Welcome back, friends! Jack here. Although college hockey technically kicked off the season last weekend, we’re doing our inaugural 2019-20 WCHA picks competition blog this week. (For what it’s worth, both Brandon and I were perfect with what would have been our picks last week…. yeah, let’s go with that….)
Anyway, most of the action this week is nonconference, but Alaska and Michigan Tech will kick off the conference slate with a series in Houghton this week.
Without further ado, here’s how we’re picking them this week.
On the season
Thursday, Oct. 10
Colgate at Ferris State
A rare single game that isn’t a home-and-home. The Bulldogs are looking to start their rebuilding season with a win, while the Red Raiders are already 0-1 after a loss to RIT. The Bulldogs are at home and played an exhivbition game on Tuesday, so this one could come down to who has the fresher legs.
Jack: Bulldogs win, 2-1
Brandon: Colgate wins, 3-2
Friday, Oct. 11-Saturday, Oct. 12
Alaska at Michigan Tech
Michigan Tech had two weird games against Robert Morris last week: They won the first game 2-1 in overtime before a dominant 7-0 win Sunday. The Nanooks were very close against Denver but ultimately lost both games. The Huskies have a definite advantage in this one, but the question is how close it will be.
Jack: Michigan Tech sweeps, 3-1 and 3-2
Brandon: Michigan Tech sweeps, 4-0 and 5-1
Alaska Anchorage at Maine
A tough, long cross country flight for the Seawolves in their first series of the season. Maine lost 7-0 to Providence in their opener. I think that bodes well for Anchorage to be competitive.
Jack: Maine wins Friday, 3-1, Seawolves win Saturday 2-1
Brandon: Maine sweeps, 4-2 and 2-1
Michigan State at Northern Michigan
Instate rivals in Marquette where both are opening their seasons. Last year the teams split this series. It could go either way.
Jack: Wildcats sweep, 3-0 and 4-2
Brandon: MSU wins Friday, 3-2; NMU wins Saturday, 4-1
Denver at Lake Superior State
Great early-season test for a Lakers team that has serious aspirations of an NCAA tournament run. Denver looked vulnerable in their series at Alaska Anchorage so the Lakers are hopeful that means they should be able to get some points off the Pioneers at least.
Jack: LSSU wins Friday, 4-2; Denver wins Saturday, 2-1
Brandon: Denver wins Friday, 4-3; LSSU wins Saturday, 2-1
St. Cloud State at Bemidji State
Another solid instate rivalry game as the Beavers and Huskies meet in Bemidji for the first time since 2014.
Jack: BSU wins 3-2 Friday, SCSU wins 3-1 Saturday
Brandon: SCSU sweeps, 3-0 and 3-1
Arizona State at Minnesota State
The Sun Devils are travelling to Mankato for the first time; they met in a tournament in Arizona last year so they are at least somewhat familiar with one another. Still, I think ASU is in for a rude awakening.
Jack: Maverickls sweep, 5-2 and 5-1
Brandon: Mankato sweeps, 4-2 and 4-1
Alabama Huntsville at Omaha
The Chargers hit the road again after being swept by UMass Lowell. Omaha has only played an exhibition so this will be their official home opener.
Jack: Omaha sweeps 3-1 and 4-2
Brandon: Omaha sweeps, 5-0 and 6-0
Friday: Bowling Green vs. RIT; Ohio State vs. Western Michigan
This should be a good showcase of hockey in Ohio (as well as a nice gathering of former CCHA rivals). Bowling Green’s offense looked great against Miami last week. There’s no reason to think the hosts won’t keep that going.
Jack: BGSU beats RIT Friday, 6-2; BGSU beats Ohio State Saturday, 4-1
Brandon: Bowling Green wins Friday, 3-1; Bowling Green wins Saturday, 4-3