Hockey Game Pick D-III West – January 21, 2022 – College Hockey
It’s that time of year when conference play is officially in full swing and every game in the streak is a factor in a team’s title hopes.
Among the key matchups this weekend is a battle between UW-Stevens Point and UW-River Falls in the WIAC as Adrian and St. Norbert both try to get things done. Here’s a look at the picks for some of the games on the slate this weekend.
St. John’s (9-5-1, 5-2) at St. Scholastica (6-6-1, 3-4)
Coming off of a 5-2 win over the Saints on Thursday, which turned out to be their first game of 2022, the Johnnies are aiming for a sweep. They are in second place in the standings and need a win to keep pace in the battle for the top spot. Lewis Crosby leads the league in goals (11).
But this one could come down to defense. Mac Berglove and Jack Bostedt are in the top five in save percentage and saves.
St. John’s, 4-2
Friday and Saturday
Concordia (6-7-2, 3-2-1) at Gustavus (4-8-2, 0-3-1)
The Cobbers trail in the top half of the MIAC standings and need a few wins in this series to stay strong down the stretch. Tyler Bossert was one of the league’s leading scorers all year and leads the MIAC in points (21) and assists (16). He will be looking to help Concordia end a two-game losing streak.
Gustavus has lost just once in his last four games and has shown he can score in a bunch, including seven in a win over Concordia (Wisconsin) last month. The Gusties will need to be at their best defensively to get the job done if they want their first MIAC win of the year.
Concordia, 3-1 and 4-2
Hamline (2-8-1, 0-4) vs. Saint Mary’s (5-9-1, 3-3)
The Pipers haven’t won a game since Nov. 23 and this weekend marks the first time they’ve played since switching the schedule in 2022 due to the impact of the pandemic on its schedule. Going on the road to start this home series won’t be easy as they try to shake off the rust in their first live action since Dec. 31.
The Cardinals haven’t had the easiest time this season and have only played four games in the past month and a half. Five players have scored three or more goals, including Bud Winter, who leads the team with five goals. Saint Mary’s also have the advantage of having played this month.
St. Mary, 5-2 and 4-3
UW-Stevens Point (11-4-1, 6-1) at UW-River Falls (9-7-1, 5-2)
The Pointers are ranked 13th in the latest DCU/USCHO NCAA Division III men’s poll and sit first in the WIAC rankings. They face the second-place team in the standings, which means this series means a lot to both teams.
UW-Stevens Point has won its last two while UW-River Falls has lost two in a row. The Pointers have scored 56 goals while the Falcons have scored 45. These teams also have two of the best goaltenders. Ryan Wagner of the Pointers made 259 saves and Dysen Skinner had 237 saves. This should be one of the most entertaining matchups of the weekend.
UW-Stevens Point, 4-3; UW-River Falls, 3-2
UW-Clear Water (6-10, 2-5) to UW-Superior (10-4-2, 4-2-1)
The Blugolds face one of their toughest tests of the year as they hit the road to face a Yellowjackets team playing their best hockey right now. UW-Eau Claire struggled away from home, going 2-5, and needs to be able to generate an offense quickly.
UW-Superior has won its last four and has the top three scoring threats in the WIAC. Dylan Johnson leads with 11 goals and nine assists. He helped the Yellowjackets score 56 goals this season. It’s a big streak for UW-Superior, which sits at No. 3 in the standings but can help its bid for another championship title by sweeping this streak.
UW-Superior, 5-2 and 4-1
Lake Forest (6-10-1, 4-3-1) at Adrian (16-1, 10-0)
The Bulldogs are the highest-ranked team in the DCU/USCHO NCAA Division III men’s poll and are atop the NCHA rankings. They are also the hottest team in hockey, winning 16 straight games, scoring five or more goals 11 times during that streak. The Bulldogs have scored 90 goals while conceding 31.
The Foresters will have to play their best hockey of the year to try their luck against Adrian. They have one of the best goaltenders in the league in Nick Wiencek, who ranks fifth in the NCHA in saves (309).
Adrian, 5-1 and 4-1
Concordia (2-11-2, 1-6-1) at MSOE (5-9-2, 3-5-1)
The Falcons have picked up just one win in their last five outings and are now hitting the road in an attempt to get back on track. Jordan Guiney leads the team in points with five goals and six assists.
The Raiders have won two of their last four games and hope to build momentum with a home series against the Falcons. Christian Sabin and Garrett Gintoli led the way for MSOE, both amassing 16 points on the year. Gintoli has nine goals and Sabin has 11 assists.
MSEO, 3-2 and 4-3
St. Norbert (14-3, 8-0) vs. Marian (6-7-3, 1-6-2)
Winners of 13 straight games, the Green Knights are seventh in the DCU/USCHO NCAA Division III men’s poll and sit in third place in the conference. They have one of the best offenses in the country, scoring 83 goals, and Peter Bates leads with 18 of those goals, the most in the league. He has 34 points in all, and that total is the best in the NCHA.
Marian is winless in his last three games and will have his hands full against one of the best teams in the country. The Sabers need to be at their best in this home-and-home series, and getting off to a quick start is key to having a chance of pulling off an upset.
St. Norbert, 4-1 and 5-2