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College Hockey:
Paula’s picks, CCHA playoff style: March 2, 2012

After rebounding two weeks ago with a really strong performance, this past week was a bit disappointing. Of course, I’m talking about my picks.

Last week: 7-4-1
Season to date: 122-78-25 (.598)

Clearly, my math was way off last week. I’m still happy with anything over .500.

This week

We have three best-of-three, first-round, single-site CCHA playoff series this week. Games are Friday, Saturday and Sunday if necessary. Game time in Marquette and South Bend is 7:35 p.m. Games in Sault Ste. Marie begin at 7:05 p.m.

Alaska at Lake Superior State

The Nanooks finished the regular season on a high note, capturing their third straight Governor’s Cup in a shootout in Fairbanks after splitting last weekend with Alaska Anchorage. The Lakers, on the other hand, return home after dropping two games — and the Father Cappo Cup — to Northern Michigan last weekend. These teams split a pair in Fairbanks in February with the Nanooks narrowly edging the Lakers in scoring for the weekend, 6-5. This is the first time these teams have met in the CCHA tournament. Alaska has won six of its last nine first-round CCHA playoff series, including three on the road, but LSSU leads this series 18-7-0 at home. LSSU 3-2, UAF 3-1, LSSU 4-2

Bowling Green at No. 17 Northern Michigan

This is a rematch of last year’s first-round series that saw the Falcons beating the Wildcats in three games in Marquette. I just don’t see that happening again — especially with NMU’s 10-2-5 record at home. Last weekend, the Wildcats swept the Lakers at home, 6-2 and 5-3, and recaptured the Cappo Cup for the first time in three seasons. The Falcons split with Michigan at home last weekend, beating the Wolverines 4-3 Friday before losing 3-0 Saturday. These teams met in February when the Wildcats swept the Falcons, outscoring BG 6-2. Northern is 22-15-5 in Marquette against the Falcons. NMU 4-2, 4-2

Ohio State at No. 18 Notre Dame

Last weekend, the Buckeyes were swept in a home-and-home series against Miami, capping an unspectacular second half during which OSU won just a single game. The Fighting Irish, meanwhile, split at home with Michigan State, shutting out the Spartans 2-0 Friday before dropping Saturday’s game, 4-2. These teams played in South Bend in October to open CCHA play — and to close the Joyce Center. The teams split, with ND winning the Friday game and OSU taking the last game played in that old half-barn. OSU has an edge in this all-time series, 31-27-9, and the teams are tied at 13-13-4 in South Bend, but that doesn’t matter at this point. ND 3-2, 3-2

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