Paula’s picks, Nov. 22, 2011: If it’s Tuesday, it must be Notre Dame and Western Michigan

“Picks” is probably a misnomer. It’s one Tuesday night game.

Notre Dame at Western Michigan The Fighting Irish have a nine-game unbeaten streak (7-0-2) on the line when they play in Lawson Arena tonight, a number that includes five wins decided by a single goal. The most recent of those was a 3-2 overtime win against visiting Boston College last Friday night, Nov. 18, in what Notre Dame is calling the Compton Family Ice Arena “Dedication Game.” Trailing 1-0 after the first on a Boston College penalty shot, ND scored two second-period goals to take the lead, but BC evened it in the closing minutes of regulation. With two seconds left in overtime, Bryan Rust scored the game winner from Sean Lorenz and Sam Calabrese. The Broncos, on the other hand, are trying to stop a four-game losing streak, their last loss coming in South Bend last Tuesday night, Nov. 15, a 3-2 decision in which the Irish scored all three goals in a seven-minute span in the second period. In all four of WMU’s recent losses, the Broncos have mustered two goals per contest. I said last week that if that game were being played in Lawson, I’d call it for WMU. As much as I hate to call against a team with a streak like Notre Dame’s, that’s how I’m calling it. Pick: WMU 3-2

Full picks for the weekend will come Friday morning. Tomorrow’s column will feature Alaska.

As always, there’s Twitter (@paulacweston), email (paula.weston@uscho.com), or the forum below. I’m grateful for the conversation — and not just because it’s Thanksgiving Week here in the States.

  • Timothy Keck

    Can’t wait to be at Lawson tonight.   I’m still confised why the refs took the third goal away from Northern Saturday.  It was in, no penalty, and the goalie obviously had no control of the puck.

    • Mark W.

      Apparently, the referee behind the play blew the whistle after the puck had gone in, but his “intent” was before the fact because he had lost sight of the puck.  In the replay they played on FSD+ that night, you can hear the whistle after the puck is over the line and in the goal, but I guess the back referee’s “intent” to whistle the play dead must overrule the referee who was right there at the goal line declaring it a goal.  I don’t know the technicalities; maybe someone else can explain that…

      • Spanky

        I also get annoyed when the back ref calls a penalty that happend right in front of the other ref who didn’t think it was a penalty. Thats the problem with the two ref system. I think they should go back to one ref and let the linesman call penalites that happen behind the play.
        Also its amazing how much better the NHL refs call games. None of this always even out the penalties BS. College hockey is so predictable….as soon as one team gets two penalites in a row….you just know the other team will get one on a BS weak call.

  • KAW

    With the amount of students already headed home, I would not be surprised if Lawson is a little less raucous than normal. The hockey band will be making its first appearance of the season, though! I like your pick, I think if Western snaps both streaks Notre Dame will at the very least keep it interesting all the way to the buzzer.

  • Mark W.

    Notre Dame is near the top in almost every statistical category so far this season in the CCHA.  Great scoring, good special teams, and limited penalties.  They’re on a roll after beating BC.  So, I think ND will win by at least one goal tonight.  But I don’t care who wins: I just want to see a good game.  And BONUS it’s on TV!!! (Comcast)

  • Paul

    Also contributing to the attendance figure last night at Lawson Arena were a bunch of NHL people, including at least 3 general managers.

    • Aygwm

      OMG