NCHC picks: Feb. 28-29

Jordan Kawaguchi (North Dakota-29) 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)
Jordan Kawaguchi. The University of North Dakota hosts Western Michigan in an NCHC matchup at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, ND (Bradley K. Olson)

For a brief moment last weekend, I thought I’d picked up another two games on Matthew in our picks race, but alas, I misread the score of Friday’s game between Minnesota Duluth and Western Michigan. Instead, we had the same record, as I was wrong on that game but correct on the Omaha-CC game. Last week, we were both a respectable 5-2-1 (.687). On the year, I am now 84-53-22 (.597), while Matthew is 79-58-22 (.566). Still hoping to get over .600, so let’s see how we do this weekend.

Friday-Saturday, Feb. 28-29

No. 5 Minnesota Duluth at Colorado College
Candace: Even in the loss last Friday against Western Michigan, the Bulldogs looked strong. Colorado College has struggled in NCHC play, and I don’t see that changing against the Bulldogs. Minnesota Duluth 4-2, 4-2
Matthew: Seeing UMD split last weekend at Western Michigan doesn’t have me worried about the Bulldogs for this series. Western has played well lately, and I like UMD to do enough to get back on the horse here with a sweep. Minnesota Duluth 3-2, 3-1

Omaha at Miami
Candace: Last time these two faced each other, Miami got a shootout win and win at Omaha. However, Miami only has two wins in the second half, and hasn’t won a game since Jan. 10, going 0-9-2 since then. Omaha is without Tyler Ward, but I think the Mavericks will be fired up for this series. Omaha 3-2, 4-2
Matthew: I might have had a little more faith in UNO for this series if Taylor Ward hadn’t gone down for the season. I could still be very wrong, but I’m gonna take a split. Miami 3-2, Omaha 4-2

No. 6 Denver at St. Cloud State
Candace: Will St. Cloud have a letdown after last week’s big results against North Dakota? Will Denver build momentum from its impressive results against Miami? Denver swept St. Cloud back in January, but that was a different St. Cloud team. The Huskies are 4-0-2 in their last six, and they haven’t lost at home in the second half. I think this is a split. St. Cloud State 3-2, Denver 4-2
Matthew: There’s a lot to like about what SCSU has done lately, and I think that will continue here, but I’m not sure about a sweep. St. Cloud State 3-2, Denver 3-2

No. 16 Western Michigan at No. 3 North Dakota
Candace: I’ll probably be wrong on this one, but I think North Dakota just might get a sweep since they are at home and are making the push for the Penrose Cup. Watch me be wrong. North Dakota 3-2, 3-2
Matthew: UND gets Jordan Kawaguchi back this weekend and should pick up at least one win, but again, Western is no pushover. I’m maybe going out on a limb here, but we’ll see. Western Michigan 3-2, North Dakota 4-2