Women’s D-I weekend picks Jan. 18: No. 2 Minnesota versus No. 1 Wisconsin

20 Nov 15: Kelly Pannek (Minnesota - 19). The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers host the Yale University Bulldogs in a non-conference matchup at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, MN. (Jim Rosvold/University of Minnesota)
Kelly Pannek (Minnesota – 19) and Minnesota renew their rivalry with Wisconsin at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, MN. (Jim Rosvold/University of Minnesota)
I had a pretty good weekend from the point of view of extending my lead on Nicole, but it was middling otherwise, as I went 18-8-2 (.678) while Nicole was 14-12-2 (.535). On the year, I am 190-78-32 (.686), while Nicole is 178-90-32 (.646). A series between the top two teams in the country is just one of the highlights of the weekend.Friday, Jan. 18Yale at No. 6 ClarksonCandace: Home ice and a desperate team equals a Golden Knights win. Clarkson 4-1Nicole: This one is interesting, as Yale won their earlier meeting. I’ll take Clarkson at home, but this could be fun to watch. Clarkson 3-1No. 7 Cornell at DartmouthCandace: Cornell needs this, and shouldn’t struggle. Cornell 3-1Nicole: Cornell should win. Cornell 4-1No. 8 Colgate at HarvardCandace: The Raiders have been very consistently inconsistent, but I like them to win a close one. Colgate 2-1Nicole: Colgate wins. Colgate 2-0Brown at St. LawrenceCandace: St. Lawrence has fallen off pretty badly, but Brown has even more so. St. Lawrence 3-1Nicole: I expect St. Lawrence to win this one. St. Lawrence 3-1Friday, Saturday, Jan. 18-19Mercyhurst at RITCandace: RIT has been playing better, but I think the Lakers are too strong. Mercyhurst 3-1, 2-1Nicole: I’ll pick the Lakers to sweep this one. Mercyhurst 3-0, 2-1Robert Morris at SyracuseCandace: With Mercyhurst nipping at its heels, Robert Morris comes out strong. Robert Morris 2-1, 3-1Nicole: I’ll pick a split here. Robert Morris 4-2, Syracuse 3-2No. 3 Northeastern versus ConnecticutCandace: Northeastern should roll in this series. Northeastern 4-1, 4-1Nicole: This is a rematch of last year’s Hockey East tournament title game, and the two haven’t played each other yet this year. I expect that Northeastern sweeps. Northeastern 4-1, 3-1No. 10 Boston College at VermontCandace: BC has too much talent to not pick up its game at some point, so I’ll keep picking them. Boston College 3-1, 3-1Nicole: I have a hard time picking BC to sweep right now, so I’ll take a split here with Vermont taking game one. Vermont 2-1, Boston College 3-1Maine at MerrimackCandace: Two teams that are very up and down. I’ll take a split. Merrimack 2-1, Maine 2-1Nicole: I’m going to take a flyer and take Merrimack sweeping at home. Merrimack 3-2, 2-1Holy Cross versus Boston UniversityCandace: Holy Cross has been playing better in the second half, but I think the Terriers are one of the best teams in the league. Boston University 3-2, 4-2Nicole: I’ll take each team to win at home here. Holy Cross 3-2, Boston University 2-0New Hampshire at No. 9 ProvidenceCandace: Providence has been struggling mightily, but I think the Friars get on track here. Providence 3-2, 3-1Nicole: I think UNH can take one of these, so I’ll take a split with Providence winning game one. Providence 2-0, New Hampshire 2-1Rensselaer versus Union, Mayor’s CupCandace: Tough to do anything but pick Lovisa Selander. Rensselaer 3-1, 2-1Nicole: A split, and RPI wins game one. Rensselaer 3-1, Union 2-1Minnesota State versus Bemidji StateCandace: This should be a split between two fairly evenly matched teams. Bemidji State 2-1, Minnesota State 2-1Nicole: It is going to be mighty cold for their outdoor game. I’ll take Bemidji to win on Friday. Bemidji State 3-1, Minnesota State 3-2No. 5 Ohio State at Minnesota DuluthCandace: Home ice should be good for a split. Minnesota Duluth 3-2, Ohio State 4-2Nicole: I think the Bulldogs take at least one. They win game one. Minnesota Duluth 4-2, Ohio State 2-0No. 1 Wisconsin at No. 2 MinnesotaCandace: I’d love to be at this series. Luckily, Arlan will give his impressions. I think it’s a split. Minnesota 3-1, Wisconsin 2-1Nicole: I don’t think I can pick anything but a split here. I’d be very surprised if either team sweeps. Wisconsin 4-3, Minnesota 3-2Saturday, Jan. 19Brown at No. 6 ClarksonCandace: Clarkson looks to make up ground on league-leading Princeton. Clarkson 4-1Nicole: Clarkson beats Brown. Clarkson 4-1Yale at St. LawrenceCandace: I think the Saints make it a weekend sweep. St. Lawrence 3-2Nicole: Yale over St. Lawrence. Yale 3-2No. 8 Colgate at DartmouthCandace: The Raiders get two need wins. Colgate 3-1Nicole: Colgate beats Dartmouth. Colgate 3-0No. 7 Cornell at HarvardCandace: I think Harvard just doesn’t have enough offense. Cornell 3-1Nicole: Cornell over Harvard. Cornell 2-1Sunday, Monday, Jan. 20-21Lindenwood at Penn StateCandace: I think the Nittany Lions might just sweep. Penn State 3-1, 2-1Nicole: Lindenwood and Penn State split. Lindenwood 3-3, Penn State 2-0