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I closed the first half of the season with a five-game lead on Matthew in our picks contest. We both went 3-1 (.750) in our last weekend of picks. On the year, I am 67-30-8 (.676), while Matthew is 62-35-8 (.628).

Let’s get to the second half.

Wednesday, Dec. 30

Western Michigan vs. No 12 Bowling Green in Toledo
Candace: Western knocked off Bowling Green earlier in the year. I suspect the Falcons get revenge. Bowling Green 3-2
Matthew: Tough to call this one either way, but I’ll take the league homer pick and go with Western. Western Michigan 3-2

Friday-Saturday, Jan. 1-2

No. 16 Notre Dame at No. 17 Denver
Candace: The break came at a really good time for a Denver team that was reeling and had its confidence crushed in series against the NCHC’s two top teams. I think Denver will get a win this weekend, though which day is hard to guess. Notre Dame 2-1, Denver 3-2
Matthew: The Irish have won each of their last four games, and DU has dropped each of its last four. Pioneers would do well to turn it around this weekend. Notre Dame 3-2, Denver 3-1

Arizona State at No. 5 St. Cloud State
Candace: One of two nonconference series this weekend where the NCHC is the big dog and the nonconference opponent is overmatched. St. Cloud State 5-1, 4-0
Matthew: Omaha had no problem pushing the Sun Devils aside before the holiday break, and I can’t see SCSU having any big issues here, either. St. Cloud State 4-1, 4-0

Alabama-Huntsville at No. 2 North Dakota
Candace: See above. North Dakota 5-1, 4-0
Matthew: UAH did win its last game against a Colorado College team that’s getting better, but it’s tough to call anything other than a UND sweep here. North Dakota 3-0, 3-1

Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 2-3

Rensselaer at Miami
Candace: Overtime in both of these games wouldn’t surprise me at all. Miami hasn’t won since the first weekend of November, but I like the RedHawks to get one this weekend. Rensselaer 2-1, Miami 2-1
Matthew: What’s Miami going to look like after having not played a game in nearly a month? That’s what I’m most interested to see here. Rensselaer 3-1, Miami 3-2