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


  1. Once again no mention of the Gophers clinching for the B1G the Big Ten/Hockey East Challenge with their victory over BC Friday night. Must only be a big deal if Hockey East wins it like last year.

    • I’m a Gopher die-hard and have been for most of my life, so please don’t read this as bitter and sarcastic as it reads. I suggest that rather than this “must only be a big deal if Hockey East wins”, it’s a poorly executed, last minute marketing ripoff to generate interest in programs that generally already have strong local interest. Then look at it for what it is – 6 teams in the Big 10 vs. 12 teams in Hockey East. Depending on how you want to choose your marquee programs from each league, you’ll get 3 or 4 from each that you can generally count on to be viable, tournament teams at the end of the season (for the sake of arguement, I’ll pick MN, WI, MI for the B1G, and BC, BU, ND, and UML for Hockey East). Statistically, that still stacks the deck in the Big 10’s favor of winning every year. It would also help if generate interest if these leagues would quit losing to ECAC teams in the Frozen Four. I am starting to feel that despite the tradition and championship history of the programs involved, winning this challenge is like cheering because your team won second place.

      • Considering that the B1G teams were stronger last year collectively and lost the challenge, I think it’s at least worth mentioning the results since they are not as strong this year. It may be 6 against 12, but you still have to play the games and nothing is guaranteed as the Gophers found out at Northeastern. Your analogy of winning it is like cheering because your team won second place is a little shallow.


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