WCHA picks, Nov. 28-29

Happy Thanksgiving, WCHA fans! I’m particularly thankful for my ability to guess correctly on the some splits last weekend, while Jack went the other way, and therefore pass my cohort for the overall lead. Sure, we could have stuck with picks straight sweeps or splits, but we’re going game by game for a high degree of difficulty.

It gets no easier this weekend with eight teams in action, including two in nonconference play.

All right, let’s make the picks before the tryptophan kicks in:

Minnesota State at Lake Superior State

Shane: The Mavericks return to the U.P. one week after sweeping Michigan Tech and will try to avoid a letdown after those two big victories. Minnesota State only moved to No. 7 in the rankings after that, which was probably just fine for coach Mike Hastings, who has done a good job managing MSU’s tough road schedule. I think that continues this weekend against the improving Lakers. Mavericks 5-2, 3-2

Jack: Not quite sure why the Mavericks failed to move ahead of the team they just swept on the road, but I will never understand how most people vote in polls (to each his or her own, I guess). The only thing that really matters at the moment: MSU is No. 1 in the pairwise. I foresee that continuing. The Lakers have been better in November (the return of forward Chris Ciotti from has helped immensely) but I don’t think they will matter against the Mavericks. A sweep seems likely. Mavericks 5-2, 6-3

Michigan Tech at Alabama Huntsville

Shane: Despite dropping their first two games of the season, I was impressed with what I saw from the Huskies last weekend. Minnesota State won those games; Tech didn’t lose them. Like MSU, Tech is taking a long road trip and playing a much-improved (and much more confident) team that struggled early on. But I think the Huskies are good and will rebound. Huskies 4-1, 4-2

Jack: I just want the record to show that although I did pick the wrong way on a few of those split, I DID pick an Alabama-Huntsville split in Ferris! (Unfortunately for me I picked it on the wrong day… C’est la vie). Anyway, I think the Huskies are too good to let this losing streak extend too long, so I think they rebound here. But don’t be surprised if it’s a pair of one-goal games once again. As we’ve seen, Carmine Guerriero can keep Huntsville in any game. Huskies 2-1, 1-0

Northern Michigan at Alaska

Shane: The Wildcats are in the midst of their long Alaska road trip, so it will be interesting to see how they come out in the second series. The Nanooks, meanwhile, are home after their own long trip to the Sault where they got their first league win of the season. I see a split. Wildcats 3-1, Nanooks 2-1

Jack: Mathias Dahlstrom gave up four goals last Saturday against Alaska-Anchorage. He’d given up just six total in nine previous games. It says a lot about him and his defense that said game bumped his goals-against all the way up to… 0.99. He’s gonna want to get that exorbitant rate back down this weekend, huh? Seriously though, I can see the Nanooks scoring the split but, I doubt the Wildcats are going to give up four goals again anytime soon. Nanooks 1-0, Wildcats 4-1

Ferris State at Wisconsin

Shane: The Bulldogs head to Madison to face the nation’s only winless team. Shocking, isn’t it that Wisconsin is 0 for the season so far. Ferris State, meanwhile, is still trying to figure out some things after that home split with Huntsville a week ago. While I’d like to pick a Bulldogs sweep, I think Wisco gets off the schneid and they split. Badgers 2-1, Bulldogs 3-0

Jack: I’m tempted to agree with Shane and say the Badgers will finally score a W but I’m already on Badgers’ fans naughty list for picking them to be swept by Northern Michigan earlier this season. I see no reason to turn face again, seeing as how I’m public enemy No. 1 in Madison (probably not, but I’d like to think they hate me). Bulldogs rally back from splitting with Huntsville and sweep. Bulldogs 4-1, 3-2

St. Cloud State at Bemidji State

Shane: I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: This Bemidji State schedule is brutal. Every team the Beavers have played has been ranked at the time of the meeting. If they’re learning from the tough competition and not losing confidence, they could be scary in the second half. Perhaps their improvement starts this weekend with a split. Huskies 4-2, Beavers 3-2

Jack: It’s been a frustrating six games for Tom Serratore’s crew. They’ve played well enough to win in all six but are still 0-6 against the league’s top three teams (MSU, Tech and BGSU). They haven’t really gotten any bounces their way, either (watch Sean Walker’s empty-netter for Bowling Green in last Saturday’s game for proof of this). This week BSU steps out of the conference to take on another highly-ranked instate rival. I feel like at some point the bounces have to start going BSU’s way. I’ll pick the split. Beavers 4-2, Huskies 5-3