Just three series on tap this weekend. Seems weird considering there are only two weeks left in the regular season, but I suppose that makes things more unpredictable! It’s the WCHA, what do you expect?
Anyway, the only thing that has been clinched so far is the MacNaughton Cup and the playoff No. 1 seed. And Bemidji State is idle this weekend.
That means everything else is still up for grabs, so all three series are important.
Here are the picks!
Alaska Anchorage at Ferris State
Jack: The Seawolves need some wins and some help to escape the WCHA cellar. But the good news for them: If they get a sweep they can pull into a tie with Ferris, who is currently in fifth place. The Bulldogs, too, can pull even with fourth-place Bowling Green with a sweep of their own. I don’t think either of those things are going to happen, though. UAA gets a split and goes back to Alaska with playoff hopes intact. Bulldogs 3-2, Seawolves 2-1
Northern Michigan at Minnesota State
Jack: Both of these teams need the points, but let’s be real: The thing most people are going to be paying attention to this week is how long Atte Tolvenen’s scoreless streak is going to extend. If the NMU goalie makes it to the end of the second period without giving up a Maverick goal, he’s going to have the all-time men’s record all to himself. I think he’ll do that, but the catch: MSU is going to score late and break it up to make a game out of it (and keep him tied for five on the all-time shutout list). This feels like a split. Wildcats 2-1, Mavericks 4-1
Lake Superior State at Alaska
Jack: How close is the bottom half of the WCHA standings? Ferris State, in fifth, has 32 points. LSSU and NMU are tied for sixth with 31. And Alaska and Alabama Huntsville are tied for eighth with 30. Yikes. I have a very good gut feeling that nothing is going to be cleared up this weekend. Calling a split. Lakers 3-1, Nanooks 3-1