Weekend picks: Nov. 17

Picking reverse sweeps from Matthew for CC-Omaha and Denver-St. Cloud worked out well for me, as I again opened a two-game lead on him. Last week, I went 6-1-1  (.8125) while Matthew went 4-3-1 (.562). On the year, I am 40-19-8 (.656) while Matthew is 38-21-8 (.626).

Let’s see if we do any better this week.

Friday-Saturday, Nov. 17-18

No. 3 North Dakota at No. 1 Denver
Candace: This is the marquee series of the weekend. These two always seem to bring a unique intensity when they face each other. A split is the only logical choice. Denver 3-2, North Dakota 3-2
Matthew: I’d be really impressed if Denver was to sweep two top-three opponents in back-to-back weeks, but I’m not counting on it. Denver 3-1, North Dakota 3-1

No. 14 Minnesota Duluth at Miami
Candace: Minnesota Duluth has been struggling, and Miami has looked like it’s on the verge of putting it together. I think this is a split. Minnesota Duluth 3-2, Miami 3-2
Matthew: Duluth is 1-3 in its last four and is on the road this weekend. Miami isn’t as formidable right now as UMD’s past two opponents, but I like Miami to take one here. Minnesota Duluth 3-1, Miami 3-2

Colorado College at No. 2 St. Cloud State
Candace: I’m guessing that St. Cloud will do exactly what Denver did last weekend. The Pios got swept on the road and learned their lesson and then swept a tough opponent at home. Look for St. Cloud to do the same. St. Cloud State 3-2, 3-2
Matthew: I’m really tempted to pick a split here considering CC’s start to the season, but I think St. Cloud will find a way to win both games. St. Cloud State 3-2, 4-2

Omaha at No. 15 Western Michigan
Candace: Just to pick a game differently than Matthew, I’ll go with a split, though picking against the Broncos at home is dicey. Omaha 3-2, Western Michigan 3-2
Matthew: Western’s been very good at home so far. Difficult to pick against them at Lawson. Western Michigan 3-1, 3-1


  1. Just my opinions but I can’t disagree with you more on just about every point in this article. ANYONE looks good against UW, even MSU. They still aren’t going anywhere, and I think that’s ridiculous to imply otherwise. Ferris State is a pretty mediocre, middle of the pack team this year and they may have gotten hot lately but I don’t think it provides any inclination that defense isn’t necessary for Michigan. Personally, I don’t think Michigan is going to fare well in post season play as they’ve yet to play a non-conference team with a decent defense this year but that remains to be seen. Penn State got rocked on Saturday against OSU, I think they’re pretty inconsistent and have more work to do. I don’t consider them a contender for first. MI vs. MN will be huge for either team this weekend and deciding factor for this conference year, I’m not excited by the rest of the schedule this season and find it pretty inconsequential.

  2. If someone ran the numbers, I’d be Penn State’s odds of winning the league are less than 5%. The other two have two games in hand on them and they’re four points out of 1st place at the moment. My gut is the odds are something like 75% for Minnesota, 20% for Michigan, and 5% for Penn State.

    • Hey Brandon, Yes the state of B10 Hockey is terrible right now. I agree. But if all teams were stronger, we would have one, two teams (in conference play) at the most, just over 0.500. Two teams at 0.500 and two teams just one or two games under 0.500. Nothing there to create glee among committee members. And still just one team in the tourney.

      • If all teams were stronger the non conference records would reflect it. Only Michigan has done well out of conference although not a very strong slate of opponents.

  3. Paula, this post should have been titled “My three wishes, just in case I I find a genie.” I know there isn’t much to analyze, with only two conf games and one non conf.
    1. Of course MSU isn’t done, nor are any of the five other teams. MAYBE, Jake Hildebrand can find the groove he was in last year, he found it against Michigan. He needs a three game groove in the conference tournament, my guess is highly unlikely. I you have a soft spot for MSU, I can accept that. Just say so.
    2.Defense does matter. Mich has padded the scoresheet against weak opponents, in and out of conf play. Their SOS is only 35. They get to the NCAA tourney, but not as a 1 seed. They draw a first round opponent of the BU, Harvard, UNO variety. All more battle tested than Mich. That said, Mich can make a run, it just won’t be as easy as B1G competition. If you have a soft spot for Mich, just say so. Don’t fantasize that their obvious weaknesses just don’t matter. Ask the Redman if he’s concerned about his defense.
    3.This is the worst of the bunch. PSU has only the faintest possibility to win the RS title. Their best outcome while idle this weekend is have the top two teams split, or Mich get 4 points. If Minn or Mich manage a sweep, call them the champs, especially Minn because they finish the season against the bottom two teams, less so Mich since they face OSU and PSU in their final series. As an aside, we’re getting into my fantasy territory to think of PSU earning a road sweep at Mich, Either way, PSU trails by 7 pts with 4 games to play, and 2 of them are at Mich. After Mich and Minn figure out the 1-2 slots the rest of the conf standings are already set. With Minn home this weekend I would give them a slight edge on Mich. My odds on RS champs: Minn 55%, Mich 40%, PSU 5%. Minn looks very good if they can find at least a split this weekend. Happy that BTN stoops low to televise both games.

  4. Come on Paula. Be realistic here. MSU is one game over .500 in the last eight, and now your jumping up and down hysterically saying they have a chance? Sorry, but no. They have Minny and OSU at home after this bye week. Maybe one win (against OSU) of the four. This MSU team is not consistent enough to beat cake batter regularly. They managed to put seven goals up on UW, but were thoroughly. Jake got extremely lucky more then once last week-end. The Defense in front (or more correctly, off to the side) was dismal yet again. I must ask, did you even watch a recording or replay of Fridays game (Saturday was not televised, or even broadcast on the Spartan Sports Network. I had to stream the Wisconsin broadcast)? This programs first road sweep SINCE 2012 IS NOTHING TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT. Not when they were out played so badly. This program is in the toilet, and nothing but tCHHCoMSU being told to find different employment is going to change that.

      • Lets see: Nine recruits coming in the fall (this from college Hockey News) 3- D. 5 forwards, and 1 GT. MSU will have a GT who is a Jr. But has hardly seen playing time in two years in Ed Minney. Most of the D is either sophomores (if Zack Osborn stays, I hear through the grapevine he may not. Rumor? ) or Freshmen. A couple of D will be Sr’s but cannot be relied upon to skate over the blue line without falling. One D who will be a So (or RS FR, Jared Rosburg) hasn’t played in over a year due to injury that hasn’t healed. The forwards may be okay. But the defense as well as the Goal Tending situation leaves much to be desired. I can see this program contending for a B10 title and possible NCAA berth by 2020. But not before, unless tCHHCoMSU is replaced with someone who actually can coach players up. This current staff has a terrible history of developing players. Villiam Haag for example. I have seen over 500 MSU Hockey games since the mid 1980’s (add in 30-40 in the 1970’s) And close to 700 College hockey games over all. Other then UIC (U.Illinois-Chicago), Miami (1980’s to the late 90’s) , UAH, this MSU program is the poorest example of College Hockey, I think, I have ever witnessed. And that goes for Amo Bessone’s last teams.

  5. I have to think that Leclerc will steal a game in St. Cloud. CC playing on big ice, I think they will keep up with SCSU and have a split on the weekend.

  6. Looking forward to a great weekend, think a split is thw logical choice. Candace, don’t forget to bring a teddy bear, or stuffed toy, when you come Saturday. This is the Toys for Tots weekend, where fans throw them on the ice between periods.


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