NCHC picks: Oct. 16

In our first weekend of our annual picks conference, I jumped out to a two-game lead on Matthew, thanks to St. Cloud and Western Michigan. I went 6-8-2 (.437), hardly stellar, but Matthew went 4-10-2 (.312).

Let’s see if either of us can do better this week.

Friday-Saturday, Oct. 16-17

No. 1 North Dakota vs. Bemidji State home-and-home
Candace: Call me crazy, but I don’t think North Dakota will take Bemidji lightly after last year, and after Bemidji beat Minnesota-Duluth last week. North Dakota 3-2, 4-2
Matthew: UND ran into trouble in an early-season home-and-home with Bemidji last year, and I can see it happening again. Bemidji State 3-2, North Dakota 4-1

Michigan State at No. 5 Denver
Candace: Both of these will be close, and Denver didn’t look great against Air Force, but maybe the Pios find their legs. Denver 3-2, 3-1
Matthew: MSU did well at the Icebreaker and I wouldn’t be surprised if they give Denver fits, but I’ll take the league homer route and go with DU twice. Denver 3-2, 3-1

No. 18 Miami vs Ohio State home-and-home
Candace: I’m tempted to pick a split, but Ohio State didn’t look great last weekend. Miami 3-2, 4-2
Matthew: I have a feeling Miami turns it around this weekend after a problematic home series with Providence last week. Miami 3-2, 4-2

No. 14 Minnesota State at No. 12 St. Cloud State
Candace: This is likely a split, but good luck picking the correct order. Besides, I need to pick one game differently than Matthew. St. Cloud State 3-2, 2-1
Matthew: This has split written all over it. The tricky bit is going to be which team wins which night. Minnesota State 3-1, St. Cloud State 2-0

Colorado College at No. 9 Massachusetts-Lowell
Candace: If CC couldn’t beat Massachusetts at home, there’s no way they take Lowell on the road. Mass.-Lowell 4-1, 5-1
Matthew: As much as I want to take the homer pick, I have a hard time seeing CC knocking UML off its perch. Mass.-Lowell 4-2, 3-1

No. 7 Minnesota-Duluth vs No. 16 Minnesota home-and-home
Candace: Neither of these teams looked good last weekend, so let’s go with home ice. Minnesota 3-2, Minnesota-Duluth 3-1
Matthew: The Gophers will want to get the taste of their shutout loss last weekend out of their mouths, and I think they’ll do that at home on Friday. Can’t see UMD getting nothing out of the weekend, though. Minnesota 4-2, Minnesota-Duluth 3-1

No. 3 Omaha at No. 20 Vermont
Candace: Vermont knocked off Minnesota, but is that because they are that good, or Minnesota is overrated? Omaha 3-1, Vermont 3-2
Matthew: I’m going for a split here, and I imagine UNO fans wouldn’t be too unhappy with a 3-1 record in four road games against ranked teams. Omaha 3-1, Vermont 2-1