MCHA/MIAC/NCHA picks: Feb. 10

As the season begins to wind down, another regular season champion could be decided. It is the last week of the NCHA regular season, and there are still many scenarios when it comes to the final standings.
St. Norbert could grab the NCHA regular season title with a three-point weekend, or grab a share of the title with just two points.  Wisconsin-River Falls, St. Scholastica, and Wisconsin-Stevens Point are still mathematically in the hunt for a share of the title.
The other two conferences in the West Region have two weeks left in the regular season. St. Thomas has the MIAC title in hand, but the next seven teams in the league are vying for the remaining four playoff spots. In the MCHA, Lawrence and Finlandia surged in the standings last week and will face each other this weekend, while Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) still trails Adrian by two points in the standings.
I went 7-1 last week, which makes my season record 44-26, a .590 percentage.
{Predicted winners bolded}
Friday, February 10, 2012
Finlandia at Lawrence
Both teams have been on a roll as of late. Finlandia is 6-2 since the beginning of January, winning three in a row, with two of those games in overtime. The negative is its 2-10 road record. Lawrence is on a four-game win streak, and has a 4-2-1 home record this season.
Northland at Marian
Another series that has MCHA playoff implications takes place at Marian this weekend. Marian has lost three in a row and has struggled since sweeping MSOE in January. Northland has lost four in a row. The playoffs start now for Northland, and it will play with desperation that may payoff in an upset.
St. John’s at St. Olaf
This series features a battle of the MIAC’s two second-place teams. Since January 14, St. John’s is 6-1, making it the second hottest team in the MIAC. However, St. Olaf has the stingiest defense in the MIAC, allowing just over two goals a game. St. Olaf and St. John’s are near equal on offense. St. Olaf will have to stay out of the penalty box against a good St. John’s power play.
St. Scholastica at Wis.-River Falls
After being swept three weekends ago at St. Scholastica, Wis.-River Falls will be ready for the return bout. On the line in the game is not only second place in the NCHA, but a potential shot at the regular season title. St. Scholastica proved it can go toe-to-toe with Wis.-River Falls. Wis.-River Falls is 8-2-2 at home, while St. Scholastica is 5-4-2 away from home this season.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Concordia (Minn.) at Hamline
Two points separate the two teams in the standings. Concordia (Minn.) is the only team to beat MIAC champion St. Thomas during the regular season, but has only won twice on the road this season. Hamline is 6-3 at home. Hamline needs to control the play early and score. Concordia (Minn.) has the best penalty kill, but is also the most-penalized team in the MIAC.
Augsburg at Bethel
These two teams do not control their own destiny, but need to win to have a shot at the last spot for the MIAC playoffs. Statistically, both teams are evenly matched. Bethel has a better home record than Augsburg has a road record.
Wisconsin-Stout at Wisconsin-Stevens Point
No matter the outcome of the other games, this is an important game for Wis.-Stevens Point. Tied for third with St. Scholastica to begin the weekend, Wis.-Stevens Point starts early on Thursday with a game against St. Norbert. If successful at St. Norbert, Wis.-Stevens Point will finish off the regular season with an outside possibility for playing for a share of the regular season title in the NCHA.
Concordia (Wis.) at Adrian
Adrian looks to stay two points ahead of MSOE in the MCHA.



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