For the first time this season, all 10 WCHA teams are in action in WCHA series, and it only took until the second-to-last week in November for this to happen.
This strange phenomenon will only happen again Dec. 6-7 and then not again until Jan. 10-11.
I’m with Shane that the league needs to find some stability with its scheduling. It’s tough to get psyched up for league play when you go two weeks in between seeing WCHA opponents like Northern Michigan just did.
Here’s how we think the league shakes out this week, with all games taking place Friday and Saturday.
Minnesota State at Bowling Green
Matt: Speaking of scheduling quirks, why are the Falcons and Mavericks meeting again just two weeks after their first conference series? Couldn’t the league spread this out a little more with one series before New Years Day and the other after? If there’s any bad blood lingering from the last meeting, it still has to be boiling. Mavericks 2-1; Falcons 4-3
Shane: If there’s any bad blood, it’s from the fact that each of these teams has won just one of its last four games, not necessarily with each other. Bowling Green’s been good at home, and Minnesota State has gotten a boost with the return of Zach Lehrke. I, too, see a split, but the Mavs have been better on Saturdays. Falcons 3-2, Mavericks 3-1
Alaska at Ferris State
Matt: The Bulldogs have won five of their first six WCHA games with the Nov. 15 tie against BGSU being the lone blemish. Someone needs to slow down the Bulldogs before they begin to run away with things, and the Nanooks win at Lake Superior State Nov. 8 gives me confidence Ferris’ unbeaten streak will be snapped. Bulldogs 4-2, Nanooks 3-2
Shane: Everyone in the WCHA outside of Big Rapids is rooting for Alaska this weekend in hopes of tightening up the standings. The Bulldogs had to score some late goals against Bowling Green last weekend to tie and win, so there might be some vulnerability there. I’m with Matt here. Bulldogs 5-1, Nanooks 4-2
Alabama-Huntsville at Northern Michigan
Matt: Four of the Chargers six losses have come by one goal and all four of those have come in the second game of the series. Eventually UAH will break through, but I don’t see it happening on the road. Wildcats 5-1, 2-1
Shane: Reading the tweets from the UAH crew, this is one heck of a bus trip. In fact all of the road teams are logging lots of miles this weekend. The Wildcats might have some rust after having a week off, but I can’t pick a Chargers win until I see one. Wildcats 4-0, 4-3
Lake Superior State at Bemidji State
Matt: The Beavers appear to be the only school to get into a conference groove early having played the previous four weekends all against WCHA foes. They get another this week in LSSU, which struggled offensively Saturday at Michigan Tech. The Lakers will need its top line of Dan Radke, Colin Campbell and Alex Globke to be at its best to beat BSU. Beavers 4-1, Lakers 3-1.
Shane: This is a matchup of the WCHA’s surprise teams. Neither one wants to start slipping now. Both will get points this weekend. Lakers 3-1, Beavers 4-1
Michigan Tech at Alaska-Anchorage
Matt: The Huskies have yet to win a game away from Houghton and I can’t think of a tougher way place to get your first road win than in Alaska. Getting that first win on Friday would go a long way to making this trip more enjoyable, even if Tech can’t sweep. Huskies 3-2, Seawolves 2-1.
Shane: This seems to be a huge series for both of these teams. As you said, Matt, the Huskies are wondering if they can win on the road, while the Seawolves are trying to change that losing culture. I’ll go the other way on the split. Seawolves 4-2, Huskies 2-1
Last week: Shane 6-2-2; Matt 5-3-2. Overall: Matt 47-22-9; Shane 44-25-9.