Weekend Picks: Feb. 18

Matthew gained a game back on me last week, as I thought Western Michigan might win one against Omaha. I went 3-2 while Matthew went 4-1. On the year, I am 95-45-14, while Matthew is 91-49-14.

Thursday, Saturday, Feb. 18, 20

No. 10 Denver versus Colorado College (Saturday: Coors Field)
Candace: I think I’ll give Matthew a chance to catch me. This could backfire, as Denver might be prone to a letdown after last week’s emotional sweep of North Dakota, but I think Denver sweeps again. Denver 3-2, 4-2
Matthew: I’m going to go out on a limb(-ish) here and say home teams win in this series this weekend. Colorado College 3-2, Denver 3-1

Friday-Saturday, Feb. 19-20

Minnesota-Duluth at No. 4 North Dakota
Candace: Duluth got shut out twice at home by North Dakota in December. Granted, the Fighting Hawks have shown some more vulnerability in the second half, but I like them to get back on track at home. North Dakota 3-1, 3-1
Matthew: UMD will be a tough out here, but I have a feeling UND takes both games. North Dakota 3-2, 4-2

No. 3 St. Cloud State at No. 12 Omaha
Candace: These two split in St. Cloud back in December. Hard to see it as anything other than another split. St. Cloud 3-1, Omaha 3-2
Matthew: This maybe isn’t quite as mouth-watering a series as we’d thought earlier in the season, but it’s still going to be very entertaining. Split. St. Cloud State 3-2, Omaha 3-2

Miami at Western Michigan
Candace: It won’t be easy, but I see Miami getting a sweep here and continuing to gain momentum. Miami 2-1, 3-1
Matthew: They’re on the road, but I like the RedHawks here. Miami 3-2, 4-2


  1. Mn finally put a series together. I don’t know what Lucia/Guentzel did to get them to play defense, but I hope they can keep it up. They have relied on Kangas too long and he was not playing with any confidence. Good time for playoff push. Not a lot of pairwise points but a chip and a chair looks good now.

    • Lucia and Guentzel had very little to do with it. The difference was Wilcox. The Gophers scored the same number of goals that they did when they went to Yost for the weekend. The difference was that Wilcox did not give up 7 questionable goals as he did that weekend in January. As Wilcox goes, so do the Gophers.

      • Partially disagree — lots to do with Wilcox. But also think the gophers looked more interested in playing defense, more aggressive, more willing to take the body, less willing to tolerate shenanigans in front of Wilcox. Overall, I think entire teams picked up on defense —- but do agree, Wilcox looked sharper than he had recently….

        • What did you do to get exiled? Bonaparte II? Solzhenitsyn II?

          If the exile stemmed from cheering for the Badgers…..please don’t share.

        • I agree with Exiled. They are playing better team defense. Not turning the puck over in their own zone, not leaving guys open in the slot, being more aggressive. It was as if Wilcox couldn’t shake off a mistake. If he left a fat rebound or let in a softy, he was fighting the puck all night.
          Better defense gives goalies more confidence and they play better. Better goaltending means more wins. More wins brings more confidence. Maybe they just needed a magic feather or Susan Sarandon’s underwear.

        • I understand your statement and believe in the first half that there were some major defensive lapses with the 3 new defensemen being rotated in the lineup the SCSU game was a good example of Wilcox being hung out to dry, but with Collins sort of assuming that 6 Dman role in the second half I have more more than happy with the defensive play, when Skeji has been in the lineup. Since the new year. I honestly believe it has Wilcox letting in squeakers or atypical goals as opposed to major defensive gaffs. I do however, think that there have been some team defensive breakdowns that have been to blame, the Friday night game against Wisconsin at Mariucci comes to mind.

  2. So since there was a huge article about offense last week and save for the Gophers 6 goals on Friday night, there was very little of it last weekend, I suspect that we will see a huge article about defense and goaltending this week, correct?


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