Women’s DI College Hockey Weekend Picks: The fight for the WCHA title comes down to the final weekend

 ((c)2018 Matt Dewkett)
The fight for the WCHA regular season title comes down to the final weekend for two familiar rivals as Wisconsin and Minnesota each hope to earn the crown and the first-round bye in the conference tournament. (Photo: 2018 Matt Dewkett)

RPI at (1) Cornell

Cornell continues their march to the postseason with another win. Unfortunately, that means RPI ends the season without having won a game.

Union at (1) Cornell

There’s not much that seems capable of slowing the Big Red down right now. They’ll get the win in this game, as well.

(2) Wisconsin at (9) Minnesota Duluth

The Badgers took a pair of wins from the Bulldogs in the final series before the winter break, but UMD has improved since then while Wisconsin has had difficulty over the past few weeks. Wisconsin has a three point lead on Minnesota for the regular season title, so the Badgers have to get points from thes games. They should be able to carry some confidence from their 3-on-3 win against Ohio State on Sunday, but Wisconsin has to clean things up if they have any hope of beating the Bulldogs. I think we’ll see a Wisconsin win and a tie, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see a split. I think we’ll learn a lot about what kind of team the Badgers are when we see how they hit the ice on Friday.

Minnesota State at (3) Minnesota

The Mavericks have certainly made the final weeks of the WCHA season more interesting. Aside from how much I love chaos, I also love how much MSU has grown and improved in recent years. This isn’t a blip or attributed to one class. The team continues to build and grow and thanks to the work they’re putting in, parity is much more prevalent in the WCHA. Minnesota is pushing for the regular season title and playing at home, so I don’t know that the Mavericks get any points this weekend, but it’s certainly not the foregone conclusion it once was.

Merrimack vs (3) Northeastern

The Huskies cruised to a 5-1 win over Merrimack just two weeks ago and there’s no evidence these games will go any differently. Northeastern stumbled a bit last week and will want to get momentum back heading into the conference tournament. I expect they’ll sweep.

St. Cloud State at (5) Ohio State

The Buckeyes acquitted themselves well in Madison last weekend and shouldn’t have any difficulty coming away with a sweep against St. Cloud this weekend.

Brown at (6) Princeton

The Tigers defeated Brown 4-1 to start February and this game isn’t likely to have a different outcome. I expect Princeton to win again.

Yale at (6) Princeton

The game was closer than Princeton would have liked when these two teams met a few weeks ago, as the Tigers eked out a 2-1 win. This should be another tightly-contested game, but I expect Princeton to get the win.

(7) Clarkson at Harvard

Clarkson’s margin for error is non-existent and their NCAA hopes are hanging by the thinnest of threads. They need a pair of wins this weekend and I think they get them. They took down Harvard 4-0 a few weeks back and I’d expect we’ll see a similar outcome here.

(7) Clarkson at Dartmouth

The Golden Knights were tripped up by Quinnipiac last week, but I think they return to form this weekend and close out the regular season with a win.

Connecticut at (8) Boston University

At the moment, BU is 0.0030 behind Clarkson in the Pairwise. Assuming there are no upsets in conference tournaments, Clarkson would get an NCAA bid and BU wouldn’t. With such a narrow margin, every goal and period are going to matter. The Terriers took down UConn 1-0 earlier this year. The Huskies have been up and down all season, beating higher-ranked teams and losing games to lesser opponents. It won’t be an easy weekend sweep for Boston University, but I think they get the wins they need.

Yale at (10) Quinnipiac

The Bobcats had a great win over Clarkson last weekend and are just two points behind Yale in the conference standings. Though it’s not one of the games with big stakes, this should be one of the most interesting and fun to watch games this weekend. I’ll take Quinnipiac at home, but it’s really a toss-up.

Brown at (10) Quinnipiac

Quinnipiac ends their season on a high note with a win over the Bears at home.