Women’s D-III weekend picks Dec. 7

Amanda Conway of Norwich (Norwich Athletics)
Amanda Conway and Norwich have a tough test in Suffolk. (Norwich Athletics)

Friday Dec. 7

Suffolk versus No. 4 Norwich
Suffolk is having a good year and has the potential to upset a top-ranked team. Norwich has yet to beat a ranked team and recently had a close game with Connecticut College. If these teams played 10 times, I bet Norwich would win nine. I think this matchup on Friday is the one where Suffolk comes through with the upset. Suffolk 2-1

Colby versus Nichols
Nichols is ranked eighth defensively, and statistics show they generally start their games slow then finish strong in the second and third periods. I don’t see Colby scoring enough goals in the first period to get a lead in this game. Nichols 3-1

Friday-Saturday, Dec. 7-8

St. Catherine versus Concordia (Wis.)
St. Catherine’s is having a rough year with a seven-game losing streak. Concordia is having a decent year and is not a stranger to playing teams in the MIAC, as they’ve played Bethel and St. Benedict earlier in the year. It’s hard to pinpoint what’s going on with St. Catherine, but hopefully they can turn it around for next semester. For now, I have to pick Concordia (Wis.) to win this matchup. Concordia 4-1, 3-1

Lake Forest versus Aurora
Aurora came close to beating Lake Forest not too long ago. The Foresters also lost to Trine last Friday, which means there is potential for them to get upset again. However, the Foresters are back in their barn for this game, and therefore I just can’t see Aurora walking away with the victory. Lake Forest 3-2

Finlandia versus Wisconsin-Superior
Wisconsin-Superior’s record this year is very inconsistent. A loss to teams who have been struggling and then holding against teams who are doing very well to a one-goal game makes picking this game difficult. If the team that held Wisconsin-River Falls to only two goals and then took two ranked opponents to overtime shows up, this matchup will be a high-scoring game. Based upon the inconsistency that we’ve seen from Wisconsin-Superior, this one is going to be close. Wisconsin-Superior 2-1

No. 2 Plattsburgh State versus Trinity
A NESCAC and NEWHL matchup should make for an exciting game. Trinity has had some experience against a high-caliber team this season with Middlebury. I don’t see two games against such a talented opponent giving them the edge they need to defeat the number two team in the country. Plattsburgh 4-0

Saturday, Dec. 8

No. 5 Wisconsin-River Falls versus No. 9 Gustavus Adolphus
These two teams recently played each other on Wednesday Dec. 5. It was a close game, with Wisconsin-River Falls pulling out a victory with a score of 2-1. Although Wisconsin-River Falls is ranked higher, I think this game is a toss-up, especially with Gustavus having home-ice advantage putting the pressure on Wisconsin-River Falls. They finally are starting to move up in the rankings, and a loss to Gustavus would slow that momentum. In spite of this pressure, Gustavus is ready to pull this one out and win. Gustavus Adolphus 3-2

Monday, Dec. 10

No. 10 Wisconsin-Eau Claire versus No. 8 Hamline
Hamline will have the home-ice advantage for this game, and that’s going to be the deciding factor. Hamline is an offensive powerhouse again this year, and it should be strong enough to boost them past Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Hamline 4-3

Wednesday, Dec. 12

No. 5 Wisconsin-River Falls versus No. 7 St. Thomas
Wisconsin-River Falls is too fast and too strong for St. Thomas to take the victory in this game. St. Thomas has yet to play a ranked opponent, and as such their first taste of a high-speed in this kind of game will throw them for a loop. Wisconsin-River Falls 4-2