Choice of D-III West hockey games – December 29, 2021 – College hockey
As 2021 draws to a close, one final weekend of hockey is on the way, including a DCU / USCHO Men’s Division III Top 15 poll game between Augsburg and Adrian.
I can’t ask for a better way to end the year than this.
Several other games are also on the slate and here is a look at those choices. Enjoy the games and the holiday weekend.
Augsburg (9-1) against Adrian (10-1)
The fourth-ranked Auggies visit the top-ranked Bulldogs in a matchup you’ll typically find in the NCAA tournament. Augsburg have won their last two games and have been phenomenal on both sides of the ice, scoring 35 goals and allowing 12.
Adrian has 10 game winning streak and scored 49 girls while relinquishing 23. Defense could very well take center stage in this one, but don’t be surprised if a lot of goals are scored between these two teams. One thing is certain. The winner ends the year with a declaration.
Hamline (2-8, 0-4 MIAC) at St. Olaf (4-7-2, 3-3-1 MIAC)
The Pipers desperately need something positive to happen before the end of the year. They have lost four games in a row and have not won a game since November 23. It will be essential to step up the defense and get off to a good start. Hamline has allowed four or more goals in each of his last four games.
The good news for St. Olaf is that he is playing this game at home. All four of the Oles’ victories this season came on their own ice rink. They scored five goals in their last win on December 11 – a 5-2 win over Bethel – and would like to see the same kind of exit against the Pipers.
Aurora (10-2) against Sainte-Scholastique (6-4)
The Spartans head to the Subway Superior Showdown as they complete half of their schedule in 2021. They have been strong offensively, scoring 59 goals and allowing just 27. Josh Boyko will be the key. He’s been strong in front of goals all season, making 264 saves, and if he gives Aurora a chance to win every night.
The Saints arrive after winning their last two games and it’s an opportunity to make a statement. However, they will have to withdraw the offense early to stand any chance of winning.
Friday and Saturday
Forêt du lac (5-5-1) at Béthel (6-3-1)
The Foresters have had their ups and downs, but they have won back-to-back wins and have the opportunity to build on that momentum in this non-conference series. Five players have scored four goals, including Josh Giacomin, who also provided 10 assists.
The Royals are looking to end a two-game losing streak, and playing at home should help. Luke Posner will be the key to Bethel. He scored five goals and had four assists.
Forest of the lake, 4-2; Bethel 3-2
Lawrence (4-6-1, 2-4 NCHA) at St. Norbert (9-3, 6-0 NCHA)
A New Year’s game against one of the best teams in the country awaits the Vikings. Lawrence is 3-2 on the road and faces the Green Knights for the third time. When they last met on November 13, the Vikings lost only by one goal. It should give them confidence going into this game.
For the Green Knights, ranked 12th in the DCU / USCHO poll, it’s a chance to stay perfect in conference play while extending a winning streak that currently stands at eight games.
Saint-Norbert, 5-1 and 4-1
Augsburg (9-1) v Oswego State (8-3-1)
One night after playing Adrian, the Auggies head to New York for the Oswego State Classic. It will be the first meeting between the two teams in more than a decade, and only the second game between the two teams of all time.
The Lakers have won five straight games, scoring five or more goals three times, and they’ll need that offense to clinch the Auggies, who have shown they are more than capable of scoring goals quickly. It should turn out to be one of the best games of the weekend and could go all the way.
Trine (10-4) at Chatham (3-5-2)
Winners of five of their last six, the Thunder aim to ring in 2022 with another victory. Five of their next seven games are on the road and that streak could go a long way in setting the tone for the rest of the season. Bobby Price will be looking to help Trine get off to a good start. He has 10 goals and eight goals on the season.
Things haven’t been easy for Chatham and he will need to be at his best defensively to stand any chance of a surprise victory. The Cougars enter the game on a high note, having won their last two games.