NCHC picks: Jan. 24

Matthew and I only picked two games differently last weekend, and both ended in ties, so we are still tied on the year. Last weekend, we both went a dismal 2-3-5 (.450) to move to 64-44-18 (.579) on the season.

Maybe this weekend, we can do better. Unfortunately for the six-pack race, we see this week’s games the same way,although perhaps we’ll pick Saturday’s differently.

Friday-Saturday, Jan. 24-25

Miami at Colorado College
Candace: Miami had a lot of promise entering this season, but the RedHawks have been dreadful since November. Of course, CC hasn’t been any better. This battle of the two last-place teams in the NCHC has split written all over it. Colorado College 2-1, Miami 3-2
Matthew: I picked CC to pick up a split last weekend at home to seventh-ranked Providence and I was 20 seconds in Friday’s third period away from being right, so I’m going to (probably tempt fate and) go back to the well here. Miami only got a shootout win and a 5-1 regulation loss at home last weekend to Nebraska-Omaha, and I think they could have difficulty making the long westerly trek up into the Rockies to face a CC team better than the Tigers’ record suggests they are. Colorado College 3-2, Miami 2-1

No. 18 North Dakota at No. 16 Denver
Candace: I am excited to be at these games this weekend. North Dakota and Denver always bring the best out of each other, which means a split. Both have generally done better on Friday nights, so I’ll go with the home team on the first night. Denver 3-2, North Dakota 3-2
Matthew: DU-UND is the NCHC’s best rivalry that was already established heading into the league’s inaugural season, and I’m excited to finally see these teams come together for the first time in the current campaign. That said, though, I’m taking the safe option and picking a split because, to me, that’s what’s written all over this series. Denver 3-1, North Dakota 4-2

North Star College Cup

Minnesota State vs. Minnesota-Duluth
Candace: One weekend after their first weekend sweep, the Bulldogs struggled at home last weekend against Denver. The Mavericks looked really good last weekend in sweeping Ferris State, but they’ve been dismal away from home this season, and even if this is a neutral site, it’s not their friendly confines in Mankato, so I’ll be a league homer. Minnesota-Duluth 3-2
Matthew: I felt pretty good about Duluth two weeks ago after seeing what they were able to do in their sweep at Nebraska-Omaha, but UMD had some real issues last weekend dealing with Denver at home. Now, the Bulldogs are facing a very good Minnesota State team in a neutral-site game in St. Paul, Minn. that pits together two very even teams. This very easily could be the biggest toss-up game we’ve had to pick all season. Minnesota-Duluth 3-2

No. 5 St. Cloud State vs. No. 1 Minnesota
Candace: Minnesota has only lost twice all year, though one of those was a pounding at the hands of Minnesota-Duluth. If this game takes place in the first half, I pick St. Cloud, but the Huskies have been having a hard time of it so far this half, and I don’t seem them reverting to their best just yet. Minneosta 3-2
Matthew: This surely has to be Friday’s national game of the night. The problem I have for St. Cloud in this game, though, is that they had serious problems at home last weekend with Western Michigan, and Minnesota’s statistically been a significantly better team than either Western or SCSU. The Golden Gophers are scoring nearly four goals per game this season and only allowing an even two per contest, and as much as I want to go with the league homer pick and take the Huskies, the Gophers should advance to the final on what isn’t home ice but will probably sound like it this weekend. Minnesota 4-2