Weekend picks: Jan. 6

Friday-Saturday, Jan. 6-7

Concordia (Minn.) at No. 3 Wisconsin-River Falls
I think Wis.-River Falls skates off with a sweep here, but I’m hoping to see some tough competition from Concordia, which has struggled a bit with being consistent, but the Falcons outwork them and come out winners. Wisconsin-River Falls 3-1, 2-0

Amherst at No. 6 Middlebury
Amherst is receiving votes in the polls and needs to make a statement this weekend. They hit the winter break on a three-game shutout streak. Middlebury fought for a tie with Elmira and lost by a single goal to Plattsburgh. They want to start the second half off right and prove they belong in the national conversation. Middlebury 3-1, 4-2

Augsburg at Wisconsin-Eau Claire (home-and-home)
Augsburg is also receiving votes and is currently sitting atop the MIAC. They’re looking to erase the memory of their loss to Wisconsin-Stevens Point just before break. Wis.-Eau Claire is unbeaten in the past six games. They’re looking to shore up their defense and continue to be successful on the power play. I’ll call a split, with each team winning at home. Augsburg 3-1, Wis.-Eau Claire 2-1

Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 7-8

East/West Showcase

No. 2 Elmira at No. 4 Norwich
I have to pick Elmira here. They’ve allowed just seven goals all season. Norwich scores at a quicker clip, but I’m giving that team defense the edge here. Soaring Eagles win. Elmira 4-3

No. 5 Adrian vs. No. 1 Plattsburgh
I don’t know how you ever pick against Plattsburgh, but I’m highly tempted to do so here. Adrian is averaging five goals a game and has the two top scorers in the country in Kristin Lewicki and Kaylyn Schroka, both of whom are averaging more than two points a game. Maybe it’s a fool’s errand, but I’ll pick Adrian for the upset knowing full well picking against Plattsburgh is just plain dumb. Adrian 4-3

No. 2 Elmira vs. No. 5 Adrian
I may have picked this just because I’d love to see Adrian’s high-powered offense against Elmira’s incredibly stingy defense. I think defense wins out here and Elmira would walk away with the tournament crown, but I also think you could justify any outcome here. Elmira 2-1.

No. 4 Norwich vs. No. 1 Plattsburgh
I’d have to pick Plattsburgh in the consolation game, regardless of opponent. They just don’t lose two in a row. Plattsburgh 4-2

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