WCHA picks, Dec. 4-5

Shane here … We’re into December. Hard to believe the season is two months old already. So what do we know? Not much more than we did before the season started. Minnesota State, Michigan Tech and Bowling Green are still the league favorites. Travel to Alabama, Alaska and the Upper Peninsula is still a grind for visiting teams. And picking weekend winners still ain’t easy. But we try anyway. As David Letterman used to say, “This is an exhibition, not a competition. Please, please … no wagering.”

Minnesota State at Bowling Green

Shane: This is the series of the week, even if Mike Hastings and Chris Bergeron are trying to keep any hype to a minimum. I’m disappointed I can’t be there to see what should be an excellent series between two of the league’s three best teams. These teams have split each of their three series as league foes with three games going to overtime. There will be at least one OT this weekend — and another split. Falcons 2-1, Mavericks 3-2

Jack: I don’t really have anything else to add to your assessment of this series other than this looks like a split. I wouldn’t be surprised to see two overtime games, either. Mavericks 4-2, Falcons 3-2

Bemidji State at Ferris State

Shane: These two teams are developing a nice little rivalry, having played each other in the first round of the last two WCHA tournaments. Interesting thing about Ferris State: It hasn’t been swept this season but it hasn’t swept anyone either. Bemidji State, meanwhile, are coming off their first sweep of the season, at Alabama Huntsville. This is another long road trip, but history says the travel-weary Beavers get one. Bulldogs 4-1, Beavers 3-1

Jack: The Beavers actually have a pretty decent track record in Big Rapids of late — they’re 3-6-1 overall, but they took three points there last season. Of course, the Bulldogs ended up getting the Beavers back during last year’s WCHA playoffs, which included an epic triple-overtime Ferris State win. Anyway, I agree with you that this feels like a split to me. Beavers 4-2, Bulldogs 4-2

Alaska Anchorage at Michigan Tech

Shane: Interesting travel schedule comparison here. Michigan Tech is at home had to make the long trek from Alaska where it swept a series last weekend. Anchorage, meanwhile, remained in the Midwest after getting swept at Minnesota State a week ago. After considering all of that, I’ll say this: The Huskies are the better team, and they’ll sweep. Huskies 3-1, 5-2

Jack: The Seawolves have struggled after their solid start. They had a six-game homestand in which they won just two games. Now they’re in the midst of a long Midwestern swing in which they have to play two of the league’s best teams. I can’t see the Seawolves getting out of this one with a win. Huskies 4-1, 5-3

Northern Michigan at Alabama Huntsville

Shane: Has any team played more extra minutes than Northern Michigan this season? Six overtime games with five finishing in ties. The Wildcats like to keep things close, that’s for sure. Huntsville, meanwhile, is on a somewhat surprising six-game losing streak, although four of those games were against Tech and Bowling Green. I’m guessing there will be some OT this weekend. Wildcats 2-1, Chargers 2-1

Jack: Huntsville actually played better against Tech and BGSU than they did against a struggling Bemidji State team, which is a bit odd to me. Regardless, the Chargers played well against the Wildcats last year — going 2-1-1 with a sweep in Huntsville. I think they’ll get back on track and at least get a split (although I agree that overtime is most likely). Chargers 2-1, Wildcats 2-1

Lake Superior State at Alaska

Shane: The Lakers, too, have played a lot of extra periods, with three ties in five overtime games. They’re a tough team to figure out, but they’ve scored points in each of their last three conference series. The Nanooks haven’t made their home ice too tough on visitors, losing their last three there. They need to get that back on track if they want to get out a bottom-two spot. Nanooks 3-2, Lakers 2-1

Jack: I have a tough time figuring out both of these teams, but I have a feeling we’re going to be in splitsville again. Such is the nature of the WCHA this season, I guess. Lakers 3-2, Nanooks 3-2

Last week: Shane 8-2-0, Jack 5-5-0. Overall: Shane 45-30-17, Jack 41-34-17


  1. scoring is really down this year in the WCHL and College Hockey. There going to have to look at changing some of the rules. Goalie pads are way to large.


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