WCHA picks, Oct. 16-17

Shane here …

It was a wild first week in all of college hockey. There were results that made you question your rankings and picks. Instead of tossing everything I studied in the preseason out the window, I’m going to give my gut at least another week. Can’t speak for Jack, who sent his picks in first. Here goes …

Michigan Tech at Ferris State

JACK: The first WCHA series of the season is also Tech’s first regular-season action all year. The Huskies have almost everyone back while the Bulldogs have some question marks. Charles Williams was decent in goal last weekend but I don’t know if he can single-handedly shut down Michigan Tech. Huskies 4-1, 3-1

SHANE: I’m leaning in your direction, Jack, but can’t quite pick a Huskies sweep. Maybe if it were the middle of the season or a few weeks in. The Bulldogs have played games that count, while the Huskies have not. The home team might be in better shape speed-wise. Bulldogs 2-1, Huskies 4-1

Bemidji State vs./at North Dakota

JACK: Another home and home for the Beavers against a highly ranked NCHC team. The Beavers beat Minnesota Duluth last weekend. Last season, they beat UND 5-1 in the season opener in Grand Forks. Unlike last season, however, I don’t think a Beavers sweep is going to be as surprising. I think both teams win at home. Beavers 3-1, UND 4-2

SHANE: The Beavers have two things going for them: experienced forwards and a top-notch goaltender. I think Bitzer’s the real deal, and I think he gets it done in front of what I expect to be an electric crowd on Friday. UND, the No. 1 team I the country, will be an angry bunch on Saturday, though. Beavers 2-1, (Insert nickname here) 5-2

Minnesota State at St. Cloud State

JACK: The Mavericks’ 0-2 start shouldn’t necessarily be a big deal — Omaha is pretty good, after all — but it’s certainly a shock for a team that has lost just three times in Mankato in the past two years. Anyway, I think they’ll rally for at least a split on the road against their instate rivals. Mavericks 3-1, Huskies 4-2

SHANE: Having seen Minnesota State first-hand last weekend, I can tell you that it deserved a better fate than losing two games after the way it played. I’ve often been impressed with the way the Mavericks have rebounded after tough losses in the Mike Hastings era. They’ll get a win this weekend. Mavericks 4-3, Huskies 3-2

Lake Superior State at/vs. Northern Michigan

JACK: Another home-and-home for regional rivals. This one is a nonconference series, for some reason. Either way: Both teams had struggles last weekend. NMU should have beaten Wisconsin twice, while Lake State took a lead on North Dakota before losing. I’ll say a split because I’m not sure what’s going on with NMU’s late-game defense. Wildcats 3-1, Lakers 2-1

SHANE: It’s still too early in the season to go against anything I thought about in the preseason, and I thought Northern Michigan would be a team that, if healthy, could compete for home ice in the WCHA. While these games don’t count for points in the league standings, I’m still calling a Wildcats sweep. Wildcats 4-1, 3-2

Bowling Green at Canisius and RIT

JACK: The Falcons looked impressive sweeping Ohio State last weekend but looked lost at former CCHA rival Western Michigan for their Tuesday matchup. This could be a tough one for them with all the travel, but I’ll say a close pair of wins for BG. Falcons 3, Griffins 2; Falcons 4, Tigers 3

SHANE: Repeating the mantra from the above pick, I think Bowling Green is an excellent team, worthy of its top-10 ranking. I’ll chalk up Tuesday’s performance as a hiccup from having to play three games in four days at the start of the year (I know, WMU had to do the same thing). They’ll bounce back in impression fashion. Falcons 3, Griffins 1; Falcons 4, Tigers 2

Alaska vs. American International and RPI (Alaska Goal Rush)

JACK: The Nanooks dropped both games last weekend at the Kendall Hockey Classic in Anchorage — including having the distinction of being Arizona State’s first-ever Division I victim. I think they’ll bounce back with two games at home. Nanooks 5, Yellow Jackets 3; Nanooks 4, Engineers 2

SHANE: Yeah, Jack, I think this weekend will tell us a lot about the Nanooks, who will be another team competing for home ice in the WCHA. How much are they missing Colton Parayko? Well, they lost twice in Alaska and he was scoring goals for the St. Louis Blues. Nanooks 3, Yellow Jackets 2; Engineers 3, Nanooks 2

Alaska Anchorage vs. RPI, American International (Alaska Goal Rush)

JACK: The Seawolves outlasted the Sun Devils last Friday before getting run over by St. Cloud State in what was, by default, the Kendall Hockey Classic championship game. The Engineers are coming off a big upset of Boston College but they might not be acclimated to the Alaska travel because they don’t do it as much as the former WCHA and CCHA brethren. Still, I can see RPI getting another win on momentum alone. Engineers 4, Seawolves 3; Seawolves 6, Yellow Jackets 3

SHANE: Congratulations, RPI! What do you get for beating No. 1 Boston College? A trip to Fairbanks, Alaska. Actually, this time of year seems like it would be lovely to be there. I’d love to make one of those Alaska trips before I retire (lots of time). The Seawolves, I think, will split the weekend. Engineers 3, Seawolves 1; Seawolves 3, Yellow Jackets 2

Last week: Shane 9-6-3, Jack 8-7-3. Overall: Shane 9-6-3, Jack 8-7-3


  1. The NMU/LSSU non conference is being played so all three UP teams meet 4 times. The hope is to develop a UP championship series with Tech, NMU and LSSU.

  2. My bracketology is the following:
    Quin vs. RIT
    ML vs. Harv.
    Prov. vs. UMD
    BC vs. Yale
    Sioux vs. NEeastern
    Mich vs. Notre
    W-St. Paul
    SCSU vs. Ferris
    Denv vs. BU

  3. HE has six selections in the tournament, covering all four seeds. They should have the chance to earn an all HE frozen four. Packing them together in regionals is a disservice to this league. Remember they play the core of their schedule against each other so they are not beating up on softies. Putting three HE entries in the NE regional should be rejected or any similar slanted selection. Let the entries from each conference battle it out with other conferences. That is only fair.

    • NCAA had a WCHA Frozen 4 & has not allowed it to be possible since. Same last year with NCHC.

      The only interesting part of the selection is who gets screwed with tough conference opponents. Pretty sure they won’t put UMD with UND for possible 6th game this year, but, it is the NCAA. Too bad there isn’t a walk down the plank for the NCAA…

      • Don
        Thanks for the reply
        I didn’t know this was NCAA policy. Sounds a little like the nanny state. If playing doesn’t get us the picture we want we will simply ignore the on ice results and rig the pairings to get what we want. I guess they see one conference frozen four as reducing interest or the gate, which may be true. My guess turned out to be close with a switch of MD and FSU to make it right. I think it is a good result


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here