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College Hockey:
NCHC picks: Jan. 3

Matthew and I went 1-1 in picking the GLI, so on the season, I am 55-37-12 (.586) and Matthew is 54-38-12 (.576). It’s still a light weekend for NCHC squads, but let’s see how we do.

Friday, Jan. 3

Brown at No. 16 Denver

Candace: Can Denver pick up where it left off? With Sam Brittain in net, Denver has a chance to win every game it plays. I’ll go with home ice. Denver 3-2
Matthew: I think Denver’s primed for a really good second half of the season, and that ought to start with this game at home to a Brown team that’s been really up-and-down so far this season. The Bears won their last two games after dropping four in a row before that, but Denver’s the better team here and the Pioneers have been so good at home so far this season that I can’t see Brown going into Magness and getting the upset. Denver 3-1

Friday-Saturday, Jan. 3-4

No. 19 Nebraska-Omaha at New Hampshire

Candace: For all the reasons that Matthew lists below, I am going out on a limb and picking a New Hampshire sweep. Both teams are hovering around .500, and have had stretches of good play and bad. Their only common opponent is Cornell, and both lost to the Big Red. New Hampshire 3-2, 2-1
Matthew: The odds are against UNO for this weekend. New Hampshire already has 10 losses this season, but rust won’t be a problem for the Wildcats considering they’ve played since Christmas while UNO hasn’t played a game in nearly a month. Add to that the fact the Mavericks have not been good in nonconference action thus far; UNO has suffered four losses against Bentley, Cornell and Northern Michigan, and only Cornell out of those three is better than UNH. Also, UNO coach Dean Blais (traveling but has to stop coaching duties an hour before game time) and defenseman Jaycob Megna (not traveling) are suspended. UNO winning in Durham this weekend would be a noteworthy feat and a springboard into the 2014 half of the Mavericks’ campaign. New Hampshire 3-2 Friday, 2-2 tie Saturday.

Saturday, Jan. 4

Candace: Brown is a .500 team, but has had some good results, including playing Providence tough in a one-goal loss and defeating Yale. CC meanwhile, wasn’t able to build any positives on its results against UNO when it played Wisconsin. Brown 3-2
Matthew: I’m hoping this pick doesn’t come back to haunt me, but I think Colorado College is a due for a win here. CC has lost each of its last three games – two of them in overtime – and for as poor as the Tigers have been this season, they’re at home Saturday against a Brown team to which we haven’t been able to apply the “road warriors” tag. League homer pick, don’t fail me now. Colorado College 3-2

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