Forgive me, Wisconsin-Eau Claire Blugolds for having doubted you.
I mistakenly attributed your back-to-back wins over No. 7 Adrian and No. 9 SUNY Geneseo to tryptophan-laced turkey and inertia-inducing giblets on your opponents’ Thanksgiving dinner plates.
I picked Wisconsin-Stout to prevail. But you showed me, didn’t you? By sweeping Stout last weekend, you cast further doubt on the Irish Seer’s Cleo-like clairvoyance.
My misgivings left last week’s record at 3-3 while causing my overall 9-14 puck prognostication mark to plummet dangerously close to Krusty the Klown territory.
For those who don’t partake in watching TV animated shows, let me explain: In a classic episode, “The Simpsons” star clown was revealed to have a serious gambling problem, underscored by his penchant for laying serious coin on the Harlem Globetrotters’ favorite foil, the Washington Generals.
Confronted by his financial advisor with this stinging reality, the seltzer-spewing punter looked to the heavens and cried, “But they were due. …”
Me thinks I’m due for some fortuitous forecasting this week .
Friday and Saturday
St. Thomas at Milwaukee School of Engineering: The undefeated No. 8 Raiders (8-0, 6-0 MCHA) arguably face one of their toughest tests in this nonconference match-up with the MIAC Tommies (7-4, 4-2). St. Thomas is fresh off a 2-1 overtime victory against No. 6 Gustavus Adolphus Dec. 4, which was indicative of the young team’s remarkable buoyancy this season. The Tommies nabbed the victory after losing Friday’s game to the Gusties, 5-3. MSOE’s firepower with leading scorer Jordan Keizer (13 goals and 4 assists) and home-ice advantage should extend the Raiders’ winning streak to 10.
MSOE, 5-2 and 3-1
Wisconsin-Stevens Point at Wisconsin-Eau Claire: These teams are on opposite trajectories with the No. 14 Blugolds (7-4, 3-3) enjoying an impressive four-game winning run — all against Top-15 squads — while the Pointers (4-7, 2-6) are mired in a six-game losing funk. While UW-Eau Claire has momentum and home-ice advantage, UW-Eau Claire has enough talent — namely Nick Graves (2.37 GAA and .910 save-pct.) in goal — and moxie to sneak out with a split.
UW-Eau Claire, 4-1; UW-Stevens Point, 2-1
St. Scholastica at Wisconsin-Superior: Despite having few individual scoring phenoms, the No. 15 Yellowjackets (7-3-1, 5-1) sprung into the NCHA’s upper tier by grinding out wins with a balanced attack as 22 players have at least a point. Meanwhile, the Saints’ wildly inconsistent campaign was highlighted by last weekend’s upset victory over No. 2 St. Norbert at home. Any carryover isn’t likely to mask the Saints’ serious special team deficiencies. St. Scholastica (5-6, 1-5) ranks last among NCHA teams on the penalty kill (16-of-22 for 72 percent) and second to last on the power play (3-of-16 for 11 percent).
UW Superior, 5-2 and 4-1