West picks: Jan. 19

Friday, Jan. 19

No. 4 Wisconsin-Stevens Point at Wisconsin-Eau Claire
A big road test awaits the nationally ranked Pointers as they hit the road to take on the Blugolds in a crucial WIAC matchup. Wis.-Stevens Point has lost only once in its last 11 and features a high-powered offensive attack that has cranked out 71 goals. Tanner Karty leads the attack with 12 goals and 17 assists. The Blugolds have won three of four and are eager to make a statement that will go a long way in the determining the WIAC title race. Jake Hepfner is one of three players with at least 10 points. He’s tallied 13, including seven off goals. Wis.-Stevens Point 4-3

No. 3 Adrian at Milwaukee School of Engineering
The Bulldogs have won five consecutive games and look to keep the momentum rolling in a big road game. Since the beginning of December, the Bulldogs have been rock solid defensively, giving up only 11 goals. Goalie Kevin Entmaa owns a 1.77 GAA and has made 206 saves. MSOE needs a win badly. The Raiders have dropped their last four games and hope to pull off their third win against a ranked team this season. They have a pretty good goalie of their own in Zach Woodman, who is 6-5 and has a 1.84 goals-against average. Adrian 4-2

Lake Forest at Marian
The Foresters have struggled on the road, fashioning a 4-5 record, but they will no doubt be ready for this one. George Gerasimou has been phenomenal, scoring four goals and dishing out 12 assists to pace a balanced attack. He is one of seven players with at least 11 points. The Sabres have won five of six and own a 3-2-1 record at home. They are hungry for revenge after suffering a 3-1 loss to the Foresters earlier this season. Few players in the league have been better than Derek Thorogood, who has scored 11 goals and tallied 13 assists. Marian 4-2

Friday-Saturday, Jan. 19-20

Concordia at Saint John’s
The two teams are separated by four points in the standings. Saint John’s is in third place and has punched in 55 goals while giving up 38. Five players have tallied at least 10 points, including Brady Heppner, who has come through with seven goals and eight assists. The Cobbers have scored 50 goals and have allowed 50 goals. Mario Bianchi leads the team in points with seven goals and 13 assists, while Jacob Stephan and Sam Nelson have split time in goal, combining for seven wins. Saint John’s 3-1, Concordia 4-3

No. 14 Augsburg vs. Gustavus
With four consecutive wins, the nationally ranked Auggies are back on track and sit atop the MIAC standings, but they face a stern test this weekend in a home-and-home series with the second-place Gusties. Nate Flynn continues to lead the attack for Augsburg, scoring 12 goals and dishing out eight assists. Nick Schmit owns a 2.19 GAA. The Gusties have won only once in their last seven games and are hoping to regain momentum down the stretch of the regular season. Evan Erickson leads the team with six goals and six assists, fueling an offense that has scored 43 goals. Augsburg 5-2, 4-2

Hamline vs. St. Olaf
Russ Jordan just scored the 50th point of his career in a 3-1 loss to Saint John’s, and he’ll be a key to success for the Pipers in their home-and-home series with the Oles. Hamline has won two of three and begins this series on the road, were it is 2-4 this season. Jordan has scored eight goals and dished out seven assists. Winless in its last three games, St. Olaf is in the sixth spot in the standings, and a couple of wins could help it solidify its playoff chances. The Oles have four players with 10 or more points, including Drew Otto, who has tallied six goals and seven assists. St. Olaf 5-3, Hamline, 4-2

Saturday, Jan. 20

Wisconsin-River Falls at No. 4 Wisconsin-Stevens Point
The Falcons have lost just once in their last four games and are hoping to steal a big win that could jump-start their conference title hopes. Cayden Cahill will be one to watch for Wis.-River Falls. He comes in with eight goals and seven assists. Wis.-Stevens Point has one of the better defenses in the nation, allowing only 35 goals thanks to the effort of Max Milosek, who has won 10 games and owns a 1.72 GAA. Milosek has made 368 saves. Wis.-Stevens Point 5-2

No. 1 St. Norbert at St. Scholastica
The Green Knights hit the road for a huge NCHA showdown with the Saints. St. Norbert has rattled off four consecutive wins, giving up only five goals during the stretch. Goalie T.J. Black has played a big part in that success, fashioning a 1.32 GAA. He has allowed only 22 goals. Boasting an eight-game win streak, the Saints are one of the hottest teams in the country. They are 6-1 at home and are two wins shy of matching last season’s win total. Kyle Star and Mark Whiteley lead the attack, combining for eight goals and 20 assists. St. Scholastica 4-3