There are very few games on the schedule next weekend, so this is the last set of games before the winter break, and they are all nonconference matchups.
Friday, Dec. 8
Hamline at St. Scholastica
I’m intrigued by this one because each squad has a similar record as well as similar goals scored and goals allowed numbers in different conferences. Hamline is top 10 in both team offense and team defense. They’re also one of the most penalized teams in the nation, meaning St. Scholastica has to take advantage on special teams. Hamline 4-2.
Friday-Saturday, Dec. 8-9
Amherst at No. 2 Elmira
Elmira is undefeated so far this season, with big wins over Plattsburgh and Middlebury on their résumé . When these two met last season, Amherst was also ranked and Elmira won 4-0. Amherst gets two shots at the Soaring Eagles this weekend, but I think Elmira is going to be tough to take down. I expect the home team to sweep. Elmira 4-2, 5-3.
Saturday, Dec. 9
No. 6 Gustavus Adolphus at No. 5 Wisconsin River Falls
Before this week, these two last met in the first round of the NCAA tournament last year, where Gustavus upset Wis.-River Falls. The Gusties hosted Wis.-River Falls on Wednesday and came out with a 4-3 win thanks to a power-play goal from Diana Draayer with less than two minutes to go in the game. Now they’ll head to Wis.-River Falls for the second half of the home-and-home on Saturday. Expect the Falcons to be fighting for pride and quality win points. I think they’ll pull out the home win, but clearly Gustavus has their number of late. Wis.-River Falls 3-2
Sunday, Dec. 10
No. 8 Connecticut College at No. 1 Norwich
The Cadets are also unbeaten thus far this season; a tie with Wis.-River Falls is the only blemish on their record. After losing in the national semifinal last season, Norwich looks to be focused on redemption this season. Connecticut College split a pair of games with Middlebury last weekend, so should be poised for the speed and talent they’ll face from Norwich. The home Cadets should take this one, but it will certainly be one of the better games to watch this weekend. Norwich 4-2
Wednesday, Dec. 13
No. 5 Wisconsin River Falls at No. 9 St. Thomas
The Wis.-River Falls Falcons certainly have their work cut out for them this weekend, but I think they’re up to the task. This will be an interesting matchup between one of the most prolific defenses in the country and one of the stingiest offenses. I think the Tommies can slow down Carly Moran and the Falcons, but I’m not sure they can stop them completely. Wis.-River Falls 3-1