Last week Theresa: 6-3-1
Season Theresa: 103-61-17
Last week Tyler: 6-3-1
Season Tyler: 105-42-13
I’m regretting not going with my initial thought of a split in the CC/UND series. Also, stupid UAH for throwing a wrench in things.
This week: five conference series abound with North Dakota and Wisconsin getting some rest.
No. 2 Denver (16-5-5, 12-3-3 WCHA) home and home with No. 20 Colorado College (15-12-1, 9-9-0 WCHA)
Theresa: In which we have a rivalry series, meaning most logic is thrown out the window. If CC goaltender Joe Howe doesn’t play, that could mean a sweep for the Pioneers, who will likely retain hold of the Gold Pan regardless (they need just two points to do so). However, these teams typically like to split and lately, it’s been each team on its home ice. So, I’ll go with it … even though it undoubtedly means they’ll do the opposite this time around. CC Friday, DU Saturday.
Tyler: History tells you to pick a split when these teams get together. Neither team has been able to sweep since 2008. Many of the games since finished in ties. These are big games for each team this weekend. Denver is in contention for first place in the WCHA and CC is trying to gain ground on home ice in the playoffs. It’s been hard to tell which CC team will show up lately but they’ll always show up when the Gold Pan is on the line. Split.
Bemidji State (9-13-2, 5-11-2 WCHA) at Minnesota State (11-11-6, 5-11-4 WCHA)
Theresa: This is a tricky series to predict because, in terms of league standing, this series is HUGE for both teams. The Mavericks currently sit just two points above the Beavers in the standings and you know both teams are going to want to better their position. BSU’s coming off a bye while MSU’s coming off a three-point weekend against St. Cloud. While my gut says a split is the likely result, I’ll gamble on the Mavs. They were finally able to get some offense going against SCSU and the team will probably want to keep it going. MSU sweep.
Tyler: The Mavericks have had BSU’s number in recent years and MSU’s record is not indicative of the level it competes at. It’ll be one of those weekends where Phil Cook shines against a struggling offense. MSU has had multiple opportunities to beat good teams at the Verizon Wireless Center but couldn’t haul in wins. The outcome will be different against the Beavers. MSU sweep.
Michigan Tech (3-20-3, 1-16-1 WCHA) at Alaska-Anchorage (8-13-3, 7-11-2 WCHA)
Theresa: Tech rule. UAA sweep.
That, and the Seawolves only swept one series last year and that was Michigan Tech. This year’s UAA team is arguably better and not just because it already has a sweep under its belt. That being said, we also have the possibility of seeing what happened in January ’09 happen again – two ties. Still, I maintain my above pick.
Tyler: The Seawolves aren’t much to talk about statistically but have taken some by surprise with big wins, especially at home. One wonders when the bleeding will stop but Tech’s miserable season will continue with two losses in Anchorage. Two losses in Anchorage means history for Tech. It would tie Colorado College for most consecutive losses in league play. UAA sweep.
Minnesota (11-10-3, 8-8-2 WCHA) at No. 4 Minnesota-Duluth (17-5-3, 12-4-2 WCHA)
Theresa: I’m sounding like a broken record here, but this is another huge series in terms of possible points gained, despite these teams not being near each other in the standings. With UND idle, the Bulldogs can fight it out with Denver for the top spot in the league. The Gophers, on the other hand, are fighting for that last home playoff spot and we know from earlier this season that they are very capable of beating UMD, despite Duluth being the on-paper favorite … which they are here, once again. Still, I think a split here is probably the likely result – UM Friday, UMD Saturday.
Tyler: It’s hard to picture the Gophers doing any damage in Duluth this weekend after their uninspired performance at home against Anchorage last Saturday, but this in-state rivalry brings out the best in each team. Minnesota followed a one-point weekend in Mankato with a three-point weekend against the Bulldogs back in December. Split.
St. Cloud State (11-12-3, 7-9-2 WCHA) at No. 18 Nebraska-Omaha (14-10-2, 10-6-2 WCHA)
Theresa: Both teams are coming into this weekend slightly reeling from the last time they hit the ice. SCSU managed only one point from MSU while the Mavericks surprisingly split with Alabama-Huntsville. Obviously both teams will be looking for a little redemption. These teams are also, in a way, on opposite trajectories right now. SCSU’s stock is rising compared to earlier this year while UNO’s is falling. In the Huskies’ first trip to the Qwest Center, I think we’ll see a split – UNO Friday, SCSU Saturday.
Tyler: The Mavericks are not happy about Saturday’s loss to Alabama-Huntsville and after one goal on a 59-shot night, UNO will make the most of its opportunities from now on. SCSU was hot going into last week but played completely lackluster at home against MSU. Saturday’s loss for UNO was a fluke, especially with Terry Broadhurst’s offensive abilities back in the lineup. UNO sweeps this one, putting the Mavericks back in the NCAA playoff picture and in contention for a home playoff series.