WCHA Picks: Final Five Semifinals

St. Cloud State v Wisconsin:

Matthew: Wisconsin struggled mightily through most of this season to score and to sort out its special teams units, and yet the Badgers are as little as 60 minutes of game time away from playing for the Broadmoor Trophy and the WCHA playoff championship. UW has scored 14 goals in its last three games, and that sort of form will give them a fighting chance Friday against St. Cloud State. The Huskies will be desperate to win the Broadmoor for their own after having to share the MacNaughton Cup (regular season championship) with Minnesota, and SCSU has too many weapons that have been scoring consistently all season, and I think they’ll outpower the options from UW that have only started to really light up the scoreboard lately. SCSU, 3-1, with an empty-netter near the end of the game.

Tyler: Wisconsin took advantage of Minnesota State’s string of bad mistakes in the first period and buried them early Thursday, and continued to pour it on in the second period. That’s a lot less likely to happen Friday against St. Cloud State. I see the Huskies preventing the Badgers from stretching the ice as much as they did Thursday and SCSU’s array of weapons will be plenty to handle. SCSU wins


Minnesota v Colorado College:

Matthew: The Gophers are unarguably the more talented team in this match-up and will have the home Twin Cities crowd on its side, but certain factors could swing this game CC’s way. Tigers goaltender Joe Howe has been phenomenal in his team’s playoff run, beating arch-rival Denver on the road in the first round before stopping 32 North Dakota shots in Thursday’s second quarterfinal game in St. Paul, a surprise 4-3 overtime win for CC. Also, it will be interesting to see whether the masses that came to St. Paul from Grand Forks, N.D. will be back Friday cheering against Minnesota. I think the Gophers will pull this game out, but it could be just as close as CC’s quarterfinal game was. Minnesota, 3-2.

Tyler: All three of CC’s regulation goals Thursday stemmed from wins along the boards (one in the offensive zone, one in its own zone and one in the neutral zone) as they grinded out a win against UND. They’ll need a grinder mentality again and another outstanding performance by Howe in net. I think four physical games in seven days are enough to drain the Tigers’ energy going into a game against the more-talented and rested Gophers. Minnesota wins