What a week. Rick Comley announces his retirement at the end of the season, Jim Roque is fined on top of his one-game suspension from last weekend.
And I am barely above .500.
Last week: 5-3-2 (.600)
Season to date: 83-48-23 (.614)
Here are my picks for games this week. I did not pick for last night’s MSU-FSU game, and that was the Bulldogs’ only game this week. There are four two-game CCHA series this weekend, with Michigan and Michigan State playing a single contest in Joe Louis Arena Saturday. Start times are noted.
I’m covering that game in Detroit, so say hello (or tweet me @paulacweston and tell me where to wave) if you see me.
These are quick and dirty, so to speak.
LSSU at BGSU. The Lakers and Falcons skated to consecutive 1-1 ties earlier this season (Dec. 3-4) with LSSU earning the shootout point in each. The Falcons were off last weekend and scored one goal per game in their four contests in this calendar year. 7:05 p.m. BGSU 2-1, LSSU 3-2.
Miami at ND. This is the series to watch, of course. The Irish sit in second place with 41 points, the RedHawks in third with 36. While Miami netminders Connor Knapp and Cody Reichard are playing like mortal men this season, they always play like pros against the Irish; the RedHawks have won seven of the last eight meetings. The teams split in Oxford Dec. 3-4, with the home team taking the first night. 7:35 p.m. Friday, 5:05 p.m. Saturday. ND 2-1, Miami 3-2.
NMU at WMU. Okay, so this is the other series to watch this week. Of course. These teams are tied in the standings, with 29 points each. The Broncos haven’t beaten the Wildcats at home since Nov. 18, 2006, and Northern took four points from Western Dec. 3-4 (are you detecting a theme here?), winning the opener and the shootout the following night. The Broncos are riding the longest national unbeaten streak (5-0-5) into this contest, but are winless in their last three. 7:35 p.m. both nights. WMU 3-2, NMU 3-2.
OSU at UAF. And this is another series to watch, as the Buckeyes with 28 points are one ahead of the Nanooks and OSU has two games in hand on UAF. These teams met earlier this season in – are you ready for it? – November (ha!), with UAF taking four points in Columbus (Nov. 26-27). Alaska leads Ohio State 15-9-2 all-time in Fairbanks, and the Nanooks are so for real. I suspect the Nanooks will sweep and I’ll eat the second pick. 7:05 p.m. AT both nights. UAF 4-3, OSU 3-2.
UM vs. MSU. These teams last met in a home-and-home series Jan. 7-8, with the Spartans winning a thrilling 4-3 overtime game in East Lansing before the Wolverines shut them out the following night, 2-0, in Ann Arbor. Then there was the 5-0 UM Big Chill win Dec. 11. The Wolverines are 22-17-5 against the Spartans in Joe Louis Arena and have beaten MSU five straight at JLA. 8:05 p.m. UM 4-3.