We’ve got one more full week of action before the holiday break — as of next week, the schedule gets a little more complicated. Some will be playing nonconference games. Some won’t be playing at all.
But for now, there’s one week full of conference action — one that will be big for all teams as they head into the season’s halfway point.
But enough chitchat. Let’s make these picks!
Michigan Tech at Bowling Green
Jack: What looked like a heavyweight battle in the preseason might have lost some of its luster the way both team’s started (with a thud). But now, it seems like both the Huskies and the Falcons are finally playing up to their potential — so much so that I don’t think either team has the upper hand. This is going to be a really entertaining split, methinks. Huskies 3-1, Falcons 5-2
Sean: This is going to be a fun series to watch. Both teams are looking to prove they are the teams we thought they were before the season, and both have taken major strides after slow starts. Jack is right on this one, it’s going to be a split. Falcons 4-3, Huskies 3-2.
Minnesota State at Ferris State
Jack: This is the series I had the most trouble picking, but I think history has to guide us. The Bulldogs won their first game of the season in Mankato and have won 5 of 8 since. The Mavs haven’t had a sweep since winning four straight to start the season. I think both of those things hold true: A split this weekend looks likely. Mavericks 4-2, Bulldogs 4-3
Sean: The Bulldogs started to turn around the season with a win against the Mavericks, and have done a nice job of building momentum since. The Mavericks have been a hard team to figure out since a strong start. They can’t seem to completely control a weekend series, but they’re also never out of a game. Bulldogs 3-2, 4-3.
Alabama Huntsville at Northern Michigan
Jack: The Chargers are playing decent hockey right now. Meanwhile, the Wildcats won their first game since Nov. 4 against Wisconsin when they beat Alaska Anchorage on the road last weekend. I think UAH is going to get the sweep in a pair of close games. Chargers 3-2, 2-1
Sean: If Alabama Huntsville wants to move up the WCHA standings a little bit, this is the opportunity. Northern Michigan isn’t playing at high level and the Chargers a bit of confidence as they head to Northern Michigan. Chargers 3-2, Wildcats 4-2
Lake Superior State at Bemidji State
Jack: The Beavers have looked a little more vulnerable in the past two weekends, as they have lost three times in their last four games. This may be somewhat troubling — especially considering they’ve scored just six goals in that span — but their defense is still getting the job done. The question is, will the Lakers offense be able to crack the BSU defense? I think they may do it once, but Michael Bitzer and Co. won’t let it happen twice in a series. Lakers 5-2, Beavers 3-1
Sean: The Lakers offense has the capability to catch fire at any moment, while the Beavers have the defense and goaltending to shut down any team in the country. The Beavers have been tough at home, and I think they sink the Lakers this weekend. Beavers 2-0, 3-1
Alaska Anchorage at Alaska
Jack: The Nanooks have done a decent job hanging with the top half of the conference so one would think they would be able to handle their instate rival with ease. However, these are rivalry games for a reason and I think the Seawolves will steal one on the road. Seawolves 2-1, Nanooks 6-2
Sean: For two teams near the bottom of the standings a rivalry game could be just the thing they need. The Nanooks should be favored on paper, but the Seawolves won’t want to lose to their in-state rival. It should be an entertaining split. Seawolves 3-2, Nanooks 5-4