Feb. 14-15 WCHA picks

Shane here. Matt’s closing the gap on me in the overall standings. We’ve both been picking splits correctly; I’ve just been picking the wrong teams on the wrong days lately. With all 10 teams in action against each other (finally!), this weekend figures to have some a few intriguing matchups, as well as plenty of scoreboard watching. Here are the picks …

Alaska at Michigan Tech

Shane: Tech made the big move last week, leapfrogging its way to third place. The Huskies have won four in a row and five of six. That’s a trend, but the Nanooks seem to find ways to get points on the road. Nanooks 3-2, Huskies 5-2

Matt: You’re right, the Nanooks have been decent on the road this year (4-6-2), most recently salvaging what could be a very important split at Northern Michigan back in January. However, the Huskies have found their offensive touch and know they could potentially lock up home ice with a sweep. Huskies 4-2, 4-3

Lake Superior at Northern Michigan

Shane: I like this new WCHA format and the race to make the playoffs. A sweep by either one of these teams would be huge in trying to get out of the ninth-place spot (currently held by the Lakers), but I think they’ll come out looking quite the same. Lakers 5-3, Wildcats 3-1

Matt: LSSU senior goaltender Kevin Murdock has struggled since taking over for injured senior goalie Kevin Kapalka in mid-January, with the Lakers winning just two games. Murdock had a big weekend a year ago in Marquette, making 35 saves to shutout NMU and win the Father Cappo Cup for the Lakers. LSSU will need another night like that to get points in Marquette, but so far, Murdock has shown that ability. Wildcats 3-2, 4-3

Ferris State at Bemidji State

Shane: The Bulldogs got back on track last weekend. More importantly, C.J. Motte got back on track. The Beavers have proven they can hang with anybody, but it will be hard to hold down Ferris State, especially with that disturbing stat in which BSU is 1-15-7 when allowing more than one goal. Bulldogs 4-2, 3-2

Matt: I made a mistake last weekend thinking the Bulldogs and Motte would drop a game against NMU at home. I’m back on the pick-a-Bulldogs-sweep-until-someone-beats-them bandwagon. Bulldogs 3-1, 4-1

Alabama Huntsville at Minnesota State

Shane: The Mavericks are rolling at home and have motivation to try to catch first-place Ferris. Huntsville has had quite the travel week, going back and forth to Houghton last week and getting a late start to Mankato this week due to the South’s winter storm. Enjoy the warm breezes of Minnesota, Chargers! Mavericks 5-1, 8-2

Matt: It’s too bad the Chargers couldn’t have just stayed in the North and driven from Houghton to Mankato this week. Having to play two of the hottest teams offensively right now is a tough enough draw, but to have travel delays on top of it just adds insult to injury. Mavericks 5-1, 6-2

Bowling Green at Alaska Anchorage

Shane: Here’s another matchup with big playoff implications. These two teams are tied for fourth place in the WCHA, which is the last home-ice spot. This is the Seawolves’ final home series of the regular season, so they’d better make hay if they want to host a playoff series. The Falcons have lost three of four. Seawolves 3-2, 3-2

Matt: The Falcons have been a streaky team this season. They started the year 5-2-2, then went 2-6-1 over a nine game stretch. BGSU then won five of eight games with a pair of ties, but recently have lost three of four. To secure a home ice playoff spot, the Falcons will need to shake out of their funk or risk making a return trip to Anchorage in March. Seawolves 4-3, 3-2

Last week: Shane 5-3-0, 7-1-0. Overall: Shane 110-54-20, Matt 107-57-20.