Weekend picks: Jan. 20

Matthew and I both did pretty terrible last week, but thanks to North Dakota, I got another game on him in our picks race. Last week, I went a dismal 3-5 (.375), while Matthew went 2-6 (.250). On the year, I am now 63-46-18 (.567) while Matthew is 52-57-18 (.480). Hey, at least I’m picking better than .500!

Friday-Saturday, Jan. 20-21

No. 2 Denver at St. Cloud State
Candace: St. Cloud showed signs of waking up last weekend against Minnesota-Duluth, and is at home, but every time I think the Huskies are going to break out, they lose, so … Denver 3-2, 3-2
Matthew: St. Cloud needs to get a move on, but I don’t know if it happens against Denver. I’ll take the Pioneers to sweep on the road. Denver 3-2, 3-2

No. 4 Minnesota-Duluth at No. 8 North Dakota
Candace: The Hawks should be extra motivated since the Bulldogs swept them in Duluth back in November. However, I don’t think North Dakota can return the favor. However, I’ll probably get the split dates wrong. North Dakota 4-2, Minnesota-Duluth 3-2
Matthew: This ought to be a terrific series that, to me, has “split” written all over it. Watch this pick turn out wrong, though. That happens with me sometimes. (A lot of the time.) North Dakota 3-1, Minnesota-Duluth 3-1

Miami at No. 19 Omaha
Candace: Omaha is back at home, which means they’ll probably get swept. Every time I think I have a handle on either of these teams I’m wrong. Omaha swept the last time they played, if that means anything, but it was in the middle of Miami’s moribund November. I’ll take a rider on a split. Omaha 3-2, Miami 2-1
Matthew: I’m not really sure how Miami isn’t ranked, given the way they’ve been playing in recent weeks. I don’t know if UNO gets swept here but the RedHawks will get something. Omaha 3-2, Miami 3-1

Colorado College at No. 13 Western Michigan
Candace: While the Tigers have been better on the road, to me Western Michigan has been one of the better teams in the conference, and frankly should be in the top 10 in the polls, but what do I know? Western Michigan 3-1, 3-2
Matthew: CC is so much better on the road this season than the Tigers have been at home, and I sort of want to give them some love here. Maybe a bit of a leap, but I’ll take a split. Colorado College 3-2, Western Michigan 4-1


  1. A couple things: 1) Michigan hasn’t played an NCHC team this season 2) The NCHC also has CC, one of the worst teams in college hockey. let’s not give them too much credit beyond UNO, SCSU, UND and Denver. UMD is decent and WMU is on par with the B1G Ten.

    • Things: 1) Michigan has avoided losing to an NCHC team by not playing one. Being shutout at home by Robert Morris and tying Dartmouth at home is not great for their resume. 2) UMD would win the B1G, WMU would finish 2nd, and CC would not be last.

      • CC would probably be last in the big 10 too. Western would be mid pack cause I don’t se them sweeping Minnesota, Wisconsin or Michigan. I miss the old days of good Rodent and Badger hockey and hope they can figure out what’s wrong before it’s too late. Good luck the rest of the way!

      • Sorry to interupt your ignorant coronation as the most arrogant and condescending league in the NCAA’s. CC wouId struggle to compete in the AHA this season and short of the last couple of years in the CCHA, WMU was an annual doormat, too.

        Truth is, fans don’t have much of a say in their team’s scheduling. Last I checked, Michigan didn’t back down going out East the last few years against the league that actually won the NCAA title last season and the league that won it the previous season. Also- may want to check the pairwise and see where UMD is right now with their .500 record. RMU may win their league, no embarrassment losing to an older and more experienced team that should make the big dance. Give the Colonials credit, it wasn’t a fluke. Dartmouth played 200% better on Saturday after being embarrassed, too. Both games the goaltenders stood on their heads.

        • There was no coronation, simply the fact of how schools with great hockey tradition (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan State) have fallen off talent-wise in a relatively short time. Worse yet, they might have a hard time recruiting, since the B1G has become a minor player nationally. Going East for a few years is the right move, DU has played BC/BU for the last 12 and it helps to see where your team compares to really class teams.

          • That is what Michigan State tried to do this season with scheduling the likes of Denver, BC, UNH, MTU, and UND. See how they match up. They just proved to the rest of College Hockey that they are nowhere near what they once were. And are years (if not forever) away from being relevant in Hockey again.

          • Don’t say “forever”. College hockey is like other sports, cyclical. The powers to be that thought the forming of a hockey league to resemble the Big Ten football equivalent were not very realistic. Too many hockey “rivalries” far out weight a “newly formed” conference. Taking teams from the old WCHA and CCHA, along with a “new” Penn State has not worked so far.

