NCHC picks: March 12-1

Friday, March 12

No. 2 St. Cloud State vs No. 7 Colorado College
Candace: St. Cloud has been on a roll, and I don’t think they will suffer a letdown after capturing second place in an emotional OT win over Minnesota Duluth last weekend. St. Cloud State 4-1
Matthew: CC will reportedly be significantly shorthanded for this game, due to players in COVID-19 protocol. I’m not sure I was that high on the Tigers against SCSU regardless. St. Cloud State 5-1

No. 1 North Dakota vs No. 8 Miami
Candace: North Dakota has been the most consistent team in the conference this season, while Miami has been good in spurts, so I think North Dakota wins this going away. North Dakota 4-1
Matthew: A Miami win here would be an enormous upset. I’m wrong with these picks a lot, but I can’t see UND losing this one. North Dakota 4-1

Saturday, March 13

No. 4 Omaha vs No. 5 Denver
Candace: Denver had an off weekend last weekend when CC had to pause because of COVID-19 protocols. That may hurt them, but I think they may pull the upset. Denver 3-2
Matthew: Denver is also reportedly going to be shorthanded in Grand Forks due to players in COVID-19 protocol. That would be really tough for the Pioneers, who I thought had a good chance to pull a mild upset here. Now, I’m not so sure. Omaha 4-2

No. 3 Minnesota Duluth vs No. 6 Western Michigan
Candace: UMD has struggled down the stretch, and Western is the most dangerous team in the tournament, but I’m going with the Bulldogs and their strong record in playoffs the last several years. Minnesota Duluth 3-2
Matthew: Western has been rolling lately, whereas UMD has lost four of its last five games. Do those trends continue here? I’ll go out on a limb and say yes. Western Michigan 4-2