West picks: Nov. 25

It’s Thanksgiving weekend and there is no shortage of hockey on the schedule, including a pivotal crossover showdown between Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Adrian. Among the other highlights on the schedule is Concordia’s trip to the PrimeLink Shootout and St. Thomas hitting the road to take on Adrian.Friday, Nov. 25Concordia (3-3) vs. Plattsburgh (3-2)The Cobbers have dropped two in a row and things won’t get any easier as they head East for the PrimeLink Great Northern Shootout. Goaltending will be a key to success and the Cobbers have two netminders capable of getting the job done in Jacob Stephen and Sam Nelson. Both have started three games apiece, with Stephen picking up two wins. The Cobbers have allowed 19 goals in all while scoring 15. The Cardinals have scored four goals in each of their wins. Cole Stallard leads the offense with four goals. Concordia 4-3Concordia (Wis.) (4-3-1) at Bethel (1-6-1)It’s been a tough start to the season for the Royals, who are winless in their last five games. They have managed two goals or less in each of those games and hope to get back on track in this two-game series on the road that kicks off Friday. Justin Bonanno and Andrew Bjorklund, who both with five goals, need to play well for the Royals to have a chance. The Falcons have won three of their last four and are good on the road, fashioning a 2-1-1 mark away from home. The  balance they have on offense, which is led by Nicholas Erb (three goals, five assists) will likely be the difference. Concordia 4-2, 3-1Saturday, Nov. 26Marian (2-6) at St. John’s (4-3-1)The Sabres face a daunting start to their weekend as they hit the road for a game against the Johnnies. Marian has struggled away from home this year, going 0-4. The biggest challenge for Marian has been getting its offense on track, although it did come to life last weekend with a big 6-1 win over Superior. Gianni Mangone and Derek Thorogood each have five goals this year. The Johnnies will be playing only their second game of the season at home. They have scored 27 goals and allowed 26, with Matt Colford leading the offense (three goals, seven assists). The Johnnies the better offense and playing at home should help their cause as well. St. John’s 5-2Wisconsin-Stevens Point (6-1-1) at Adrian (5-1)The Pointers have already played one NCHA powerhouse, falling 5-3 to St. Norbert last weekend in a rematch of the 2016 national title game. The Pointers feature one of the top offenses in the country, with 11 players tallying at least five points. Jacob Barber has seven goals and five assists. Wis.-Stevens Point will be up against an Adrian team that is equally impressive. The Bulldogs have won five in a row and have scored five or more goals five times. Trevor Boyd leads the attack with five goals and eight assists. In the end, though, defense is likely to make the difference. Adrian has given up 13 goals. Wis.-Stevens Point has allowed 21. Adrian 4-3Finlandia (0-8) at Wisconsin-Superior (3-6)The Lions are still searching for their first win of the year. A road game against Wisconsin-Superior probably isn’t the place to find it. Finlandia has been shutout in three of its games and is winless in six road games. Earlier this season, the Lions lost 10-3 to Superior. A similar outcome won’t come as a surprise. Meanwhile, the Yellow Jackets have lost five in a row and look to snap out of their funk with a big win. Wis.-Superior has managed only five goals in its last five games, but its offense should come to life in this one. Wis.-Superior 8-4Sunday, Nov. 27St. Thomas (4-2-2) vs. Adrian (5-1)Jeff Boeser is searching for the 100th win of his career with the Tommies when his team hits the road to take on the Bulldogs. St. Thomas has been tough defensively lately, allowing only 14 goals in their last eight games. They have killed off 29 of their opponents’ last 33 power-play attempts. St. Thomas is also balanced offensively, with 11 different players scoring at least one goal. Adrian is balanced offensively as well — 14 different players have scored a goal — and the Bulldogs feature a defense anchored by goaltender Kevin Entmaa, who is 4-1 with a 2.20 goals-against average. Adrian 2-1Marian (2-6) at St. Olaf (1-7)The Sabres hope to take advantage of great goaltending against the Oles. Mike Baldwin has spent the majority of time in goal, recording 125 saves in five starts. He owns a 3.97 goals-against average. The Oles have lost three in a row, with two of those games being decided by one goal. Steven Sherman leads the offense with two goals and six assists. St. Olaf just seems due for a win after playing so hard as of late. St. Olaf 3-2Lawrence (3-3) at St. John’s (4-3-1)The Vikings are riding a wave of momentum, having won their last three to bounce back from an 0-3 start to the season. They have two shutouts this season and have given up 17 goals in all. They feature three goalies who have seen nearly equal playing time. Evan Cline has two wins and has allowed just one goal in those games. The Johnnies are playing only their second nonconference game of the season. Eight players have scored at least two goals for St. John’s, and that balance should go a long way toward success against Lawrence. St. John’s 3-2