D-III West weekend picks Nov. 23: Wisconsin-Stevens Point hosts tourney

Brett Gravelle skates past a defender during a men's hockey MIAC Championship game versus Augsburg March 4, 2017 at the St. Thomas Ice Arena in Mendota Heights. The Tommies fell to the Auggies 2-3. (Mike Ekern/University of St. Thomas)
Brett Gravelle leads St. Thomas against Utica in the Wisconsin-Stevens Point tournament. (Mike Ekern/University of St. Thomas)

Wisconsin-Stevens Point plays host to a huge holiday tournament this weekend.

The top-ranked Pointers take on Nichols in their tourney opener Friday. Wis.-Stevens Point features one of the better offenses in the nation, averaging nearly four goals per game. Carter Roo leads the team in goals scored with five, and Zach Zech leads the team in points with eight.

Nichols is playing at Wis.-Stevens Point for the first time in program history and boasts a high-powered offense as well, averaging just over four goals per outing. Vincent Crivello leads the way with three goals and nine assists. Wis.-Stevens Point 7-5

Friday, Nov. 23

St. Thomas vs. Utica
The Tommies and Pioneers battle on Friday as well in the holiday tournament at Wis.-Stevens Point. St. Thomas is looking to bounce back after back-to-back losses last weekend. Brett Gravelle and Tanner Barnes have combined for six goals and six assists. Utica is looking to get back to the .500 mark. The Pioneers are led by Regen Cavanaugh, who has come through with five goals and three assists. Josh Haskin has tallied a goal and seven assists. St. Thomas 4-3

Concordia (Wis.) vs. Saint John’s
The Falcons are on the road to take on the Johnnies. Concordia is seeking its first win of the season. It won’t be easy to get against the Johnnies. Nick Guerra has led the way offensively for the Falcons, scoring three goals and also dishing out an assist. Dante Hahn has been a key playmaker with five assists. Saint John’s has gotten a huge lift from Evan Okeley this season. He has come through with four goals and an assist. Andrew Lindgren continues to play well in goal. He owns a 1.58 goals-against average and has three wins on the season. Saint John’s 5-2

Saint Mary’s vs. Lake Forest
The Cardinals are still looking for their first win as they take on the Foresters Friday. Tyson Liverance has been a bright spot with four goals and two assists. Dylan Robertson has dished out five assists. Lake Forest has had a tough start to its season as well, winning just once. Bron Loiselle is someone who will need to have a big game for the Foresters to prevail. He’s scored one goal and has dished out four assists. Lake Forest 4-2

No. 2 Adrian vs. Norwich
The Bulldogs are off to another great start and have multiple weapons they can turn to on the offensive side of the ice. Bryce Van Horn and Trevor Boyd have tallied three goals and three assists apiece. Kevin Entmaa is tough to score on. He’s made 157 saves and owns a 7-1 record on the year. Norwich is off to a tough start, but certainly has the potential to pull off the upset. The Cadets are led by Felix Brassard, who has come through with a pair of goals and assists. Todd Jackson has scored two goals as well. Tom Auburn has led the way in goal. He has stopped 98 shots and owns a 2-2-1 record. Adrian 5-3

Stevenson vs. St. Norbert
Stevenson faces a big road test taking on the reigning national champions. The Mustangs have a freshman sensation in Luke Benitez, who has scored four goals already in his career. Dominic Brenza is one of the best playmakers in the nation, having tallied eight assists. St. Norbert comes in looking for a big nonconference win. The Green Knights have gotten a big lift from Peter Bates, who has scored twice and has dished out six assists. Dominik Sacco is having a great year, too, scoring three goals and tallying a pair of assists. St. Norbert 4-1


Aurora at No. 10 Trinity
Aurora has a chance to come up with a big win to close out the weekend in this Saturday night showdown. The Spartans are led by Shawn O’Malley, who is playing great hockey as a freshman. He has scored three goals and has dished out three assists. Josh Boyko has come up with 147 saves. He’s 4-2. Trinity has yet to lose. Nicholas Fiorentino leads the way with three goals and an assist. Barclay Gammill has scored twice. Tedy Loughborough has started all three games for Trinity, stopping 41 shots. Has won twice for Trinity in goal. Aurora 3-2