Weekend picks: Dec. 1

No. 8 Connecticut College at No. 6 Middlebury
These two teams split a series last season, with each earning a 3-1 victory. Both teams are early in their season, but Middlebury faced some of the toughest competition anyone will see this year in last weekend’s Plattsburgh tournament. They took Adrian to OT before succumbing, and the tournament really forced them to get up to speed quickly. Connecticut College is splitting time with two goalies in the net, and who they choose to go with this weekend plays could decide the outcome. I assume we’ll see a split from these two very evenly matched teams. I’ll pick Middlebury in game one and Connecticut College in game two. Middlebury 3-2, Connecticut College 2-1  

No. 9 St. Thomas vs. Augsburg
St. Thomas senior D Allison Borgstrom is the top goal-scoring blue liner in the country, but Augsburg goalie McKenna Manalli is averaging less than a goal against per game. Augsburg is 4-0-0 in the MIAC so far and is two points ahead of everyone else at the top. They’re incredibly stingy on defense, and St. Thomas will have their work cut out for them. They split their regular season series last year, though St. Thomas had the edge in the postseason. I’m going to go out on a limb and pick Augsburg to sweep this series. Augsburg 4-2, 3-2

Canton at Buffalo State
This is an interesting nonconference meeting between Colonial Hockey’s third-place team and a team tied for first in the NEWHL. Canton ranks in the top 10 nationally in both team offense (4.17 goals per game) and team defense (1.33 goals allowed per game). Buffalo State has not been as prolific in front of the net, but is nearly as stingy on defense. The goalies for both of these teams have nearly identical stats, and I’m going to pick Canton to sweep, but think Buffalo State has a chance to earn the split here. Canton 4-2, 4-3

No. 5 Wisconsin-River Falls at No. 7 Gustavus Adolphus
This game on Tuesday matches two of the top teams in the west and is a rematch of last year’s first-round NCAA tournament game that was won by the Gusties. Wis.-River Falls senior Carly Moran continues an incredible career, averaging 2.12 points per game; her 11 goals are good for second in the country. Wis.-River Falls is scoring more than five goals a game, putting 41 pucks in the net in their first eight games. The Falcons haven’t lost since an opening weekend defeat at the hands of Adrian. Gustavus is finding its footing in an improved and deep MIAC — they split a series with Hamline last weekend. They’ve been particularly good on special teams, though UW-RF doesn’t take a lot of penalties. This one should go to the Falcons, but I would have said that about the NCAA game last season, as well, so you really never quite know. I’ll take the Falcons. Wis.-River Falls 5-3

4 COMMENTS

  1. The gopher boys need to be gopher men tonight and play a full 60 min. Need to keep up the pace for this weekend and next. Good luck guys and let’s kill some who players on the 18 and 19. The road to ncaas is paved with layed out green and white players

  2. The fact that Minnesota is and has been playing and Notre Dame hasn’t since December 15th makes this one an easy call and I think the game will be likely over before the Notre Dame shakes off the dust. Plus, the game is at Mariucci

    Otherwise, I’d have taken Notre Dame. If Notre Dame wins under these circumstances then that will really tell us a lot about them.

    • I think that the fact the that Gophers are playing the best that they have all season needs to enter the equation. Plus they were able to beat Notre Dame without their leading scorer, that says a lot about the Gophers.

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