MCHA/MIAC/NCHA picks: Dec. 30

Some teams will be having a shorter winter break this year, as college hockey games will be played the last weekend of 2011. Hamline will travel to Oswego for a tournament. Lake Forest will spend the New Year’s Eve weekend in New England. Augsburg will host Lawrence, and Adrian travels to Wisconsin-Stevens Point to round out the action this weekend. Now, I am 13-8 for the season, for a .615 winning percentage for the season.
{Predicted winners bolded}
Friday, December 30, 2011
Hamline vs. Neumann
The first game of the Pathfinder Bank Tournament at Oswego will feature these two teams. Hamline has not been a good road team this season, with a record of 1-5.  It is also in the middle of a four-game losing streak, two of which have been in overtime. Beau Christian will have to be stellar in goal for Hamline to have a chance. Neumann is ranked No. 11 in the poll, and is 3-1 playing on the road. Expect Neumann to face Oswego in the title game of the tournament.
Lake Forest at Amherst
No. 8 Amherst is 7-1 on the season and undefeated at home. Lake Forest has not won a road game this year. Lake Forest has a three-game swing out East to close out 2011 and begin 2012. Amherst will be the most skilled opponent Lake Forest faces on this road trip.
Lawrence at Augsburg
Augsburg has only played three home games this season, but it is 2-1 at home. Augsburg is also in the midst of a three-game losing streak. Lawrence has not won a game outside of the MCHA this year, so that swings the pendulum in Augsburg’s direction to win the game.
Adrian at Wis.-Stevens Point
Adrian will face a stiff challenge as it faces one of the surprise teams of the NCHA this season. Wis.-Stevens Point was not expected to be this competitive this year, but don’t tell them that. Wis.-Stevens Point has beaten St. Norbert, then ranked No. 1, at home this season. Adrian should anticipate a tough series.
Saturday, December 31, 2011
Lawrence at Augsburg
For Augsburg to win the series, it has to play a tight defense and not let Lawrence’s leading scorer, Matt Hughes, make an impact.  Hughes has seven goals and four assists on the season. Freshman defenseman Jamison Wicks leads Augsburg in scoring with four goals and three assists.
Adrian at Wis.-Stevens Point
Wis.-Stevens Point is 3-3-1 at home, while Adrian is 4-1 in away games this season. Adrian should sweep the series, but it would not be a surprise if Wis.-Stevens Point won a game this series. This is by far the most intriguing Division III series in the Midwest this weekend.
Monday, January 2, 2012
Lake Forest at Trinity
Trinity has not won a home game this season. Lake Forest has a chance to pull out its first victory on the road and 2012.