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Thanks to Minnesota-Duluth, I got another game on Matthew in our season picks race. Last week, I went 5-2-2 to move to 45-24-8 on the year, while Matthew went 4-3-2 to move to 42-27-8.

Some interesting nonconference matchups this week. Let’s see how we do. Unfortunately for Matthew, we see eye-to-eye this week.

Western Michigan versus Rensselaer (Friday in South Bend)
Candace: I still don’t understand how RPI isn’t ranked; what do the Engineers have to do? They’ve beaten three ranked teams and tied a fourth. The only bad results were the Alaska trip. Western will try to regroup from its shellacking against St. Cloud two weeks ago to defend its title in this tournament, but I don’t see it happening, especially on the road, even if it is a neutral site. RPI 4-1
Matthew: I want to go with Western here, but RPI is 6-0-2 in its last eight games and I think they get a seventh win in that stretch here. RPI 4-2

Ohio State at No. 6 Omaha
Candace: Mavericks nation might hate me, but I don’t see any way to pick a split. Besides, the last time I picked Omaha to sweep, they did, so … Omaha 4-2, 3-1
Matthew: I think UNO will keep up its undefeated home record against a Buckeyes team that has yet to win on the road. Omaha 3-1, 3-1

Colorado College versus Air Force home-and-home
Candace: Air Force hasn’t been great this year, though CC is worse, and is the only team without even a tie, let alone a win. However, I have to believe it changes this weekend. If it doesn’t, the Tigers might finish the first half with a perfect losing record. Air Force 3-2, Colorado College 3-1
Matthew: I keep wondering when CC’s going to pick up its first win of the season. This might come back to bite me, but I’m going back to the well again here. Home teams win. Air Force 3-2, Colorado College 3-2

No. 5 North Dakota at Michigan State (Friday-Sunday)
Candace: Michigan State is a better team than its record, judging by what I saw in Denver last month, and is a good home team, but I like North Dakota to emerge with a sweep. North Dakota 3-2, 4-2
Matthew: MSU has been mediocre so far this season, but I can see them stealing a game here. I’ll take the homer pick, though. North Dakota 3-1, 3-2

No. 7 St. Cloud State at Minnesota (Friday-Sunday)
Candace: This was a split last year, but I think St. Cloud is better and Minnesota worse, so I’m going for the NCHC sweep and continued ownage of the Big Ten, though in two close games. St. Cloud State 3-2, 3-1
Matthew: How is this not a home-and-home? The schools are 70 miles apart and there’s a day off between games. Sort it out, people. Anyway, I’m taking the Huskies to sweep. St. Cloud State 3-2, 4-2