West picks: Dec. 8

Friday, Dec. 8

Gustavus Adolphus at St. Scholastica
Gustavus Adolphus has one of the top goalies in the MIAC in Chris Amsden, who owns a 1.81 goals-against average and has stopped close to 94 percent of the shots taken against him. Caleb Anderson and Evan Erickson have combined to score nine goals and dish out 11 assists. The Saints have had a tough start to their season, winning only three of their first nine games. They have scored just 20 goals in that time but they haven’t given up much either, allowing 23. Nate Pionk and Seth Chumley are tied for the team lead in goals scored with three. Gustavus Adolphus 5-3

Concordia at No. 9 Wisconsin-Stevens Point
The Falcons face a tough challenge on the road. Concordia is hot right now, winning six of eight, and they’re looking for an upset that could take their momentum to another level. Dante Hahn has been sensational for the Falcons, scoring six goals and dishing out three assists. The Pointers have won two of three, but have struggled at home this year, winning just twice. Max Milosek gives Wis.-Stevens Point a chance to win every time he steps onto the ice, and he owns a 4-3 record. Offensively, the Pointers have cranked out 43 goals, eight coming from Tanner Karty. Wis.-Stevens Point 6-4

Friday-Saturday, Dec. 8-9

No. 7 Augsburg at No. 1 St. Norbert
This two-game series will have a playoff-like feel to it. The Auggies are eager to bounce back after having their unbeaten start to the season wiped out by St. Thomas. The Green Knights are aiming to stay perfect. Augsburg features some of the best offensive talent in the MIAC, with three of its five players ranking in the top five in the conference in points, including Nate Flynn, who has scored six goals to go along with five assists. Drew Anderson and Luke Dietsch have 12 points apiece. St. Norbert has won its first nine games, including four by a goal, and it’s gunning for its fourth win over a ranked opponent this season. T.J. Black is one of the best goaltenders in the nation, fashioning a 1.37 GAA. He’s saved nearly 95 percent of the shots he’s faced. Augsburg, 4-3, St. Norbert, 3-2

Concordia at Hamline
Concordia is looking to make a move up in the standings in this two-game series against the Pipers. The Cobbers are led offensively by Zach Doerring, who has four goals and four assists, and they are 2-1 away from home. Hamline is in last place in the conference, and success this weekend could begin a turnaround for a team that came into the year with high expectations. The Pipers have yet to win a home, sporting an 0-2 record, and have dropped their last three games overall. On the bright side, they have a top-notch goal scorer in Mitch McPherson (eight goals). Concordia 5-2, Hamline 3-2

Lawrence at Wisconsin-River Falls
The Falcons have won three of five and are hoping to get back on track after dropping their last two games. Eddie Matsushima leads the offensive attack with five goals and four assists. Being able to play this series at home should help. The Vikings have one win in their last four games, but are hardly a pushover. Lane King leads the team with six goals and 11 assists. Nick Felan has also risen to the occasion, scoring five goals to go with nine assists. Lawrence 4-3, Wis.-River Falls 5-3

Saturday, Dec. 9

No. 10 Wisconsin-Eau Claire at Marian
The Blugolds are just 2-4 on the road this season and have lost their last two away from home. But don’t be fooled by the struggles of Wis.-Eau Claire. The Blugolds are dangerous offensively, putting up 47 goals this year, with Mac Jansen leading the attack with nine goals. This game is a huge test for the Sabres, who have lost only once in their last six outings and are facing their second consecutive game against a nationally ranked opponent. Their success has been fueled in part by the play of Hunter Vorva, who has six wins and a 2.18 GAA. Marian 5-4