NCHC picks: Dec. 18-21

Neither Matthew nor I did particularly well last week in our picks. I was 5-6-1, while Matthew was 6-5-1. On the year, I am 13-9-3, while Matthew is 14-8-3. This is the final weekend of pod play before the break. It’s been an interesting experiment, which some very surprising results.

Friday, Dec. 18

Western Michigan versus Omaha
Candace: Omaha looked awfully good in rallying for a shootout win against Minnesota Duluth on Wednesday. It won’t be 10-2 like the last time these two played, but I like Omaha. Omaha 3-2
Matthew: I like a lot about what UNO has shown on the ice during the pod, but Ethen Frank always seems to turn out against the Mavericks, and this is his last scheduled game at Baxter, practically object-throwing distance from his old stomping grounds of Papillion, Neb. I’ve got the Broncos in this one. Western Michigan 4-2

St. Cloud State versus Colorado College
Candace: While CC has played well its last few outings, I have to go with St. Cloud. St. Cloud State 3-1
Matthew: After a few up-and-down results, albeit against pretty good teams, I think St. Cloud gets back into more of the kind of roll it wants to be on here. St. Cloud State 4-1

Saturday, Dec. 19

Minnesota Duluth versus North Dakota
Candace: Last time out this went to a shootout. I have to think Duluth is going to want to come out firing after blowing a two-goal, third-period lead against Omaha. Minnesota Duluth 3-2
Matthew: These teams went to a shootout last time, and it’s not hard to see that happening again. We’re here to pick winners, though, so watch me get this one wrong. That’s a thing that happens. North Dakota 3-2

Western Michigan versus Denver
Candace: This was a one-goal game last time out. Funnily enough, just like Tuesday, Denver is coming off a bad luck. Maybe they’ll get the bonus. Denver 3-2
Matthew: I wouldn’t be surprised to see Western finish its time in the pod strong after a really unlucky start, but I’ve got Denver taking this one. Denver 4-3

Colorado College versus Miami
Candace: CC has had a long rest, and also beat Miami 4-1 the last time out. Will Miami have a letdown after the big win against Denver? Colorado College 3-2
Matthew: After what Miami did to Denver last time out, I’m finding it hard to pick against the RedHawks here. Miami 4-1

Sunday, Dec. 20

Denver versus St. Cloud State
Candace: Denver has been very inconsistent, and the defense has not been strong in pod play. That doesn’t bode well against a strong St. Cloud team. St. Cloud State 3-2
Matthew: I’m gonna take Denver here, partly because I like the idea of a three-team tie in the middle of the conference standings heading into the winter break. Denver 4-2

North Dakota versus Miami
Candace: This is a potential trap game for North Dakota, as Miami looked very good last time out, but I have to favor North Dakota. North Dakota 3-1
Matthew: Miami’s starting to figure it out a bit, but I think UND takes this game by more than the 2-0 scoreline that the Fighting Hawks got in the teams’ first meeting. North Dakota 4-1

Monday, Dec. 21

North Dakota versus Colorado College
Candace: North Dakota has been fire in the pod, for the most part, and I think it continues here. North Dakota 3-1
Matthew: Finally, the last game of the pod, and this one is a bit tricky to pick. CC has just about been scoring for fun in its last couple of games, but I think UND has just enough to win. North Dakota 4-2