Pickin’ the WCHA: Mar. 19-20

Whew, we have made it to the WCHA Tournament. Four teams are left and that means two semifinal matchups full of intrigue followed by a championship contest by the two left standing after Friday’s games.
Minnesota State vs. Northern Michigan
Jack: NMU is the only team still in this tournament that needs to win to have a shot at the NCAA Tournament. Although anything can happen in a one-and-done situation, NMU’s previous games against the Mavs don’t exactly breed confidence. Plus, the Mavs have been almost impossible to beat at home. I can’t pick against them this year. Minnesota State 4, Northern Michigan 1
Daver: Boy, what the Wildcats did to Bowling Green in two out of the three games they played was extremely impressive. However, expecting the same result against the Mavericks seems unlikely. I think this is where their Cinderella story ends. Minnesota State 2, Northern Michigan 0
Lake Superior State vs. Bemidji State
Jack: This one could go either way. And both teams have plenty to play for. I think there’s a chance either team could still be in the NCAA’s without winning here, but they’d both love to leave no doubt with an extra victory. While I think this is basically a coin flip, my gut tells me the Lakers win a close one in overtime. Lake Superior State 3, Bemidji State 2 (OT)
Daver: As good as the Beavers looked in dismantling Michigan Tech last weekend, I really like what Damon Whitten has done at Lake Superior State. With a possible NCAA berth on the line for both teams, I think this game is full of intrigue, and you cannot ask for any more than that. I think the Lakers have the edge here, but it will be close. Lake Superior State 3, Bemidji State 1
Minnesota State vs. Lake Superior State
Jack: The Lakers only played the Mavericks twice but their results weren’t great (few teams have had success against them). I’m thinking they play better this time around but MSU is still going to complete the double and win the tournament title, too. Minnesota State 3, Lake Superior 2
Daver: As much as I like the Lakers this season, I just don’t see this one happening. The Mavericks are too deep, and unless McKay gets injured in the semifinals, I cannot count them out. Lake Superior will give them a good game, but I like the Mavericks in this one. Minnesota State 3, Lake Superior State 1