Last week I challenged Dan Myers, the WCHA correspondent for the College Hockey News, to a battle of wits. Well, that's not actually correct. I just purloined his WCHA predictions for last weekend off his blog. I needed an antagonist. He was OK with it.
This week Mr. Myers had fair warning before the rematch and had to be licking his wounds.
Last weekend it was a close predictions battle for three days but, when the ice chips settled, I went 8-3-1, Dan 7-4-1. Yipee. North Dakota's two losses at Maine hurt me. I predicted the Sioux would sweep. Forgot NoDak is a second-half team.
Dan predicted four sweeps and got only one. "Things looked good for me Friday night last week, but went south a bit on Saturday (and Sunday)," he said.
Without further rambling, here are this weekend's matchups involving WCHA teams, and our long-awaited predictions:
Minnesota at Colorado College
Dan: The Gophers won ugly Sunday, like the Tigers did the night before in Mankato. Both teams are without much top end talent, so solid special teams play and greasy goals will be the keys here. A split wouldn't surprise me, but faced with a pair of average hockey teams, I'll go with the home squad. ... CC sweep
Roman: An ugly U win? Are wins are beautiful to The Don. Gophers do have some high end talent: Jay Barriball, Jacob Cepis and Erik Haula. Defense might be improving. CC is good at home, though, and has frosh phenom in Jaden Schwartz and good Minnesota kid in goal in Joe Howe. Maybe this is showing maroon and gold bias but ... Split
Michigan Tech at Wisconsin
Dan: The Huskies are unbeaten through five games for the first time since the Nixon administration. It ends this weekend in a big way. ... Wisconsin sweep
Roman: Gophers will be watching this series closely. These are next two U opponents. Badgers visit Maroosh on Nov. 5-6. Gophers, after bye week, go to Houghton Nov. 19-20. I like Tech coach Jamie Russell and the downtrodden so in a big leap of faith ... Split
Quinnipiac at St. Cloud State
Dan: The Huskies aren't where they need to be yet but their goaltenders finally showed up last weekend. This will be the weekend it all comes together. ... SCSU sweeps
Roman: Love saying the word Quinnipiac. It is the English name for the Eansketambawg, a Native American nation which inhabited a region in New England, including present-day Connecticut. Bobcats are 3-1 and played SCSU tough last season before losing 3-1, 3-2 in Hamden, Conn., but ... SCSU sweeps
Denver at North Dakota
Dan: A bunch of injuries and oddities have the Pioneers down to only 22 available bodies. All will travel to Grand Forks this weekend, where a freshman goaltender will take on one of the nation's top teams -- a team that's also angry after an embarrassing weekend out east. ... North Dakota sweeps
Roman: Sioux will be grumpy and happy to be at Ralph after trips to Alaska, Bemidji State and Maine. But Denver swept NoDak in four games last season, a first for DU. George Gwozdecky's Pios want to win, too. ... Split
Minnesota Duluth at Bemidji State
Dan: It was a short WCHA honeymoon for the Beavers, who opened up a brand new arena, got swept, then went on a bye. Meanwhile, down Hwy. 2, the Bulldogs have quietly started 5-0-1 and are ranked No. 3 in the country. ... UMD sweeps
Roman: Really, really want to pick the Beavers to win in one of these games. BSU has played only two games -- two losses to North Dakota -- 'Dogs six. Can't do it. ... UMD sweeps
Minnesota State at Alaska-Anchorage
Dan: Talk about Jekyll and Hyde: The Mavericks can score in bunches, like they did in a 5-4 win Friday night. Just 24 hours later, they looked miserable in a 1-0 loss. After a solid opening weekend, the Seawolves have lost their last four games -- although three of those have been one-goal contests. When in doubt, take the easy way out. ... Split
Roman: Both these teams were picked to finish near the bottom of the WCHA, along with Michigan Tech. So both these teams have to look at this series as very winnable. Seawolves have 5-5 tie with NoDak, 3-2 ot loss to UMD, two of WCHA favorites and they are home. ... AA sweeps
If WCHA prognosticating looks fun and easy, step right up. I'm ready. Just send me your picks on each series involving a WCHA team by noon Thursday (Nov. 4) with a quick comment. I'll choose one to post based on wit, charm or maybe if yours is the first one I get next week.
We'll run your picks and mine on a post similar to this one on Friday, Nov. 5.