Last week Theresa: 8-3-1
Season Theresa: 137-77-25
Last week Tyler: 10-1-1
Season Tyler: 141-54-21
Two more weeks of picks to go. This week, we’re talking about playoffs. Well, I am. Tyler’s on a beach somewhere for Spring Break, so you only get my wonderfully fabulous insight (*coughcough*).
1 vs. 12: Michigan Tech (4-28-4, 2-24-2 WCHA) at No. 1 North Dakota (26-8-3, 21-6-1 WCHA)
Theresa: Tech rule: UND takes it … most likely in two.
As you may have read in the column, Jamie Russell thinks his team may have given the Sioux too much respect. That may be true, but the Sioux are playing like a team that deserves that respect right now. For the Huskies’ sake, I hope they can stretch it to three, but I’m not so sure that’s going to happen. In any case, I don’t foresee an upset here.
2 vs. 11: Minnesota State (14-16-6, 8-16-4 WCHA) at No. 6 Denver (21-10-5, 17-8-3 WCHA)
Theresa: The Mavericks are a good 11th place team, make no mistake about it. They may not have run into the puck luck needed that much this season, but Troy Jutting’s squad is one that fights and fights hard. It’ll be interesting to see how they rebound this weekend coming off being swept by UAA. That being said, since this is a best-of-three series, I think it probably has to favor the Pioneers. DU takes it (probably in three).
3 vs. 10: Bemidji State (12-17-5, 8-15-5 WCHA) at No. 12 Nebraska-Omaha (21-13-2, 17-9-2 WCHA)
Theresa: The series of the newbies. No matter what, we’ll see one of the league’s new teams at the X next weekend. But, of course, the question is, who will it be? Will it be the Beavers, who went 3-0-1 against the Mavs during the regular season? Or will, as BSU coach Tom Serratore said, the law of averages catch up and UNO finally takes it? It could be the former, but the Mavericks are extremely good on home ice. I think we’ll see the return of Dean Blais this year. UNO takes it (probably in three).
4 vs. 9: St. Cloud State (15-16-5, 11-13-4 WCHA) at No. 11 Minnesota-Duluth (20-9-6, 15-8-5 WCHA)
Theresa: This is a tricky, tricky series in my mind. Earlier in the year, the pick would be a no brainer. Now, however? The Bulldogs have been stumbling a bit down the stretch while the Huskies are one of the hottest teams in college hockey. That being said, UMD gets the edge for overall consistency while SCSU has been, as I said earlier this season, consistently inconsistent. Who do I go for? Short playoff formats favor the streaky: I’m going with SCSU (probably in three).
5 vs. 8: Alaska-Anchorage (14-17-3, 12-14-2 WCHA) at No. 17 Minnesota (16-12-6, 13-10-5 WCHA)
Theresa: If you’ve followed my picks all season, you know that I often give the Seawolves the benefit of the doubt. This season, it’s been because they’ve deserved it. They’ve put together one of their best seasons ever in the WCHA and are looking to cap it off with their second trip to the Final Five (and first in seven years). However, they have to face Minnesota, who is ridiculously good at Mariucci in the playoffs. The Gophers have one playoff loss … EVER … in the building, ironically to these same Seawolves. Logic dictates calling the Gophers in this series … which I think I have to do. We know UAA can shut them down, but I’m not sure if they can in a best of three. Prove me wrong, Seawolves; I’m picking UM (in three, most likely).
6 vs. 7: No. 19 Wisconsin (20-14-4, 12-13-3 WCHA) at No. 16 Colorado College (19-16-3, 13-13-2 WCHA)
Theresa: As we all know, this is really just a continuation of last week. In fact, both coaches said that this is essentially now a best-of-five, with it tied 1-1. I think we all know that this is going to be a close series that will most likely go three games. These teams are very similar and it is a toss-up as to who will move on to the X next week. But, alas, I have to pick someone and I think that in this case, home ice is the favorable turning point. CC takes it (in three).