WCHA picks, Feb. 5-9

Shane here …

Jack and I visited Splitsville, and I ended up on the right side of the tracks, while Jack found out what the wrong side looked like. I not only got the North Star College Cup games right, but nailed two of the scores and was an empty-netter away from getting three, maybe all four. I guess I should have gone to Vegas. I wasn’t sure how to grade Jack’s Sunday games, since the matchups were wrong. I gave him a two wins since he had the right winners from that day (or was it out of pity?). Anyway, enough living in the past. You’re only as good as your latest picks, and there are some good WCHA matchups this weekend (and a rare, for the WCHA, Tuesday game).

Alaska Anchorage at Northern Michigan

Shane: The Seawolves got an important win on Saturday to salvage a home split against Alabama Huntsville and now have to make their final trip out of state. They’re 3-1-0 in the UP this season, but Northern Michigan has been solid at home and are trying to ensure they’re in Marquette for the playoffs. Wildcats 4-2, 5-2

Jack: I wouldn’t say NMU has been shocking this season, since I’m not sure a 10-10-6 team can be considered as such. But NMU has outperformed a bit and their results have been consistent — they haven’t had many games where things go off the rails for them, and they’ve picked up a few nice wins in the process. I think that continues this weekend. Wildcats 2-1, 3-1

Lake Superior State at Michigan Tech

Shane: It’s Winter Carnival weekend Houghton, a tradition like no other. The Huskies didn’t lose in January, going 3-0-3, including three-point weekends against the two teams ahead of them in the league standings. The Lakers were off last weekend after that drubbing in Mankato. I think Tech rolls. Huskies 5-1, 5-3

Jack: Tech has been great on the road this season, but a pretty pedestrian 4-4-1 in Houghton. I think that changes this weekend for Winter Carnival, Shane. I expect them to dominate the Lakers, who have lost their last three. Huskies 5-3, 5-4

Bowling Green at Minnesota State

Shane: This is the big matchup of the weekend, pitting the first-place Mavericks against the second-place Falcons. This series couldn’t get much closer over the last three years, with MSU holding a slim 4-3-2 edge. Five of the nine games have gone to overtime, including two ties earlier this season. Picking a split is the easy way to go here, naturally, but which team gets which day? Falcons 3-2, Mavericks 4-3

Jack: Bowling Green is probably the team that has given MSU more problems than anyone else over the last three years in the league, huh? I agree that this has split written all over it. I’ll try my luck and pick the opposite teams to win on both days. I may as well go for broke because I need the wins. Mavericks 5-4, Falcons 3-2

Ferris State at Alaska

Shane: The Nanooks finally get some home games, their first since Jan. 2-3. They haven’t won at home since Nov. 6 and want desperately to get out of non-playoff position. The Bulldogs are trying to maintain a home-ice spot, meanwhile, as well as keep a five-game unbeaten streak going. Both streaks end this weekend. Bulldogs 3-2, Nanooks 3-2

Jack: In my three things blog last week I mixed up the Alaska schools’ standings positions. I guess this is what happens when I write my blog on a Sunday after two fulls days of hockey at the X…. Anyway, the Nanooks haven’t looked great for most of this season, while the Bulldogs have been surprisingly good without CJ Motte. I think they extend their unbeaten streak and (finally!) sweep somebody. Bulldogs 3-2, 3-2

Bemidji State at Minnesota Duluth (Tuesday)

Shane:  I almost forgot about this makeup game from Oct. 9 when the power went out in Duluth last fall. Perhaps they should have played this last Thursday and made it a play-in game for the North Star Cup, getting all five Minnesota teams there. Anyway, I feel a lot different about both of these teams than I did five months ago. Beavers 4, Bulldogs 2

Jack:  You really wanted to force the defending North Star College Cup Champions into a play-in game before this year’s tournament? For shame, Shane…. Anyway, the Beavers have been surprisingly dominant against the Bulldogs: BSU is 4-1-1 in the past four years, which includes wins in the North Star Cup last year and earlier this year when the Bulldogs were the No. 2 team in the country. I think it’s pretty clear now that the Bulldogs aren’t quite the team we thought they were, and the Beavers might be (somewhat) underestimated. I think BSU wins again. Beavers 5, Bulldogs 2

Last week: Shane 10-1-1, Jack 3-8-1. Overall: Shane 92-49-27, Jack 74-67-27