NCHC picks: Dec. 13

Ian Mitchell of Denver. Denver vs. Lake Superior at Magness Arena, 10/20/2017. (Candace Horgan)
Ian Mitchell of Denver. The Pioneers renew their rivalry with Colorado College this weekend. (Candace Horgan)

It’s taken a little longer than usual, but I’m at the point I usually am now in our season picks race: building a bigger lead on Matthew. Last weekend, I added some distance by picking the North Dakota and Minnesota Duluth sweeps, as I went 7-2-1 (.750), while Matthew was 5-4-1 (.550). On the year, I am now 43-31-13 (.568), while Matthew is 40-34-13 (.534).

Let’s see how we do in these last two weekends of the first half.

Friday-Saturday, Dec. 13-14

No. 8 Denver versus Colorado College (home-and-home)
Candace: Denver has only one win in its last eight games, while CC is 4-2-1 in its last seven. Denver will want to make up for losing the Gold Pan on the last weekend of the regular season last year, so I see a split. Denver 3-2, Colorado College 3-1
Matthew: My usual go-to with home-and-home series is to take the home teams. This time last week, I would’ve gone away from that for this series and taken Denver to sweep. The Pioneers struggled at Arizona State, though, while CC got a win and a tie last time out, admittedly against not the same caliber of opponent. Watch me be wrong here, but I’ll take a split and keep up appearances. Denver 3-1, Colorado College 3-2

Omaha at St. Cloud State
Candace: Omaha seems to have come back to Earth in recent weeks, while St. Cloud is moving in the right direction, but is only 1-4-1 at home. I think this is a split. St. Cloud State 3-2, Omaha 4-2
Omaha: SCSU has done better in the last couple weeks after a troublesome start, and Omaha is winless in its last four games, going back nearly a month. Can they get a win or two in St. Cloud? The Huskies have won one of six at home this season, so…maybe. St. Cloud State 3-1, Omaha 3-1