WCHA picks Nov. 26

Last week Theresa: 6-4*
Season Theresa: 40-28-7

Last week Tyler: 8-2
Season Tyler: 35-17-3

Friday, November 26 through Sunday, November 28

No. 11 Notre Dame  at No. 9 North Dakota (8-5-1, 7-3-0 WCHA)
Theresa: This could easily be a split since both teams are about even when you look at the big picture (rankings, record-wise, etc.). However, I’m going to go with the league here and say a Sioux sweep.

Tyler: The Fighting Sioux are playing good hockey right now after they won three out of their last four games, all on the road, and nearly escaped Omaha without a loss. The Fighting Irish have three scorers to keep an eye on. Ryan Guentzel, Ben Ryan and T.J. Tynan all have 16 points, but with UND  back at home, I’m going to say Sioux sweep.

Lake Superior State (Friday) and Air Force (Saturday) at Denver (8-4-2, 7-2-1 WCHA)
Theresa: The Lakers haven’t won on the road yet this season to pick them to do so and the Falcons are too inconsistent this year to call the upset … despite the fact that they did just that with Yale. Still, Denver has traditionally dominated the Denver Cup and I can’t see why they won’t once again this year. DU “sweep.”

Tyler: That 3-0 win at North Dakota back on Oct. 30 really kick-started the Pioneers. Denver has only one loss since that night and this weekend hosts a pair of teams with losing records: Air Force and Lake Superior State, which hasn’t won away from home yet this season. Denver beats LSSU Friday and Air Force the next night.

Michigan State (Friday) and No. 8 Michigan (Sunday) at No. 15 Minnesota (7-4-1, 5-4-1 WCHA)
Theresa: The Gophers beat Sparty on Friday and lose to the Wolverines on Sunday. Why? Why not? That was my first inital thought when looking at the series so I decided to go with it without much reasoning.

Tyler: The Spartans have struggled offensively this season and that’s why I think the Gophers are going to win. Kent Patterson has been a nice surprise in net for Minnesota so far but let’s see how he does against Michigan’s offense. Minnesota beats MSU, Michigan over Minnesota.

Michigan (Friday) and Michigan State (Saturday) at No. 16 Wisconsin (6-6-2, 3-5-2 WCHA)
Theresa: See above for reasoning. Michigan over Wisconsin, Wisconsin over Michigan State.

Tyler: The Badgers haven’t been playing good hockey the past couple of weeks when the goal-scoring department didn’t provide much in a pair of sweeps at the hands of UND and Minnesota-Duluth. UW is still looking for that big win against a quality opponent despite plenty of chances the past two weeks. The Badgers have been close and I predict they’ll beat the eighth-ranked Wolverines. Bucky beats Sparty Saturday.

Alaska-Anchorage (3-7-2, 2-5-1) at Colorado College (5-6-1, 2-4-0)
Theresa: I’m tempted to see what CC does off the bye week, but UAA has proven that it can win in this league. Therefore, I’m going with a split – UAA Friday, CC Saturday.

Tyler: It’s funny that neither Schwartz brother recorded a point when the Tigers beat UAA up at the Alaska Gold Rush earlier this season. If Rylan and Jaden continue to put up big offensive numbers against the Seawolves, it’s CC’s weekend. CC sweep.

Northern Michigan at Bemidji State (2-7-1, 2-7-1 WCHA)
Theresa: Even though Northern is technically better on paper, the Beavers are playing outside the league for the first time this season and that may spark the team. Therefore, I’m going with the WCHA bias and picking a BSU sweep.

Tyler: Former WCHA team NMU recovered after its season-opening loss to Michigan Tech, but the Wildcats average 17.8 penalty minutes per game and the sluggish penalty kill (74.9 percent) is one of the worst in America. The BSU PP is ranked 19th (20.5 percent). Beavers sweep.

Minnesota State (2-6-4, 2-6-2 WCHA) at Massachusetts-Lowell
Theresa: UML isn’t part of the Hockey East elite this year and right now, neither are the Mavericks. The logical thing here would probably be a split – UML Friday, MSU Saturday.

Tyler: The Mavericks need a win, no doubt, and what better way to ease back into the conference schedule. After four straight losses in WCHA action, MSU is fresh off a bye week and face UML, which has experienced less success than the Mavericks this season. The problem is MSU has trouble scoring and getting consistent goaltending no matter who it plays. Split.

* I really need to start doing Tyler’s method of just calling a split instead of trying to guess the nights … maybe next week.