NCHC picks: Oct. 31-Nov. 2

Tristan Keck of Omaha. Omaha vs. Denver, Magness Arena, Denver, Jan. 19, 2018. (Candace Horgan)
Tristan Keck and Omaha face Alaska-Anchorage this weekend. (Candace Horgan)

Picking winners on the wrong night killed Matthew and I last week, and Minnesota Duluth continues to drive me insane. I almost picked them to sweep the Goofs last weekend, but was afraid I’d fall farther behind Matthew if I did after their Wisconsin series hurt me in our race. C’est la vie. Last week, we went 6-4-1 (.590). On the year, I am 14-16-6 (.472), while Matthew is 16-14-6 (.527). With those marks, don’t go to Vegas on anything we say!

This week sees some more out-of-conference matchups, as well as the kickoff of league play when Colorado College hosts Western Michigan. I have different picks than Matthew, so maybe I’ll catch up.

Thursday-Friday, Oct. 31-Nov. 1

Omaha at Alaska Anchorage
Candace: Omaha showed signs of life last week with the split against Ohio State, so perhaps they are on the rise again. So I’m a league homer. Sue me. Omaha 4-2, 3-2
Matthew: UNO has to happy about a 3-1 start, including a good road split last weekend at Ohio State. Alaska Anchorage started the season slowly but is fresh off a 4-0 win over the Seawolves’ in-state rival from Fairbanks. A split here wouldn’t be the end of the world for either team. Alaska Anchorage 3-2, Omaha 3-1

Friday-Saturday, Nov. 1-2

Western Michigan at Colorado College
Candace: I’m going with CC’s recent Friday success to pick a split. Western tends not to be a good road team, but I have trouble seeing CC sweeping this. Colorado College 3-2, Western Michigan 4-2
Matthew: Neither of these teams have pulled up trees so far this season, but although Western is on the road for this series, I’m going to go out on a limb and say the Broncos will use their home win Saturday over Michigan as a springboard. Besides, Candace and I can’t agree on everything every week. Western Michigan 3-2, 3-2

Niagara at No. 1 Denver
Candace: Two weeks ago, I almost picked Denver to sweep Boston College. The Pioneers have looked very good to start, and while the off week might slow them a little, I doubt it will be enough for Niagara to upset them. Denver needs to set themselves up for success with UMD next weekend too. Denver 3-1, 3-1
Matthew: With all due respect to the Purple Eagles, I’m having a hard time seeing anything other than a Denver sweep here. The Pioneers have started the season well, and they’d do well to perform here ahead of next week’s series at Minnesota Duluth. Denver 4-1, 4-1

Princeton at No. 16 St. Cloud State
Candace: I don’t know enough about Princeton, and while St. Cloud has struggled so far, I think they will start to gel this weekend. Again, sue me for going with the league homer picks. St. Cloud State 3-2, 4-2
Matthew: St. Cloud has had a somewhat meh start, although last week’s home split with Northeastern wasn’t the worst thing. Outside expectations for Princeton this season are low, and this might be a chance for the Huskies to keep going in the right direction after winning last Saturday. St. Cloud State 4-1, 3-1

Saturday, Nov. 2

Michigan Tech at North Dakota
Candace: The Fighting Hawks haven’t exploded offensively since the Canisius series, but they do seem to be finding ways to win. I think they will do so again, especially since they are home. North Dakota 2-1
Matthew: UND was given some problems last weekend by Bemidji State, though the Beavers are traditionally a tough team to wear down. Tech has been up and down so far, and while I can see the Huskies making this game close, UND ought to win it. North Dakota 4-2