Men’s D-III West weekend picks: Eau-Claire looks to tag Stevens Point with a loss

Zach Dyment of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (Matt Schrupp/UWEC Photo)
Zach Dyment of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will be counted on in a game with undefeated Wisconsin-Stevens Point. (Matt Schrupp/UWEC Photo)
It doesn’t get much better than Wisconsin-Stevens Point squaring off against Wisconsin-Eau Claire Friday night. The game has the look of a national championship game. The Pointers are unbeaten and ranked No. 1. The Blugolds have lost only twice and are ranked third in the nation.The offenses rank first and second in the WIAC, with the Pointers scoring 75 goals and the Blugolds tallying 72.And defense? The two teams are very good on that end of the ice. Wis.-Stevens Point has allowed 28 goals. Wis.-Eau Claire has given up 32.Four of the best offensive players in the WIAC will be on the ice, too. Carter Roo and Tanner Karty have combined for 13 goals and 20 assists to pace the Pointers. Lucas Kohls and Jake Bresser have combined for 12 goals and 27 assists to lead the Blugolds.In goal, Connor Ryckman owns a 1.40 goals-against average for the Pointers. Zach Dyment has a 1.60 GAA. Both goalies have won 16 games. Wis.-Stevens Point 3-2 OTThe Pointers close out the weekend with a game against Wis.-River Falls Saturday. It won’t be easy recovering from a grueling showdown with the Blugolds the night before, but look for the Pointers to find a way against the Falcons, who have the top scorer in the league in Eddie Matsushima; he has come through with 13 goals and 11 assists. Wis.-Stevens Point 4-2Friday, Jan. 18Northland at St. NorbertThe Lumberjacks are in a great position heading into the weekend against the reigning national champions. They are just one point behind the Green Knights in the North Division standings and hungry for an upset over the sixth-ranked team in the nation. Northland has struggled on the road, winning only twice, but it’s capable of pulling out a win. Zackary Fisher has been sensational in his rookie season, scoring seven goals and dishing out 10 assists. Fellow freshman Kalib Ford has tallied five goals and 12 assists. The Green Knights have a solid offensive attack. Riley Christensen leads the team in goals with nine, and Roman Uchyn has come through with seven goals and seven assists. The Green Knights are a tough team to play at home, fashioning a 7-0-2 record. St. Norbert 4-3Marian at Lake ForestIt’s a matchup of division leaders when these two teams square off. The Sabres are a very good road team, losing just once away from home, and Conner Blanck leads the way offensively with nine goals. Nick Monfils has tallied five goals and nine assists. The Foresters have won their last three games and look to keep the momentum rolling. Joe Sardina leads the team with six goals and eight assists. Cody Guidorzi has come through with six goals and eight assists. Lake Forest 4-3Friday-Saturday, Jan. 18-19Saint John’s at ConcordiaIt’s a pivotal showdown between two of the best teams in the MIAC. The Johnnies are in third in the conference, four points behind the Cobbers. Kyle Wagner is among the league leaders in assists, tallying 11, and Brady Heppner is the team leader in goals with 10. The Johnnies are out to snap a two-game losing streak. Tyler Bossert leads the MIAC in points (31) and assists (23). Aaron Herdt and Mario Bianchi are tied for the second-most goals in the conference. The Cobbers are 6-3 at home. The Johnnies are just 2-4 on the road. Concordia 5-3, Saint John’s 4-3Gustavus Adolphus versus AugsburgIt’s a huge home-and-home series for Gustavus, which is in sixth in the conference standings. Gustavus is in dire need of a win. The Gusties have dropped five in a row. Playing the best team in the conference probably isn’t an ideal opportunity to end a losing streak. Caleb Anderson has been a bright spot with four goals and eight assists. The Auggies have yet to lose a MIAC game and have a winning record at home and on the road. Their high-scoring offense has cranked out 67 goals. Alex Rodriguez has 13 goals and 11 assists. Nick Schmit is giving up just 2.18 goals per outing. Augsburg 7-4, 5-2Saturday, Jan. 19St. Scholastica at St. NorbertThe Saints started the season hot, but have had a rough go of it in 2019, having lost their last four. This is a chance for a team that was once ranked to make a statement. Cole Golka and Jordan Fralich lead the way offensively for the Saints. Colka has nine goals and eight assists. Fralich has dished out 15 assists. The Saints are 1-2 against ranked teams. St. Norbert will aim to counter Saint Scholastica with a stellar defensive effort. T.J. Black has been solid in goal, fashioning a 9-4-2 record. He’s given up just 24 goals. St. Norbert 5-3