Story by Ashley Hofer and Nick Gourdoux

Overtime is a weekly prediction column where sports editor Ashley Hofer and staff writer Nick Gourdoux make their picks concerning upcoming sporting events. Questions about Blugold outcomes comprise the first four quarters while the overtime question poses a national scenario. The staffer with the most correct picks wins the all-important bragging rights for the week.

Last week, Nick and Ashley tied with a respectable four correct picks each. Differing only on the outcome of the men’s hockey games and the Pro Bowl last time, both writers look to pick up a decisive win this week.

First Quarter – Who will win the I-94 showdown between the men’s hockey team and Stout? (A) UW-Eau Claire or (B) UW-Stout

Ashley:The men’s hockey question in last week’s Overtime was the only one I picked wrong, but I’ll try again with the team’s big game this week. Though they are on a four-game losing streak, the Blugolds have played well against Stout this year. In December they shut the Blue Devils out 3-0 and then tied 2-2. This is a team that knows it needs to play better and finish the season well. My pick: (A) UW – Eau Claire.

Nick: Ashley forgot to point out that the game is in Menomonie. Of the Blugolds 12 losses this season, six of them came away from Eau Claire. That may not sound that bad, but consider the fact that Eau Claire has played only 10 road games thus far. All in all, the Blugolds are a dismal 2-6-2 on the road this season. I’m going to pick the home team in this game. My prediction: (B) UW-Stout.

Second Quarter – Where will the gymnastics team place at the Gershon/McLellan Invite against UW-La Crosse and UW-Oshkosh? (A) First, (B) Second or (C) Third

Ashley: La Crosse has won two in a row and has only one loss on the season thus far. They also beat Eau Claire last week 173.425-185.700. Oshkosh on the other hand, has a solid record as well, losing for the first time this season to Winona State last week. But the Blugolds have been putting up good numbers all year and got some experience in La Crosse just last week. I say they split the event. My pick: (B) Second.

Nick: The other two teams, as Ashley pointed out, are performing well this season. That, coupled with the facts that I don’t know much about gymnastics and I want to differ with Ashley on as many questions as possible make me think the Blugolds will take third place. My prediction: (C) Third.

Third Quarter – Which basketball team will win against UW-Platteville this weekend in Zorn? (A) Women’s basketball (B) Men’s basketball (C) Both teams (D) Neither team.

Ashley:>/b> The lady Blugolds beat Platteville 70-38 early in January. The men however, lost 67-74 last time the two teams met. Platteville has a better record than the Blugolds, but looking at their results, performed better earlier in the season. I think the men’s and women’s team will both perform well and make a weekend sweep of Platteville. My pick: (C) Both teams.

Nick: I think the women will handle UW-Platteville with ease. 70-38 is impressive, but add in the fact that it was in Platteville makes the Blugolds look that much better. The Blugold men have a better overall record (12-7) than Platteville (11-8), but currently find themselves three spots back in the WIAC standings. A win would allow the men to leapfrog Platteville, and would put them into solid post-season positioning, and I think that is exactly what will happen. My prediction: (C) Both teams.

Fourth Quarter – How many games will women’s hockey win against UW-Stevens Point this weekend? (A) Two (B) One or (C) Zero.

Ashley: I think these teams are pretty evenly matched: Eau Claire is 9-7-3 overall and 4-4-2 in the NCHA while the Pointers are 10-6-2 and 5-3-2 in the conference. While the Blugolds average more goals per game than Stevens Point with 3.6 vs 3.1, the Pointers give up fewer goals than the Blugolds, allowing only 2.0 vs. 2.6. This should be a good matchup to watch. With the teams so even, I say the teams will split the weekend. My pick: (B) One.

Nick: The Blugolds are 3-27-2 all time against UW-Stevens Point. Yes, they’re performing similarly this season, but history is going against the Blugolds. Eau Claire is also coming off of a pair of bad losses last weekend to Lake Forest, so momentum is working against them too. My prediction: (C) Zero.

Overtime – Who will win the Super Bowl? (A) Indianapolis Colts or (B) New Orleans Saints.

Ashley: This is the game football fans everywhere have been waiting for. This is a great match-up and one everyone was picking early on when both teams were undefeated late into the season. We know the Colts and Saints both have powerful offenses, with the Saints ranked number one and the Colts number seven overall by points scored per game. Defensively, the Colts have the slight advantage, ranking higher than the Saints in both points allowed per game and yards allowed per game. I’m worried about the Colts’ DE Dwight Freeney and his ankle, but I think even without him the Colts can stomp the Saints. My pick: (A) Indianapolis Colts.

Nick: The injury to Freeney is huge. Freeney, who was recently named to the NFL All-Decade Team, is probably the best Colts defender, and that ankle injury could very well decide who wins the game. I think the Colts will end up winning in the end though. The only games they lost were ones in which coach Jim Caldwell benched his starters to prevent injury. Assuming he doesn’t do that again this weekend, the Colts will prevail in what will most likely be a high-scoring game. My prediction: (A) Indianapolis Colts.