NCHC picks Jan. 24-25: No. 2 North Dakota faces No. 11 Minnesota Duluth

Adam Scheel (North Dakota-31) 2018 November 17 The University of North Dakota hosts Western Michigan in a NCHC matchup at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, ND (Bradley K. Olson)
Adam Scheel of North Dakota. (Bradley K. Olson)

Minnesota Duluth has been my Kryponite more often than not this season. Last weekend, picking the Bulldogs to sweep St. Cloud State ended up costing me a game in the picks race with Matthew, but I still have three games in hand. Last week, I went 2-3-2 (.437), while Matthew went 3-2-3 (.562). On the year, I am , 59-45-19 (.556), while Matthew is 56-48-19 (.532).

We don’t see eye-to-eye this weekend either, so Matthew has a chance to gain more ground.

Friday-Saturday, Jan. 24-25

No. 2 North Dakota at No. 11 Minnesota Duluth
Candace: Which version of these teams shows up will go a long way toward the results. North Dakota has struggled on defense since the break, giving up goals in bunches to teams that aren’t offensive powerhouses. That should help a Duluth team that struggles to score at times. Split. Minnesota Duluth 2-1, North Dakota 3-2
Matthew: Scott Sandelin wasn’t totally unhappy with UMD’s performances last weekend in two losses at St. Cloud State; it’s just that the Bulldogs only scored once. They might not get a lot more goals against UND, but I think they’ll get something from the series. Minnesota Duluth 2-1, North Dakota 2-1

No. 5 Denver at Miami
Candace: Miami is better than its record, and Denver hasn’t always been the best on the road, but I think the Pioneers will come away with a sweep this weekend. Denver 3-2, 4-2
Matthew: I’m not especially worried about Denver after the Pioneers didn’t win in regulation either night last weekend at Omaha. They’re still unbeaten since Dec. 6, and I think that streak continues here. Denver 4-2, 4-2

St. Cloud State at Western Michigan
Candace: Coach Andy Murray said this week that he wished his team had played St. Cloud earlier in the season. The Broncos looked very good last weekend, but so did St. Cloud, and the Huskies played a tougher opponent. I’m really torn on this. Western Michigan 3-2, 3-2
Matthew: Can Western make it four home wins in a row? After SCSU’s uptick in the last few weeks, I’m not so sure, but I can certainly see a split. St. Cloud State 3-2, Western Michigan 3-2

Omaha at Colorado College
Candace: Being at home should get the Tigers one win, but ever since the conference started play, CC has struggled. Omaha however, despite holding Denver to two ties last weekend, is also still struggling. Omaha 4-2, Colorado College 4-3
Matthew: Two ties against a Denver team that UNO almost never beats wasn’t the worst thing for the Mavericks last weekend. Here, they travel to face a Colorado College team that has struggled for the last month and a half. I think CC picks up a sweep here, but two UNO wins don’t sound impossible. Omaha 4-2, Colorado College 3-2