          • Oh I agree. Cyclical. But this could be the fourth year in a row that MSU will have missed the tournament. The last such stretch was 1978-81. But, there has been very little improvement (with the exception of being able to make a cross ice pass now.) in the program. This is what happens when you hire a marketing person as your head coach.

          • Got to believe Hildebrand will “steal” enough games to keep the Spartan mid-pack, maybe enough to host a first round game. When I saw him at the beginning of the year, he reminded me of Rumpel last year for a poor Badger team.

          • Ah…the B10 has no ‘on campus’ play-off games. Given that there are only 6 programs, they all go directly to the tournament finals site. It really takes away from the excitement of play-off Hockey. And Jake’s GAA has gone from low 2.0’s to somewhere over 3. He isn’t even in the top 50 Goal Tenders in College Hockey right now.

          • Look at the teams he has faced, and huge SOG differential. The games I saw, there were no D-Men to clear the puck when he gave up rebounds. Rumpel had same type of stats last year but was still one of the better goalies in NCAA.

  2. 2 teams with winning records and PSU’s record (of playing mostly nobody) may be a bit dubious, does not bode well for the national tournament.

  3. I don’t think there’s anything the BI6 can do to get more than one team into the NCAAs this year.
    So far, it’s not clear they deserve even one.

    I am not trying to rag on Lucia, but I will say that his teams are routinely stacked with talent, while not routinely being all that good.
    It seems to me way too many players leave after two years, so the concentration of talent is always in the freshman and sophomore classes.
    These players are generally undisciplined, selfish, and lacking in mental toughness.
    Ergo, they don’t make a great team.

    I predict MN will be around the .500 mark for the season, including a few surprise conference and a passel of non-conf losses.

  4. This past week-end shows just how far MSU has yet to go in their
    ‘Rebuilding’. Five years into the Anastos regime, and MSU is getting
    pummeled by those they used to be on par with. Even during.the Comley
    era (which in case anyone has forgotten, produced a NC) they competed
    well with those types of teams.

    Out scored 20-8 in 6 games by top
    ten teams this season. And if you remove the three goals scored in 2
    minutes at BC, that drops to 5 goals scored against those teams. And
    with Hildebrand struggling……….
    I just don’t see anything good happening with this program. If anyone else see’s a silver lining, please share.

  5. Oh how the mighty have fallen, Minnesota has a 3 billion dollar budget and they still can’t get winning program in Hockey or Football. I have a feeling though you’ll still get some maroon and gold homer whining about how if the state colleges didn’t have athletics that the u would have more money. Never mind the state colleges are D2 with the exception of hockey, and they are all underfunded to begin with and have laughably small athletic budgets.

  6. Get past the fact that I am a Sioux fan to hear this out. The problem started when the 6 teams formed the Big 10 conference. There simply weren’t enough quality teams. Most recruits are ‘over’ the allure of playing for Michigan or Minnesota, etc. It’s possible the Gophers are the 4th best team from Minnesota this year. I think the recruiting battles tipped to NCHC and HE once the Big Ten formed. It’s getting worse for the Big 10.

    • True.
      But are you aware that the programs really had no choice in the matter? The B10 by-laws say that when there enough B10 members playing a sport to qualify for the NCAA tournament, they must form a B10 conference for that sport. So when PSU Hockey jumped from a Club Sport, to D1, that made the requisite 6 teams. The others were forced to drop their CCHA and WCHA affiliations and join in a B10 Hockey Conference.

  7. This is probably an ignorant question with an obvious answer, but I’m going to ask it anyway because, well, things just seem so dire right now.

    Is there ANY chance the BI6 could just stop sponsoring hockey?

    • I don’t get that one either because Crooksten played down at D3 after D2 hockey went belly up. So no scholarships were involved and that is one of the biggest expenses in a sport, especially a D1 sport. I think there are some at the U of M who would drop a deuce if St.Cloud State or Minnesota State ever went D1, For now they still have a enough control over Duluth to keep the Bulldogs from going D1 but I think U of M views Duluth as a colony that has grown too big and would love to move them down.

  8. So, it’s the opposite. The 6 schools, as I stated, showed their arrogance by forming the Big 10 league. Their situation is of their own making. It won’t improve if Nebraska, Rutgers and Iowa join. In fact, it will get worse.

    • Pairwise it will get much worse since almost their entire league play will be against teams that will be ranked near the bottom of the PWR standings. The article I mentioned appeared to make it sound like the Gophers were a driving force in forming the B1G. Perhaps they mistakenly thought this would be an easy automatic berth into the Regionals every year.


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