Weekend picks: Oct. 12

Thanks to St. Cloud State and my picking Vermont the first night, I’m already up by two games on Matthew in our annual season picks race. Last week, I went 6-4-1 (.590), not exactly gangbusters, while Matthew went 4-6-1 (.409).

Some big series on the docket this weekend. Let’s get to it.

Friday-Saturday, Oct. 13-14

No. 1 Denver at No. 4 Notre Dame:
Candace: A huge early-season series. I wasn’t that impressed with Notre Dame last weekend, but having a weekend under their belt may help. Still, I’m going for the NCHC homer pick. Denver 3-2, 3-2
Matthew: Without question the series of the weekend. Denver’s on the road, but the Pioneers will give Notre Dame plenty of trouble. Split. Denver 3-2, Notre Dame 3-2

Alaska at No. 6 St. Cloud State
Candace: St. Cloud looked impressive last weekend, and should keep it going. St. Cloud State 3-1, 4-1
Matthew: Alaska is in the process of figuring out its goaltending. Not sure how definitive it gets there this weekend. St. Cloud State 3-1, 3-1

Omaha at No. 12 UMass Lowell
Candace: I don’t know what to expect from the Mavericks just yet, but Lowell didn’t set the world on fire last weekend against New Hampshire. I expect the River Hawks to come out ferociously in game one and take it. Not sure about game two though. UMass Lowell 3-1, Omaha 3-2
Matthew: A very interesting test right out of the chute for Mike Gabinet and co. I’m leaning toward giving Omaha a sweep here, but Lowell will be out to prove itself after being swept by New Hampshire. UMass Lowell 4-3, Omaha 3-2

St. Lawrence at No. 8 North Dakota
Candace: Back in the friendly confines of the Ralph, the Fighting Hawks will look to build on a disappointing first weekend that saw two games against Alaska Anchorage go to OT. North Dakota 3-1, 3-1
Matthew: St. Lawrence is 0-2 but against big-name opposition. The Saints won’t fear UND, but I like the Fighting Hawks to sweep. North Dakota 3-2, 3-1

No. 15 Clarkson at Western Michigan
Candace: Western looked awesome at home and vulnerable on the road. The perils of a young team. Clarkson got to beat up on Big Ten teams last weekend, beating Penn State and Michigan. I’m really unsure of this one. Western Michigan 3-2, Clarkson 4-2
Matthew: Both teams have started the season well, and I’m curious to see if Clarkson can keep rolling on its first road trip. A high-scoring split wouldn’t surprise me. Western Michigan 5-3, Clarkson 3-2

Alaska Anchorage at Colorado College
Candace: Colorado College rebounded impressively last Saturday against Vermont. Anchorage looked tough against North Dakota last weekend, with goalie Olivier Mantha turning aside a ridiculous number of shots. CC was terrible at home last season. This all adds up to a split. Colorado College 2-1, Alaska Anchorage 2-1
Matthew: UAA played North Dakota tight in both games last weekend, and CC won at home just once last season. I want to give the Tigers a sweep here, but I’m not confident. Colorado College 3-2, Alaska Anchorage 3-1

No. 5 Minnesota Duluth vs Bemidji State (home-and-home)
Candace: Surprisingly, it wasn’t offense that was tough to come by for the Bulldogs last weekend, but defense. Still, I’m going to go with the NCHC homer pick. Minnesota Duluth 3-2, 3-2
Matthew: I want to take the homer pick and saw Duluth sweeps, but I think Michael Bitzer steals one. Home teams win. Bemidji State 3-1, Minnesota Duluth 4-1