Pickin’ the WCHA: Jan. 21-23

Shane here …

Believe it or not, I made it home from Houghton unscathed on Sunday despite the fact that the town got 27 or so inches of lake-effect snow last Saturday while I was there for the Minnesota State-Michigan Tech series. While I was worried about getting out of town, the Yoopers basically said, “This is nuthin,” and went about their business, including nearly filling up the MacInnes Arena for the second game of that series. That’s college hockey right there. Tech gets the weekend off after that three-point weekend, but six teams are in action, as are Jack and I and our picks. …

Alaska Anchorage at Bowling Green

Shane: The Seawolves wrap up a two-week road trip with this Thursday-Friday series at Bowling Green. It’s an important weekend for both teams, who are trying to create a little separation in the standings. Anchorage, which is tied with rival (and idle) Alaska for eighth has been better on the road than previous years, but it’s hard to pick against the Falcons, who are tied for second with Michigan Tech, at home. Falcons 3-2, 4-2

Jack: Normally I would agree and call for a BGSU sweep in this series — especially as good as they’ve been at home — but they’ve struggled in general lately. I think the Seawolves can score one win. Seawolves 4-1, Falcons 3-2

Lake Superior State at Minnesota State

Shane: The Mavericks made it to Mankato before I did, and I don’t think they were too happy about getting just one point against the Huskies. Scoring continues to be an issue for them, and the stingy Lakers won’t willingly help them get on track. Still, something tells me MSU is poised for a breakout weekend, and this could be it. Mavericks 5-2, 4-2

Jack: The Lakers have been somewhat resurgent in the second half of the year, scoring a win against Bowling Green and tying Michigan Tech in the past month-and-a-half. They haven’t played Minnesota State yet, and although the Mavericks will surely be surly after getting just the point against Tech, I think the Lakers may be able to win a squeaker and earn the split. Lakers 2-1, Mavericks 6-2

Ferris State at Bemidji State

Shane: The Beavers are the hottest team in the conference right now. They’re on a six-game unbeaten streak with five wins and 4.1 goals per game over that stretch. The Bulldogs are playing well, too, and — I know this sounds like a broken record (kids today know what that means, right?) — they find a way to get points every weekend. A split is the safe bet here. Beavers 5-2, Bulldogs 3-2

Jack: This series is turning into a nice little rivalry since the Bulldogs joined the WCHA. BSU and Ferris have already played 12 times in the past three seasons (these two games will be Nos. 13 and 14), including first-round playoff series in both 2014 and 2015. (Both of those playoff series featured Ferris advancing following a marathon overtime in game two). Anyway, the teams already split a series earlier this season in Big Rapids. And although the Beavs are red-hot right now, I think the Bulldogs will cool them down somewhat and earn yet another split. Beavers 5-3, Bulldogs 4-3

Last week: Shane 5-4-2, Jack 5-4-2. Overall: Shane 78-47-25, Jack 69-56-25