The WCHA schedule houses one of the top NCAA matchups this weekend when Bemidji State travels to Minnesota State.
It’s one of three series featuring a top-20 team.
Let’s get picking.
Ferris State at/vs Michigan State (Thursday/Saturday)
Sean: Ferris State has found a nice offensive groove after getting healthier at forward, and younger players have stepped up and learned throughout the course of the season. A home-and-home with Michigan State should be a chance to build on recent success. Bulldogs 4-2, 3-2.
Jack: A rare (for the midwestern hockey leagues) Thursday/Saturday series. Today’s game is in East Lansing while Saturday’s game in Big Rapids is already sold out. I can see some rowdy fans in Ewigleben pushing the Bulldogs to a sweep. Bulldogs 3-2, 5-3
No. 15 Bemidji State at No. 11 Minnesota State
Sean: The Minnesota-based teams are each good at the same time, and the winner of this series can lay claim as the WCHA’s best team. Minnesota State has had the recent success, winning four of the past five, but I think Bemidji gets it done this week. Beavers 3-2, 2-0.
Jack: I do wish I could watch this series in person. I’m covering football instead, but you best be sure I’ll have every minute of this on my computer. As well as the Beavers are playing, I think the Mavericks are going to be the team that hands them their first loss. It’s only appropriate. Beavers 4-2, Mavericks 3-1
No. 20 Lake Superior State at Michigan Tech
Sean: Lake Superior State is going to be getting its fair of road tests for the remainder of 2016, and that starts with a trip within the UP. The Lakers have the offense to get it done, and a road sweep should be a nice confidence booster. Lakers 5-2, 4-2.
Jack: I think the Lakers are legit — that 5-1 win over Minnesota State proved it — but I don’t think they’re at the point where they will be able to go into Houghton and sweep. This seems like a split, especially considering how well the Huskies have been playing. Huskies 4-3, Lakers 5-3
Alaska at Alabama Huntsville
Sean: The Chargers should be favored in this series as they return home for just the second home series of the season. Huntsville also gets back a key asset in goal with Carmine Guerriero returning and likely playing for the first time this season. Chargers 3-1, 2-1.
Jack: Did the Chargers turn the corner after that series in Anchorage? It seemed like it, but I think the Nanooks are a much better team than the Seawolves. This one also seems like a split to me. Chargers 3-2, Nanooks 4-2
Bowling Green at Northern Michigan
Sean: Bowling Green and Northern Michigan have both started to turn things around and seem to be trending in the right direction over the past couple weeks. This has been a historically close series, and it should hold serve that way this weekend. Falcons 3-2, Wildcats 3-2.
Jack: Bowling Green finally got a conference win last weekend. Northern Michigan also just has one (but has beaten Wisconsin twice). This seems like a big split. Wildcats 4-3, Falcons 3-1
Alaska-Anchorage at No. 12 Penn State
Sean: The second Big 10-WCHA meeting this week has Anchorage traveling to Penn State against a top-15 team. Penn State is slowly building a strong program in the Big 10, and this one feels like a sweep. Nittany Lions 4-2, 5-1.
Jack: I can’t see the Seawolves doing much this weekend. The travel and their recent track record doesn’t bode well. Nittany Lions 5-2, 4-3.