matt: The marquee matchup this weekend, as the two ranked squads go at it. Overall, Superior is 6-1-0 and Wis.-Stevens Point is 5-1-0, so what gives?
Superior has many of the WIAC’s top scorers, while the Pointers seem to have a more balanced attack. Janna Beilke-Skoug (Stevens Point) and Megan Leikkari (Superior) are arguably the conference’s top two goalies.
While two ties would perhaps be poetic justice, I’ll go with a split with Superior winning Friday night and Stevens Point taking Saturday night’s game.
No. 10 Adrian at St. Norbert
Candace: While St. Norbert is improving, the team isn’t quite the dominant force the men’s squad is. Home ice will make at least one close, but I think Adrian sweeps. Adrian 5-3, 3-2
Matt: The Bulldogs are off to a 4-0-0 start and entered the rankings this week. Long overdue, in my opinion.
Adrian’s Kelsey Kusch is averaging better than a goal per game, and looks to be the catalyst for the offense. Jade Walsh has played every minute of every game to this point, and will most likely get the call to keep the ball rolling this weekend.
St. Norbert is 3-3-0 and is a streaky team so far, having opened with two wins over St. Benedict, then lost two to Lake Forest and split with St. Scholastica. Consistency is needed against the No. 10 team in the country.
Adrian takes both games, with one being decided in the final three minutes.