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College Hockey:
WCHA picks: Dec. 13-14

Matt and I have done pretty well with the picks so far, which is surprising considering how little we knew about the no-longer new WCHA. This is the last week before break, and I’m enjoying a slim lead on my colleague from the UP. Of course, this is for entertainment purposes only. Onto this week’s picks …

Bowling Green at Michigan Tech

Shane: The Falcons are reeling with one win in their last five games. They’re also 1-6-2 on the road. The Huskies are on a five-game unbeaten streak, although there are three ties in there, and they’ve been good at home. Huskies 3-2, 2-1

Matt: I can’t think of a worse place to try and break out of a slump than John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. I expect the Huskies to be hungry after tying twice against Bemidji State at home a week ago. Huskies 4-2, 3-1

Minnesota State at Alabama Huntsville

Shane: Two teams feeling good about themselves right now. The Mavericks have won five in a row, while the Chargers won for the first time last Saturday. Minnesota State is finally playing like we thought they’d play. Huntsville won’t make it easy, but I don’t see a slip this weekend: Mavericks 3-1, 4-1

Matt: I said it on the blog earlier in the week that MSU is alive and well, finally living up to its preseason hype. UAH will get a home win soon enough, but not against the Mavericks. Mavericks 4-1, 3-0.

Alaska at Bemidji State

Shane: The Nanooks snapped a long, five-game losing streak on Saturday night, and now they make a tough road trip to northern Minnesota to face the Beavers. Both of these teams can score but both give up more than 3 goals per game. Beavers 5-4, Nanooks 4-3

Matt: I was really impressed by the Beavers ability to hang with the Huskies last week in what is a very tough environment to play in. The Beavers may very well be a top four team in the league, not a bottom four team. Beavers 3-2, 4-3

Lake Superior at Alaska Anchorage

Shane: Anchorage has never had a better start at home, going 6-1-2 to start at the Sully. The Lakers, however, have had some road success with splits at Tech and Bemidji. Lakers 3-1, Seawolves 4-3

Matt: The Lakers should not be down right now about being swept by Ferris State in Sault Ste. Marie. Ferris is doing that to a lot of teams lately. As good as the Seawolves have been at home, I expect Kevin Kapalka to not only keep each game close, but get the Lakers a win Saturday. Seawolves 2-1, Lakers 2-1

 Northern Michigan at North Dakota

Shane: The Wildcats looked a little beat up last week in Mankato, in my opinion, and it sounds like the calvary’s not coming until after break. Mathias Dahlstrom’s good enough to keep things close but I see a UND sweep. North Dakota 3-2, 4-2

Matt: Dahlstrom is good enough to keep things close, but you’re right about the injuries. NMU probably needs the holiday break more than any team in the league right now to get things figured out. North Dakota 4-1, 2-1.

Ferris State at Michigan State

Shane: The Bulldogs kept their unbeaten streak going with a thrilling tie against Michigan on Wednesday. If this game had been the next night I might have predicted a letdown. I say Ferris keeps rolling. Bulldogs 3-2

Matt: Even the meaningless shootout against Michigan was exciting on Wednesday night, probably because I knew it was meaningless. It’s really tough to pick against Ferris State right now, especially when they are playing a team like Michigan State which is nowhere near the level of Michigan at this point in the year. Bulldogs 4-1

Last week: Shane 6-2-3, Matt 6-2-3. Overall: Shane 66-31-14, Matt 62-35-14

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  • Malburj1

    Welcome to the DAWG POUND!!!!!! GO FERRIS!!!!!!

  • Broncobri79

    Ditto on the congrats to Ferris. It’s nice to see the proverbial “little” guy lead one of the toughest conferences in the nation this late in the season. I don’t intend any disrespect whatsoever in that comment either. A lot times, in the CCHA especially with its diverse mix of schools, everybody gets caught up in talking about the larger schools. FSU and WMU have battling for the confernce lead for about 3 weeks now, and all anybody could talk about was U of M. I really thought the NCHC should have given more consideration to giving invites to FSU, NMU, or LSSU. The Broncos will probably need to win out in the regular season now to catch the Bulldogs.

    • Anonymous

      Western probably would need to run the table here and as great as that would be, I just hope we can finish in the top four to host a playoff series at Lawson. Unless I missed something in my research, the last time the Broncos swept a team on the road was October of last season at Mercyhurst and the last time we swept a CCHA team on the road (and I’m counting two regulation/OT wins, not any SO wins) was at Lake State in March of the 2005-06 season. This trip to to Taffy Abel definitely has me concerned, hopefully all the teams below us can beat-up on one another these next two weekends.

  • Bigspartan

    Congrats to the BULLDOGS!

    Way to get it done down the stretch!
    Bob Daniels is Coach of the Year (unless they somehow give it to Red again)

    Small school, small facility, small budget…..who cares?
    Finish strong Bulldogs!

    • Anonymous

      Agreed, FSU has earned their place at the top and a full congratulations goes their way.  You would think Daniels would be an obvious choice for Coach of the Year, but then again Blashill should’ve have been picked last year and they gave it to Jackson.

      • Ferris95

        Completely agree!!  Blashill should have received the Coach of the Year.  He turned that program around in 1 year, unbelieveable!  Being an Ferris Alum, of course my obvious pick would be Bob Daniels, but we’ll see how things shake out these final 2 weeks of the regular season.  Should be an exciting last week of hockey with a home and home series against those tough Bronco’s.

  • Captain Hindsight

    Can some please explain to me how Michigan is ranked 5th in the country?

  • http://twitter.com/DanKorn Dan Korn

    I would expect Paula to get the Big Ten beat.  She’s based in Columbus, after all.

    The CCHA trophy should be frozen in carbonite.  Or maybe they should just call the 9-team conference which will have five current CCHA members the CCHA instead of the WCHA, and call the 8-team conference with 6 current WCHA members the WCHA instead of the NCHC.

  • Guest

    They are ranked 5th because they are the hottest CCHA team behind Ferris. Michigan has only lost 2 games since Christmas while the rest of the CCHA (again, save Ferris) has been consistently playing .500 hockey. Polls are pretty much about what you’ve been doing lately, so losing for a while and then getting hot at the end of the year is going to bag you more credit than splitting every weekend.

    In terms of Pairwise, that’s probably got everything to do with the fact that we’ve split with good teams but have a winning record against the top teams we’ve played. We swept Ferris at the beginning of the season, and have a win over BC. If we can sweep Northern this weekend, that’ll make a winning record against the next CCHA team in the rankings, and we have a winning record against the next two CCHA teams in the Pairwise as well (2-1-1 with Miami, 3-1-1 with MSU).

    I would also like to point out that the scheduling this year is the exception, not the rule. Michigan generally schedules a HE team every year and normally has the College Hockey Showcase as well. Wisconsin decided they didn’t want to do the Showcase since the BTHC is on its way, and I’m not really sure why we didn’t play a HE team at the start of the season (which kind of makes me sad, since we have been @ BU, @ BU, and @ UNH the last three years and I would have liked to finally see one of them come to Yost during undergrad).

  • Sfitz88

    Paula, don’t know if it is still the record, but there was a GLI Final at the Joe in the 80sor early 90s that I was at, MSU and Munn South in it’s heyday, vs. MTU and I am pretty sure it was over 21,000.  Place was absolutely jammed and, of course, wild.   Was a great scene.