D-III West Region Picks

Andrew Durham leads Wisconsin-Superior into WIAC play this weekend. (Photo courtesy of Yellowjacket Athletics).

It’s almost time for Thanksgiving. But we before we feast on turkey, we can feast on more hockey games. The noteworthy item this week is that WIAC play begins. There a handful of interesting matchups in the MIAC and NCHA as well.


Wisconsin-Eau Claire (4-0-1) at Wisconsin-Superior (2-0)

The Blugolds have won their last four and rank second in the WIAC in goals scored (19). They have allowed just six. The Yellowjackets have shown promise in their first two games, averaging five goals per outing, and are out to make a statement. Wis.-Eau Claire, 4-3

Northland (2-2) at Wisconsin-Stout (0-5-1)

Northland makes its WIAC debut against the Blue Devils. Kalib Ford leads the Lumberjacks with six assists. Wis.-Stout has struggled on the defensive end, giving up 11 goals. Northland, 5-3

Friday and Saturday

Hamline (1-5-1, 0-2) vs. St. Olaf (0-6, 0-2)

This home-and-home series features two teams in dire need of positive momentum. The Pipers begin the series on the road and hope to get their defense right after allowing 26 goals in their first seven games. The Oles have given up 30 goals and managed just 11. Look for a split here. St. Olaf, 3-1; Hamline 2-1

Augsburg (5-1, 2-0) vs. Gustavus (3-3, 0-0)

The Auggies have a chance to remain the best team in the conference and look to add a pair of wins to their record in this home-and-home battle. Augsburg is outscoring opponents 21-8. Gustavus is even in goals scored and allowed at 14 apiece. Augsburg, 4-1 and 5-3

Bethel (1-3-1, 0-1-1) vs. St. Thomas (4-1-1, 2-0)

The Royals need to get their offense on track. Doing against the Tommies isn’t going to be easy, especially with Cam Buggrabe in goal. He is 3-0 and has tallied 75 saves. St. Thomas also has one of the top goal scorers in Brett Gravelle (4 goals). St. Thomas, 3-0 and 4-1

St. Norbert (2-4, 1-3) vs. Marian (2-3, 1-3)

Both teams are in unfamiliar territory with their slow starts, but both can turn it up a notch in a heartbeat. The Green Knights have scored just eight goals and Marian has scored 15. This one likely comes down to who plays the best defense. The winner gets a boost of confidence. St. Norbert, 4-3; Marian 3-2

Trine (4-2, 3-1) at St. Scholastica (1-4, 1-2)

Trine has been an early-season surprise in the NCHA. The Thunder has outscored its opponents 11-7 and has shown it can beat anyone on any given night. St. Scholastica is off to a tough start but hardly a pushover, especially playing at home. Trine, 4-2 and 5-3