NCHC picks Jan. 10-11

Nick Halloran of Colorado College. Colorado College at Denver at Magness Arena, Feb. 17, 2018. (Candace Horgan)
Nick Halloran and Colorado College host Miami this weekend. (Candace Horgan)

Learning my lesson from the last time Denver faced a ranked Hockey East team paid off, as I gained another game in the picks race with Matthew by picking a DU sweep. Last week, I went 5-1-2 (.750), while Matthew was 4-2-2 (.625). On the year, I am now 53-39-15 (.565), while Matthew is 49-43-15 (.528).

Unfortunately for Matthew’s chances of catching me, we see eye to eye.

Friday-Saturday, Jan. 10-11

Miami at Colorado College
Candace: CC, after a decent start, has been more inconsistent of late. Miami got a big win over Bowling Green two weeks ago, and I think the RedHawks are better than their record. Colorado College 3-2, Miami 2-1
Matthew: Here’s a series between a Miami team that we keep looking to see turn a corner and a CC squad that hasn’t been great at home this season. A sweep either way would be a surprise. Colorado College 3-2, Miami 3-2

St. Cloud State at No. 5 Denver
Candace: St. Cloud is as mercurial as they come. They crushed Minnesota State and then promptly lost to the Gophers. Denver coach David Carle believes St. Cloud as a young team is getting better, and Denver is certainly vulnerable to a letdown after the emotional sweep of UMass, but I think Denver edges the Huskies here. Denver 3-2, 4-2
Matthew: St. Cloud blowing Minnesota State up before New Year’s made everyone sit up and take notice of the Huskies after their iffy start to the season. Can they keep pushing ahead this weekend and get a win or two in Denver? I’m going to say no, which means they probably will in fact get something. Denver 3-2, 3-2

Western Michigan at No. 9 Minnesota Duluth
Candace: Western dropped below .500 last weekend. The Broncos have lost a lot of games to injury, and are definitely better than a .500 team. Minnesota Duluth has had the occasional letdown, but I think they are playing more solidly now, and the Broncos aren’t the best on the road even when healthy. Minnesota Duluth 3-2, 4-3
Matthew: UMD was just about scoring for fun in December, and here they play at home against a Western Michigan team that’s 0-4-1 in its last five games. That’s all against ranked opposition, but still, give me the Bulldogs. Minnesota Duluth 4-2, 3-1

Omaha at No. 1 North Dakota
Candace: Oh Omaha, how you’ve fallen since your good start. North Dakota, meanwhile is showing the form it had when it last won a national championship. North Dakota will lose another game at some point, and even lose at home this season, but like last weekend, I don’t see it happening this weekend, unless the curse of “unlucky 13” strikes Friday. North Dakota 4-2, 4-2
Matthew: Omaha should have Isaiah Saville back in net, and North Dakota gets Jacob Bernard-Docker back. This should be a fun series, but it’s tough to go against UND at this point. North Dakota 3-1, 3-2