MCHA, MIAC, and NCHA Picks: Nov. 19

After a 2-9 start in the prognostication arena, I figure I am a shoo-in for the lead role in a remake of “The Cooler.”

For the cinematically challenged, the 2003 film starred William H. Macy as down-and-outer Bernie Lootz, who is sent to gaming tables by his venal casino boss, adroitly played by Alec Baldwin, to “cool down” bettors on a roll.

Supposedly, the stench of Lootz’ perpetual bad luck permeates all those around him. That is until, in a predictable Hollywood twist, he meets a shapely cocktail waitress, played by Maria Bello, and his fortunes suddenly shift. If interested in the outcome, IFC seemingly reruns this dark character study on a weekly basis.

Meanwhile, here is another attempt to shed my putrid Lootzian luck:

Nov. 19-20

Wisconsin-Stout at Wisconsin-Stevens Point
After a pair of hard-fought losses to No. 3 St. Norbert, this is a pivotal series for the No. 9 Pointers (4-3, 2-2). With the exception of a few seconds, UW-Stevens Point kept an otherwise prolific Green Knights’ offense at bay thanks in part to goalie Nick Graves (2-2, 2.01 GAA, .927 save-percentage). The Pointers’ Achilles’ heel in the crucial weekend set was their power play, which is an anemic 3-of-16 for 18 percent in seven games. Meanwhile, the Blue Devils (5-3, 2-2) have seen their stock rise with a pair of crucial conference wins over St. Scholastica last weekend. Sam Carr (2 goals and 3 assists) and Kevin O’Donnell (2 goals and 4 assists) are stewards of a potent UW-Stout power play, which is 5-of-15 for 33 percent and leads the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association.
UW-Stevens Point, 3-2; UW-Stout, 4-2

Gustavus Adolphus vs. Bethel
The Gusties (4-1-1,  1-0-1 MIAC) are on a modest three-game unbeaten streak and have a cadre of snipers — led by upstart freshman Adam Smyth (3 goals and 3 assists) — poised to strike. The team’s 8-of-31 (25.8 percent) power play leads the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. That’s not good news for Bethel (1-5, 1-1 MIAC), which leads the league with 167 penalty minutes in six games. Gustavus should sweep the home-and-home series.
Gustavus, 4-1 and 3-2

Adrian at Lake Forest
The No. 10 Bulldogs (3-1) have regained their footing after a hiccup against Marian two weeks ago. Adrian leads the Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association in offense, averaging five goals a game. On Wednesday, the team handily dispatched the U-18 Czech national squad, 5-2, in an exhibition at home. The Foresters’ (2-2) otherwise indifferent start has been highlighted by Zak Borowski’s two game-winning goals. The Bulldogs should be able to take the road wins.
Adrian, 4-2 and 6-3