NCHC picks: Dec. 6

Since Matthew and I picked every game the same last week, we both went 5-2-1 (.687). On the year, I am 44-29-10 (.590), maintaining a one-game lead on Matthew, who is 43-30-10 (.578).

Friday-Saturday, Dec. 6-7

No. 16 Nebraska-Omaha at Colorado College
Candace: I figure that sooner or later, CC will starting scoring more and winning a few games, but I’m not sure if this is the weekend it happens. Nebraska-Omaha 3-1, 4-2
Matthew: There are two big things I’m going to be looking at with this series. First, UNO had its first bye week of the season over Thanksgiving, and I’m curious to see whether that’s impeded the momentum the Mavericks built up last month. Also, despite the fact Omaha has a facility with an Olympic-sized sheet built to the same dimensions as CC’s World Arena, the Mavericks opted to practice Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday on the CenturyLink Center sheet that’s 15 feet narrower than the one the Tigers play their home games on. Even with those factors, though, I’m going to go out on a minor limb and say UNO sweeps and goes 4-0-0 for the first time ever in the state of Colorado. Nebraska-Omaha 4-3, 3-1

Denver at No. 12 Miami
Candace: Denver is on a bit of a win streak, and Miami has been very inconsistent of late. This series has split written all over it, but trying to guess the right date for each team’s win is killing me. Miami 4-3, Denver 3-2
Matthew: In this series between two teams that have run hot and cold so far this season, I’m finding it difficult to not pick a split here. Denver’s the hotter team right now, having gone unbeaten in its last six games, but the Pioneers are traveling quite a long way this week to face a Miami team that’s 5-2-0 at home so far this season, and I think the RedHawks’ home form so far has to count for something here. Miami 4-1, Denver 3-1

No. 2 St. Cloud State at No. 20 Minnesota-Duluth
Candace: For me, this is one of the best series of the weekend. It’s really hard to pick though. St. Cloud has won by committee, while Minnesota-Duluth has displayed resiliency. I’m thinking split. St. Cloud 4-3, Minnesota-Duluth 3-2
Matthew: If this was a home series for SCSU, I’d call for a Huskies sweep here. St. Cloud’s won four of its last five and has only lost twice so far this season, but they’re about to face a Duluth team itching to play at home again after not having hit the AMSOIL Arena ice for a game since Oct. 26. My guess is the emotion surrounding that leads to a Bulldogs win Friday before the visitors salvage a split the following night. Minnesota-Duluth 4-2, St. Cloud State 2-0

North Dakota at Western Michigan
Candace: North Dakota has been awfully iffy of late, but then, so has Western Michigan, which could only muster a goal game last weekend against Northeastern and Alabama-Huntstville. North Dakota finally broke its season-long Saturday jinx last weekend against St. Lawrence, but I figure it’s more likely North Dakota wins Friday. North Dakota 3-1, Western Michigan 2-1
Matthew: Considering neither of these teams have been pulling up trees lately, I’m not brave enough to pick a sweep for either of them in this series. North Dakota really struggled last Friday at home to St. Lawrence before picking up a close win the following night, and Western’s offense failed to click last weekend at Notre Dame’s Shillelagh Tournament, only picking up one goal in each game against Northeastern and Alabama-Huntsville. Western needs to find its scoring power again this weekend if the Broncos are to be successful, and I’m not expecting them to find enough of it to win both nights against UND. North Dakota 4-2, Western Michigan 2-1