WCHA picks, Oct. 22-24

We had to hurry to get our picks in, since Lake Superior State and Michigan State play tonight (Thursday), while everyone else is on the normal, Friday-Saturday schedule, including a couple more WCHA series (Jack and I actually will be in the same building this weekend!). Jack had a pretty good week last week, and I hope to catch up again this time around …

Lake Superior State at Michigan State

JACK: Another old CCHA rivalry returns. This would have been a good series 10 years ago (OK, maybe closer to 20) … how times have changed. These teams just met during the Icebreaker tournament, so they’ll be pretty familiar with one another. Sparty won 4-1, but Lake Superior State hasn’t played terribly. I think they might be able to steal one in East Lansing. Spartans 3-1, Lakers 2-1

SHANE: I agree, Jack, that Lake Superior State appears to be improved. That was a nice win for them Saturday against Northern Michigan, and I’m sure the Lakers wish that game had counted for WCHA points. That 4-1 loss in the Icebreaker was pretty even shots-wise, so a split is not out of the question. Lakers 2-1, Spartans 4-1

Minnesota State at Bemidji State

JACK: Minnesota State is the only winless team in the WCHA right now and has scored just two goals in four games. The Beavers seem to be trending the other way, with impressive results against Minnesota Duluth and North Dakota. I don’t think Mankato is going to be winless for very long, and I think they’re going to end their scoreless streak this weekend. Beavers 3-1, Mavericks 2-1

SHANE: These two teams have played tough schedules so far, a combined four of the current top 10 teams in the country, and they should be ready for the start of the conference season. Bemidji has been no easy place to play for the Mavericks, who have split every series they’ve played since the Sanford Center opened. That will stay the same. Mavericks 3-2, Beavers 2-1

Michigan Tech at/vs. Northern Michigan

JACK: The Upper Peninsula round robin home and home continues. Tech has played just two games and split with Ferris State on the road, while Northern is 1-1-2 but has been the victim of some suspect defense. I’m going to call a Tech sweep because I’m still not sure if NMU can hold leads. Huskies 4-2, 3-0

SHANE: To be quite honest, I thought this might be a matchup of two undefeated teams, but that just goes to show what I know. While I’m not surprised that Tech split at Ferris State last week, I am a bit stunned by NMU’s record. It’s still too early to know what is real and what is a mirage. I’m going with the Huskies. Huskies 2-1, 4-2

Alaska Anchorage at Alabama Huntsville

JACK: Still not sure what to make of either of these teams. I tend to think the Chargers are a much-improved team this year, but they’ve played just one series. The Seawolves are also 3-1 but against relatively weaker competition. I think this is a sweep, but I have no idea. Chargers 4-2, 2-1

SHANE: Alaska Anchorage is off to a decent start, winning three of four games and is scoring goals. The Seawolves now leave the state of Alaska where they need to learn to win games. Huntsville, I suspect, is improved, too, and I’m going to call a split Chargers 3-2, Seawolves 3-1

Wisconsin at Ferris State

JACK: The second of two WCHA/B1G matchups this week. Wisconsin isn’t very good. I don’t know what Ferris is, but the Badgers are making their first-ever trip to Big Rapids. Ewigleben Arena may be an even more difficult place to play than normal this weekend. I think Ferris can sweep. Bulldogs 4-2, 5-3

SHANE: This will be the Badgers’ first trip to Big Rapids, no easy place to play for any opponent. I’m guessing that band box will be rocking. The Bulldogs’ got a good WCHA season-opening split at home last week against Michigan Tech, and those good feelings will continue. Bulldogs 3-1, 3-2

Last week: Shane 6-6-2, Jack 9-3-2. Overall: Shane 15-12-5, Jack 17-10-5




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