NCHC picks: Dec. 6

Jack Ahcan of St. Cloud State. St. Cloud State at Denver, Magness Arena, 11/11/17. (Candace Horgan)
Jack Ahcan of St. Cloud State. St. Cloud faces Miami this weekend. (Candace Horgan)

Well, picking all NCHC wins last weekend did me no favors, but since I called the North Dakota sweep, Matthew and I had identical records last weekend of a dismal 2-4 (.333). On the year, I am 36-29-12 (.545), while Matthew is 35-30-12 (.532). Neither of us has done well this season :(.

This is the last full weekend of conference play; half the conference is off next weekend and starting is holiday break. I wonder if we can better our picks to this point.

Friday-Saturday, Dec. 6-7

St. Cloud State at Miami
Candace: Two teams that are drastically struggling. I thought Miami had turned a corner, and then the RedHawks were swept by UConn. St. Cloud was off last weekend; perhaps they’ll reset. I really don’t have a good handle on either team, so I’ll take Matthew’s picks. St. Cloud State 4-2, Miami 3-2
Matthew: Small sample sizes and all that, but it’ll be interesting to see how far out of the NCHC basement St. Cloud will get, and I’m also looking forward to seeing whether Miami will stay in the hunt for home ice for the playoffs. There’s a lot to look at with this series, but neither team is its finished article. Split. St. Cloud State 3-2, Miami 3-2

No. 14 Minnesota Duluth at No. 18 Omaha
Candace: Every time I think I have Duluth figured out, they fall flat. However, supposedly they get some of their injured players back this weekend. Omaha has been struggling of late. I think the Bulldogs rebound and get at least one win this weekend. Eh, I’ll take a flyer and go for the Bulldogs to sweep and hope I get one right. Minnesota Duluth 4-3, 4-2
Matthew: Both teams are coming off of disappointing series their last time out, though I imagine having Thanksgiving weekend off will have helped Omaha. Still, it’d be weird to see Duluth lose four straight. Omaha 4-2, Minnesota Duluth 3-1

No. 3 North Dakota at No. 17 Western Michigan
Candace: North Dakota has its swagger back, with only one loss all year. The Fighting Hawks are definitely an offensive force this season, something that’s been lacking the past couple of seasons. Western is at home, and Lawson is one of the most hostile rinks to play in, but after playing at Mariucci last weekend, I don’t think North Dakota will be bothered. This is likely a split, but I’m taking a chance. North Dakota 3-2, 3-2
Matthew: Lawson is a tough place to play, and I think Western will get something out of this series, but a split wouldn’t be the worst thing for both teams. Western Michigan 4-2, North Dakota 4-2

No. 4 Denver at No. 20 Arizona State
Candace: ASU does better at home, but I think Denver will come out on fire in this series. Denver 3-1, 4-2
Matthew: ASU is better at home than the Sun Devils have been on their travels, but this Denver team can do the business anywhere it goes. Denver 4-2, 4-2

Colorado College at Princeton
Candace: A battle of Tigers. Princeton only has one win all season, while CC has been a .500 team with a difficult schedule. I think coming back from Ireland might make Princeton fatigued, and offset CC having to fly out to New Jersey. Colorado College 3-2, 3-1
Matthew: Princeton is 0-6-3 in its last nine games, and the Tigers’ only win this season came against St. Cloud State. CC swept St. Cloud earlier this season. That’s a good enough reason to take the homer pick, right? Colorado College 3-2, 3-2