Picking the WCHA, Nov. 20-22

Shane here … These predictions are anything but easy. I called a couple of splits correctly last weekend but picked the wrong teams on the wrong days. Loss, loss. So it goes. Jack and I could have gone the easy route and simply picked sweeps and splits, but we don’t play that way. Go big or go home, right? So I’ll take my worst-ever 1-9 record from last week and just be glad that I’m still in an overall tie with Mr. Hittinger.

Nothing gets easier this week. On to the picks!

Alabama Huntsville at Bowling Green

Jack: The Chargers are coming off a bye week after losing two tight games to Michigan Tech. Bowling Green split with the Huskies last weekend in Houghton. I want to say UAH can eek out a win here, but it’s going to be very difficult. Falcons 4-2, 3-2

Shane: Have to agree with you here. The Falcons begin a six-game homestand and have a chance to make some noise in the conference standings after surviving a tough early season schedule with only three of their first 11 games at home. The Chargers are improved and trying to get through their own tough schedule. Falcons 3-1, 2-1

Alaska at Ferris State

Jack: Ferris State just went to Anchorage, Alaska, and are now back at home to take on the other Alaska team. The Nanooks just came from a split at Bemidji State and are still touring the Lower 48. I’m not certain about much, but I think this will be a split. Bulldogs 5-4, Nanooks 4-2

Shane: It’s been Splitsville for the Bulldogs for the last three weeks, same for the Nanooks in the last two. I should stick with that trend, but I’m going with a Ferris State sweep, partially because Alaska is at the end of a long road swing. Bulldogs 4-1, 3-2

Minnesota State at Northern Michigan

Jack: The Wildcats haven’t been able to put together anything consistent this season — they’re 4-3-3 overall and haven’t had any streaks to speak of early in the season. The Mavericks are 6-6 but 5-1 in the WCHA. I don’t think the Wildcats can sweep, but I’d believe just about anything else. Mavericks 3-1, Wildcats 4-3

Shane: I’ll be in Marquette for this one and am expecting to see good series. The Wildcats are unbeaten at home in four games there, while the Mavericks have a winning record, 4-3, on the road. Sounds like a split to me. Wildcats 3-2, Mavericks 4-1

Lake Superior State at Bemidji State

Jack: Two teams on the bottom of the WCHA standings will be looking to get out of the basement. The Beavers recently got their first league win with a 6-3 victory over Alaska. The Lakers are still looking for their first league win and are coming off a sweep at the hands of Arizona State. The Lakers have had some decent results and have kept games close, while the Beavers have struggled to keep up strong starts in the third period. I think the win over the Nanooks was a turning point for BSU and they get the sweep. Beavers 4-3, 5-3

Shane: Each of these teams has just two wins to start the season. The Beavers snapped a seven-game winless streak on Saturday, while the Lakers are in the midst of their own seven-game skid. That will go to eight but end there. Beavers 3-1, Lakers 2-1

Penn State at Alaska Anchorage

Jack: Anchorage is coming off two splits, against Ferris State and Bowling Green. Penn State just swept Sacred Heart. The Nittany Lions are 6-2-2 but they’ve barely left the state of Pennsylvania — their two road trips were to Canisius and Niagara, hardly rough road trips from State College. The long plane ride to Anchorage is a bit more arduous than the bus trip to Western New York (and, fun fact, this Alaska trip is PSU’s only plane ride in 2015, and their only trip of longer than four hours… and the WCHA laughs.) Anyway, the Seawolves are rested (they’ve been home since Oct. 31 and had a bye weekend tucked in there) and I think they get the sweep. Seawolves 4-2, 3-2

Shane: The Seawolves face a tough test with what appears to be a good Nittany Lions team in town. I think Anchorage’s solid start to the season continues but with a series split.  Nittany Lions 3-2, Seawolves 4-1

Michigan Tech at Michigan State (Saturday/Sunday)

Jack: The second of two WCHA/B1G matchups this weekend. The Huskies haven’t been to East Lansing since the mid-1980s. The teams didn’t play last season but Tech went 2-0-1 against MSU in 2013-14, including two wins in Houghton and a tie in the Great Lakes Invitational. And although Michigan Tech’s 6-4-0 record doesn’t look that much better than State’s 4-4-1, Tech definitely looks like the stronger of the two programs right now. All this is a roundabout way of saying: Sorry, Sparty, but I think Tech is going to get the sweep. Huskies 4-2, 5-3

Shane: I can’t believe Tech hasn’t played in East Lansing since 1986 — and the Huskies haven’t won there since 1981. That changes this weekend — and in a big way. Huskies 3-2, 4-3

Last week: Shane 1-9-0, Jack 4-6-0. Overall: Shane 33-27-10, Jack 33-27-10