NCHC picks: Oct. 24

Last week, I pulled ahead of Matthew by one game thanks to UNO’s sweep of Western Michigan. I went 7-3 (.700), while Matthew went 6-4 (.600). On the year, I am 16-8 (.667), while Matthew is 15-9 (.625).

On to this week’s games!

Friday-Saturday, Oct. 24-25

No. 11 Denver at No. 19 Minnesota-Duluth
Candace: The Bulldogs haven’t looked good at home, but this is Denver’s first road trip, and I’m not sure they can sweep. However, I hate picking Duluth’s winning order. Denver 3-2, Minnesota-Duluth 3-2
Matthew: Even though the Pioneers have a long road trip to make to face Duluth, the way DU played against Rensselaer leaves me thinking the Pios should expect to get at least a split from this series. That’s the way I’m thinking it’ll go, but it’s tough to predict who will win when. Minnesota-Duluth 3-1, Denver 2-0

Colorado College at Boston College (Friday) and New Hampshire (Saturday)
Candace: Colorado College showed it has a ways to go after the loss to North Dakota, though the Tigers might play New Hampshire tightly. Boston College 6-2, New Hampshire 3-1
Matthew: I fear this could be a really rough weekend for the Tigers. BC’s a better team than CC, and UNH has opened the season 1-2-0 but the losses were at Union and at Michigan, and both of those teams gave the Wildcats more problems than UNH will have against CC in Durham. Boston College 4-1, New Hampshire 3-1

St. Lawrence at No. 10 Miami
Candace: Miami looked really good last week against its in-state rival. The RedHawks just need to avoid a letdown. St. Lawrence is probably better than people think, if we can go by last weekend. Miami 2-1, 3-1
Matthew: The RedHawks have gotten off to a pretty solid start to the season, and I think that’ll continue this weekend in Oxford. If Miami can keep up the offensive output that it had last weekend in its home-and-home with Ohio State, St. Lawrence might really struggle to keep the RedHawks from rolling. Miami 4-1, 3-0

No. 5 Providence at No. 3 North Dakota
Candace: A marquee series on the weekend. I’m not convinced Providence is as good as its ranking, so I’ll be an NCHC homer. North Dakota 3-2, 4-2
Matthew: The goaltending battle between Providence’s Jon Gillies and UND’s Zane McIntyre is the main focal point with this series, but both of these teams have top-end weapons that can wreak havoc all over the ice. This is going to be a really entertaining series that to me has split written all over it. Providence 3-2, North Dakota 3-1

No. 9 St. Cloud State at No. 2 Union
Candace: The other marquee set on the weekend. Pick against Union at your peril, though the defending NCAA champs haven’t faced a team of St. Cloud’s caliber. What will the off week do to St. Cloud? Union 2-1, St. Cloud State 3-2
Matthew: It’s almost too bad that UND-Providence is getting so much attention this week, because this series between the Huskies and Dutchmen is bringing together another pair of top-10 teams. I like Union to do well on home ice, but I have a sneaking suspicion that SCSU will take one of these games. St. Cloud State 3-2, Union 2-1

No. 16 Alaska at Western Michigan
Candace: Western has gotten off to a poor start, but this is the Nanooks’ first trip outside Alaska. I think the Broncos will challenge in one, but they’ve also struggled to score, and the Nanooks have been putting up goals in bunches. Alaska 4-2, 3-2
Matthew: After getting swept at home by Nebraska-Omaha, Western could be bringing in an easier opponent this weekend than the Nanooks. Alaska’s gotten off to a very good start to the season, but I’m curious to see what they’ll be able to do on a very long road trip to Kalamazoo. Alaska 3-2, Western Michigan 3-1