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College Hockey:
Feb. 28-March 1 WCHA picks

According to the WCHA (via collegehockeystats.net), there remain 387,420,489 scenarios for the league’s final finish and playoff seedings. And that’s with just two weekends and 18 games remaining in the regular season! Shane and Matt won’t go through all of them. We’ll just make our predictions for this weekend …

Bowling Green at Northern Michigan

Shane: These two teams have been fading, with both teams winning just one of their last seven games. Something’s got to give, right? While the standings remain tight, the host Wildcats are the team sitting in ninth place right now. Are they the more desperate team? Definitely … maybe. Wildcats 3-2, Falcons 5-1

Matt: I’ve found the more desperate team, the better chance they have to win. There’s no one more desperate than ninth-place Northern right now after it squandered not only a league-high games in hand, but a league-high of nine home games in the second half. The Wildcats need four points this weekend at home, but that might be asking too much of them right now. Falcons 3-1, Wildcats 4-2

Minnesota State at Lake Superior

Shane: Both of these teams seem to have overcome a bit of a January lull and are playing good hockey again. At second place, the Mavericks are in the more comfortable position in the standings, while the Lakers are mixed up in that gooey middle. MSU’s only road sweep this season was at Huntsville, but I think they claim another. Mavericks 2-1, 5-2

Matt: If this was in Mankato, I’m easily picking a sweep for the Mavericks. At 6-12-0 away from home, however, it’s tough to imagine the Mavs sweeping despite needing a win to stay in the hunt for the regular season title. LSSU needs a win more than MSU does right now as the Lakers are fighting for a playoff spot. The return of goaltender Kevin Kapalka will allow the hosts to steal a game. Lakers 2-1, Mavericks 5-2

Alabama-Huntsville at Bemidji State

Shane: Another long road trip for the Chargers. What’s their mentality like right now? Determined to play spoiler? Xing out the days on the calendar with season’s end in sight? The Beavers know there’s four points to lose in this series and a real chance to avoid the league’s Mendoza line. Beavers 3-1, 4-1

Matt: The WCHA should close every regular season with Alaska vs. Alaska-Anchorage, Michigan Tech vs. Northern Michigan and Alabama-Huntsville vs. Bemidji State. Beavers-Chargers might not be as competitive as Tech-Northern or Seawolves-Nanooks right now, but it’s darn entertaining. Who hates Huntsville? I don’t, but the phrase is darn catchy. Beavers 2-1, 3-1

Ferris State at Alaska

Shane: If things fall right, the Bulldogs can win the MacNaughton Cup this weekend. But this is not only Ferris’ first trip to Alaska this season but its first since November of 2011. The Nanooks are rolling, winning six of seven and getting their final four games at home. Nanooks 4-2. Bulldogs 3-2

Matt: I may have been one of the only media members to slot the Nanooks in the top four of the WCHA during the preseason polls, and for a long time, I regretted that prediction. Alaska has come on strong late in the season, winning on the road as of late. Alaska is .500 at home in league play and .500 on the road in the WCHA. Those stats say split in Fairbanks against the Bulldogs. Bulldogs 3-2, Nanooks 4-2

Last week: Shane 4-2-0, Matt 4-2-0. Overall: Shane 121-58-21, Matt 116-63-21.

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