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10/18/13 WCHA Picks: Can the Seawolves, Lakers get to 4-0?

It’s week two, and for six of the WCHA teams, they get to open their home schedule. Should be fun in those barns this weekend. It’s also been fun trying to figure out this new league, getting to know different programs and players. It will take some time, that’s for sure. So with one weekend to go by, here’s a stab at this week’s games:

 

Lake Superior at No. 16 Union

Shane: The Lakers had a solid start at home last weekend and now make the long trip east, which wasn’t very kind to WCHA teams last week (just ask Mike Hastings!). A split would keep their spirits high. Lakers 3-1, Dutchmen 4-1

Matt: LSSU head coach Jim Roque had a reputation for getting fined in the CCHA for his comments about officials. He won’t wait for a postgame press conference like Minnesota State’s Hastings to voice his displeasure with the men in stripes. Kevin Murdock will steal a game from Union, probably Friday. Lakers 2-1, Dutchmen 2-1

 

Colgate at Bowling Green

Shane: The Falcons are riding high after that comeback victory over Ohio State, and they’re scoring goals, too. Will that keep the home crowd coming? If so, I see a Bowling Green sweep. Falcons 4-2, 5-3

Matt: The road wasn’t kind to the WCHA last week, but home ice sure was, especially for BGSU in that third-period comeback against the Buckeyes. It appears the Falcons are surviving just fine without Ryan Carpenter, but five games in nine days can be taxing. Falcons 4-1, Colgate 3-2

 

St. Lawrence at Ferris State

Shane: The big challenge will be slowing down the Saints’ Greg Carey, who led the nation in goals (28) and was fourth in points last season (51). It’s Ferris’ home opener, though, so they’ll split. Bulldogs 4-3, Saints 5-2

Matt: If anyone in the WCHA can slow down Carey on back-to-back nights, its the Bulldogs C.J. Motte. I’m sure Carey will get a goal or two, but not enough to beat Ferris State. Bulldogs 3-1, 2-1.

 

Nebraska Omaha at Northern Michigan

Shane: The Wildcats are going to get an angry Omaha team that split at home against Bentley. Playing at home for the first time, though, Northern will get its first win of the season and split. Mavericks 3-1, Wildcats 4-3

Matt: The shorthanded Wildcats seemed to find a better forward rotation Saturday at Wisconsin by compressing four lines into three. That should work Friday, but by the third period on Saturday, there will be some forwards out of gas in the third period. Wildcats 2-1, Mavericks 2-0.

 

No. 3 Minnesota at Bemidji State

Shane: The Sanford Center will be rocking with the Gophers in town. But this is a really tough matchup for the offensively challenged Beavers, who are 1-14-1 all-time vs. Minnesota, including 0-4-1 in Bemidji. Gophers 5-1, 5-2

Matt: If the Gophers are anywhere as good as the Badgers looked last weekend in Madison, the Beavers are in for a long weekend … and there is an epic Big Ten battle on the horizon. Gophers 4-0, 3-1

 

UConn at No. 18 Minnesota State

Shane: The Mavericks got knocked down a few pegs last week in Providence, scoring just one goal and parading to the penalty box. They’re back home and a little banged up, but they seem ready to rebound. Mavericks 4-1, 4-2

Matt: I’m sure two losses caught a few people in Mankato off guard last week, but it sounds like Providence is the real deal. UConn, on the other hand, is still building up its program and playing its first hockey of the season Friday and Saturday. Mavericks 3-1, 2-0

 

Michigan Tech at No. 4. Notre Dame (Friday-Sunday)

Shane: The Huskies have a brutal start to their season, playing seven of their first eight games on the road. This weekend is no picnic at South Bend, unless they get to go to the USC game on Saturday night. Irish 4-1, 3-2

Matt: Kudos to the Huskies for scheduling tough competition. Too bad it’s all on the road this season. Fans in Houghton shouldn’t be discouraged if Tech is still winless after the weekend. Irish 5-2, 4-3

 

Brice Alaska Goal Rush

No. 12 Denver/Western Michigan at Alaska

Shane: The Nanooks will open their home schedule at with the Alaska Goal Rush (got it right that time!), and it’s a pretty tough field with some familiar foes that are now in the NCHC. Alaska will split at home this weekend. Nanooks 2, Pioneers 1; Broncos 3, Nanooks 2

Matt: I don’t think the Nanooks are going to be able to take advantage of a travel-weary Denver team like it did last Friday against Air Force, scoring six goals on 17 shots. Western Michigan, however, returns to the former CCHA city of Fairbanks after going scoreless at Notre Dame. Even more troublesome for Western are the five goals Frank Slubowski gave up to the Irish. Pioneers 4, Nanooks 3; Nanooks 2, Broncos 1

 

Western Michigan/No. 12 Denver vs. Alaska Anchorage

Shane: We got ripped last weekend for disrespecting the Seawolves. Do folks forget they won just four games last year? Last weekend was a nice start to the season. Western hasn’t scored a goal yet; Denver hasn’t allowed one. Seawolves 4, Broncos 1; Pioneers 3, Seawolves 1

Matt: Shane and I definitely under estimated the Nanooks and Seawolves a week ago, but it’s not like anyone was calling us out for those picks before the games. The two teams combined to go 3-1 on the weekend, but face programs this weekend more accustomed to the trip to Alaska. UAA splits. Seawolves 2, Broncos 1; Pioneers 3, Seawolves 2

Shane’s record: 10-7-3 (last week 10-7-3)

Matt’s record: 10-7-3 (last week 10-7-3)

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