Weekend picks: Feb. 23

I extended my lead on Matthew last week thanks to Denver and Duluth, as I went 6-1-1 (.813) while Matthew went 4-3-1 (.563). On the year, I am now 90-52-20 (.617), while Matthew is 86-56-20 (.592). Two weekends are left, so let’s see how it plays out!

Friday-Saturday, Feb. 23-24

No. 12 North Dakota at Miami
Candace: If the Fighting Hawks lose, it will be on Friday, but Miami hasn’t looked good of late. North Dakota 3-2, 3-2
Matthew: I like UND to keep up the momentum it gained near the end of its series last week at Omaha. North Dakota 3-1, 3-2

No. 3 Denver at No. 1 St. Cloud State
Candace: The marquee matchup of the weekend, not just in the NCHC, but in the country. Will Denver have Troy Terry play? How about Will Borgen for St. Cloud? Who starts in net for St. Cloud? Does Bob Motzko go with freshman Dávid Hrenák in both games, considering Denver torched him in November, or play Jeff Smith in one or both? There are so many interesting storylines for this series. Denver has played well on Fridays, and Sat. Cloud not so much, so I’ll pick the reverse split. Denver 3-2, St. Cloud State 4-2
Matthew: SCSU could wrap up the Penrose Cup this weekend, but Denver will have a lot to say about that. St. Cloud State 3-2, Denver 3-2

Colorado College at No. 14 Omaha
Candace: I like CC to keep the pressure up in the conference race by getting a game here. It should prove interesting. Omaha 4-2, Colorado College 4-2
Matthew: Omaha needs to get wins where it can to solidify its NCAA tournament hopes. Getting points here might be easier than next week in Duluth, but not by much. Omaha 4-1, Colorado College 3-2

No. 9 Minnesota Duluth at No. 17 Western Michigan
Candace: Lawson hasn’t seemed quite as intimidating a place this season, but missing Wade Allison and Colt Conrad is part of that. These two split back in November, and I see that happening again. Minnesota Duluth 3-2, Western Michigan 3-2
Matthew: Can’t see UMD getting two more shutout victories here, but I think the Bulldogs will get at least a split here. Minnesota Duluth 3-1, Western Michigan 3-1