Getting things started a day earlier since there’s a game tonight …
It’s been a tough year making picks so far, but I finally had a good week and am closing in on you, Jack!
Looking back at last week, I saw we got ripped by Alaska assistant coach Lance West for expecting the Nanooks “to get just waxed” by Bowling Green. I know it was a tough week in Fairbanks with the NCAA sanctions coming down and the two losses to the Falcons, but for the record, I picked his team to win one of those games. Turns out that was my lone loss in the picks. Where’s the love, Lance?
As I always say, I’m just glad people are reading.
Well, let’s see who we can irritate (or motivate) this week:
Alaska Anchorage at Ferris State
Shane: It’s a rare Thursday-Friday series, but perhaps the shakeup can get these two teams to start scoring some goals. It sure hasn’t been easy, especially for the Bulldogs. First team to 1 has a big advantage. So with it coming down to goalies, I’m going to take senior C.J. Motte at home over freshman Olivier Mantha in a hostile environment (no knock on Mantha, who’s off to a fantastic start). Motte … er … Bulldogs 1-0, 2-1
Jack: It’s still awfully strange to see that both Alabama-Huntsville and Lake State have more goals in about as many games as the Bulldogs (10 to FSU’s 9). This should be a pretty fun series if you like closely contested goalie battles. Motte takes one and Mantha takes the other. Bulldogs 2-1, Seawolves 2-1
Lake Superior State at Alabama Huntsville
Shane: Who would have guessed these two teams would be squaring off with the chance to extend unbeaten streaks? The Lakers won their last game, Nov. 1 at Alaska Anchorage (curious to see how they come off their much-needed bye), while the Chargers won and tied at Air Force last week and are unbeaten in three of four. I’m thinking a split is in the works, and I’m thinking both teams would be happy with that. Chargers 3-1, Lakers 2-1
Jack: This should be a fun series, I think. Huntsville’s goaltending tandem of Carmine Guerriero and Matt Larose is awfully good and has been able to keep them in games all year. I’d wager that life is a whole lot easier for them when they aren’t facing 40-plus shots every game, too. The Lakers have struggled a bit offensively so I can actually see the Chargers sweeping this one. Chargers 3-1, 2-1
Michigan Tech at Bemidji State
Shane: Should be a good series in Jack’s neck of the woods with the undefeated Huskies coming to town. I liked the Beavers’ resiliency last weekend despite dropping two games in Mankato, and they’ll give Tech all they can handle, especially being at home. Will it be enough to hand the Huskies their first loss? I’m sayin’ there’s a chance. Huskies 5-2. Beavers 3-2
Jack: I missed all the games last week due to a little vacation so I didn’t get a chance to see either team in action, but from what I hear the Beavers had the same look they’ve had all year against the top-ranked teams they’ve played — they’re just as skilled but playing catch-up doesn’t suit them well. On the other hand, the Huskies are the real deal. But I don’t think the Beavers are going to be intimidated (see: Bemidji State at North Dakota, Oct. 10, 2014). I can see then scoring a split. Beavers 4-2, Huskies 5-3
Bowling Green vs. Ohio State (home and home)
Shane: The stat of the week is the WCHA’s record against the Big Ten this season, which is 9-3-1. Does that mean the WCHA’s good and the Big Ten’s bad? I think we can agree on the former, for certain. The latter? Well, there’s Minnesota and … everyone else. Conference aside, I’m all in on the Falcons. They’re good, and I think they keep things rolling — for them and for the WCHA. Falcons 3-2, 4-1
Jack: Shane, the correct answer is the Big Ten is good and just gave away all those games. I mean, how can the WCHA be good? There aren’t any big-name programs in that league! How can they possibly recruit against those brand names? That 9-3-1 record doesn’t mean anything other than the Big Ten schools weren’t trying hard enough! (NOTE: FULL SARCASM DRIPPING FROM THOSE SENTENCES) But for real, Bowling Green is going to sweep this series. That’s what usually happens when a good team plays a team that isn’t as good. Falcons 5-3, 3-1
Last week: Shane 8-1-1, Jack 6-3-1. Overall: Shane 39-23-5, Jack 40-22-5