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College Hockey:
NCHC picks: Feb. 14

Last week, I gained another game on Matthew in our picks race, as I went 4-2-2 (.625) while Matthew went 3-3-2 (.500). On the year, I am now 77-50-21 (.591), while Matthew is 74-53-21 (.570).

Friday-Saturday, Feb. 14-15

Western Michigan at Colorado College
Candace: CC has been playing better, and has gotten points in its last two series, and the Tigers played the Broncos tough in the Friday game last November, but I’m not completely convinced they can pull over the hump. Western Michigan 2-1, 4-2
Matthew: Western’s been so good since the holiday break, apart from its two losses at home to Minnesota-Duluth a couple weeks back, and I think the Broncos will continue to roll this weekend. CC’s been better at home than it has away, but I’d be surprised if the Tigers got more than a point or two out of this series. Western Michigan 4-2, 3-2

No. 16 Minnesota-Duluth at No. 6 St. Cloud State
Candace: St. Cloud has really tapered off from its early-season form, and Minnesota-Duluth has been playing extremely well in the second half, but I can’t see this being anything but a split. St. Cloud State 3-2, Minnesota-Duluth 3-2
Matthew: Depending on what goes on elsewhere, this series could either see SCSU go even further clear at the top of the NCHC standings or could see Duluth leapfrog the Huskies into first place. I feel St. Cloud’s a better team on paper, but Duluth’s been hot lately. This one’s almost too close to call for me, so I’m going to take the safe option and go with a split. Minnesota-Duluth 3-1, St. Cloud State 4-2

Miami at No. 17 North Dakota
Candace: I’ve given up on thinking the RedHawks will turn it around this season, which is a surprise given some of the players Miami has. North Dakota needs a weekend sweep to move up in the standings. North Dakota 3-2, 4-1
Matthew: UND going to Miami early this season was a series we were all really looking forward to watching, but it’s fair to say it isn’t nearly as mouthwatering this time around. UND’s form has tapered off a bit after only picking up splits in its last two series, but Miami has only picked up five points in 2014 and I can’t see the RedHawks getting any more this weekend in Grand Forks. North Dakota 4-2, 3-1

No. 18 Denver at Nebraska-Omaha
Candace: When these two faced off in Denver back in November, UNO came away with two overtime wins by identical 3-2 scores. Those losses helped turn around Denver’s season, but not enough to sweep UNO in Omaha. Denver 3-2, Nebraska-Omaha 4-2
Matthew: Denver’s scoring issues could come to a halt this weekend as UNO’s defense and goaltending haven’t been amazing, and the Pioneers have been almost automatic in Friday road games. The Mavericks’ offense has been good this year, though, and forwards like Josh Archibald and Dominic Zombo will give DU goaltender Sam Brittain as good a test as any he’s faced this season. Denver 4-2, Nebraska-Omaha 4-2

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