NCHC picks: Nov. 2

Noah Cates of Minnesota Duluth. Minnesota Duluth at Denver at Magness Arena, November 17, 2018. (Candace Horgan)
Noah Cates of Minnesota Duluth. (Candace Horgan)

Well, I thought I’d tie Matthew last weekend, but CC let me down on Friday against Western Michigan, blowing a two-goal lead. Dang. Last weekend, Matthew and I went a barely OK 5-2-2 (.667). Hopefully, I can start catching up to him this weekend.

Friday-Saturday, Nov. 8-9

No. 1 Denver at No. 7 Minnesota Duluth
Candace: A couple of years ago, Denver was dominating this rivalry, at one point winning seven in a row, and winning nine of the last 13. UMD recently flipped the script, winning three of the last four. The Pioneers have been more consistent so far this year, though they haven’t been challenged quite as much, especially since Boston College isn’t as good as initially thought. I think a split is likely. Denver 4-2, Minnesota Duluth 3-2
Matthew: Denver has started the season really well, but they aren’t going to go undefeated the whole season. UMD is coming off of a good sweep against Minnesota after an iffy start to the year. This feels like a split, and I don’t think anyone involved would be too unhappy with that. Minnesota Duluth 3-2, Denver 4-2

Miami at No. 10 North Dakota
Candace: North Dakota seems to be gaining confidence. I don’t think either game will be easy, but I expect them to win both games this weekend, especially since they are at home. North Dakota 3-2, 3-2
Matthew: North Dakota hasn’t had the toughest early-season schedule, but after missing the NCAA tournament the last couple of years, spirits are high in Grand Forks. I think that feeling will last through this weekend, although Miami looks like it’s starting to get it together. North Dakota 4-2, 4-2

St. Cloud State at No. 16 Northern Michigan
Candace: St. Cloud seems to have no defense right now, which is ironic because entering the season there were more worries about offensive production. I think this is likely a split. Northern Michigan 4-2, St. Cloud State 3-2
Matthew: I got burned last week by St. Cloud, which gave up 10 goals at home in a tie and loss to Princeton. Northern has won its last five and is unbeaten in seven, and I think the Wildcats will get at least one win here. Northern Michigan 4-2, St. Cloud State 4-3

No. 12 Wisconsin at No. 20 Omaha
Candace: Wisconsin’s early-season highlight was sweeping Minnesota Duluth, but the Badgers haven’t done as well since then. Omaha has been trending upward, and this weekend is another good test for the Mavericks. Omaha 4-2, Wisconsin 3-2
Matthew: Is Omaha for real? The Mavericks had a brutal start last season, but they’re 4-1-1 ahead of an interesting home series against a Wisconsin team that lost twice last time out against a high-scoring Penn State team. I’ll take a split here, although I’m not overly confident about who wins which night. Omaha 3-2, Wisconsin 3-2

Ferris State vs Western Michigan (home-and-home)
Candace: Western seems to have gotten is mojo back. Ferris will challenge the Broncos, but I think the NCHC team gets the sweep this time out. Western Michigan 3-1, 3-2
Matthew: In its last three games, Western Michigan has won twice outright and picked up a shootout win last time out at Colorado College. I tend to go with the home teams for these home-and-home series, but I have a good feeling about the Broncos this weekend. Western Michigan 4-2, 4-2