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Ferris State kicked off the WCHA’s 2013-14 regular season a week ago by splitting with the ECAC’s Colgate in Hamilton, N.Y. — a 7-4 win Friday and 1-0 loss Saturday — and will take the weekend off before playing another nonconference game on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the other nine conference members are all in action on Friday and Saturday, with Bowling Green State playing again on Tuesday as well.

Here are the picks.

 

Kendall Hockey Classic at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage

Friday

Air Force vs. Alaska

Matt: Thanks to the government shutdown, the Falcons have found themselves in a constant state of limbo. They’ll be in Anchorage this weekend, but in what kind of shape? The trip to Alaska is tough as it is, it has to be even tougher not knowing until the last minute whether you are going or not. Alaska 2-1.

Shane: I’m with you on the shutdown. That can’t be easy, twisting in the wind like that, wondering if you’re going to play. The Nanooks have a pretty solid group back from the only team, other than Minnesota State, to have a winning record among the teams that make up the new WCHA. Alaska 3-1.

No. 10 Quinnipiac at Alaska-Anchorage

Matt: The Seawolves start their rebuilding against a very tough challenge in Quinnipiac, one that’s probably too much to overcome this early in the season. Quinnipiac 4-1

Shane: Quinnipiac isn’t the same team as last year’s Frozen Four squad, but it’s still an uphill battle for Anchorage. Quinnipiac 4-2.

Saturday

No. 10 Quinnipiac vs. Alaska

Matt: I tend to think more highly of Alaska than others in the league, but not enough to take them over the 2012-13 national runners up. The Bobcats really impressed me last year in the tournament. Quinnipiac 3-1

Shane: I’m going the other way here. No Eric Hartzell for Qunnipiac. Alaska’s John Keeney will be the better goalie. Alaska 2-1.

Air force vs. Alaska-Anchorage

Matt: If it wasn’t for the chaos surrounding the shutdown, I would have taken Air Force over Alaska. I think the Falcons rebound Saturday. Air Force 2-0

Shane: In what is basically the third-place game, I like Air Force as well. Air Force 3-1

 

Friday-Saturday

Robert Morris at Lake Superior State

Matt: The Lakers and Colonials were once rumored as possible league-mates when the CCHA was eyeing former College Hockey American teams in the East to save itself. I’m not sure those rivalries would have played out very well. LSSU 2-1, RMU 3-1

Shane: I’m still getting to know the former CCHA teams but was surprised to see Lake Superior drop its exhibition game to the U.S. Under-18 team. The Lakers are honoring their 1988 National Championship team this weekend. That might fire them up for one win. I’m with Matt here with a series split. LSSU 2-1, RMU 4-2

 

Alabama-Huntsville at Northeastern

Matt: This is the Chargers only series before opening WCHA play on Oct. 25-26 against Bemidji State. They’ll have to use the trip to Boston almost as a preseason series to fine tune things. Northeastern 4-1, 3-1

Shane: I’m curious to see what a stable Huntsville team can do, one with a coaching staff in place and recruits who knew they were coming to a program that’s sticking around for a while. It will take coach Mike Corbett some time to get things going, and I also see a Northeastern sweep. Northeastern 5-1, 2-1

 

No. 11 Minnesota State at No. 14 Providence

Matt: Picked to win the WCHA by the coaches and media, other NCAA tourney hopefuls in the league, like Ferris State, would welcome a Mavericks sweep. That’s tough to do opening weekend on the road. Providence 3-1, MSU 4-3

Shane: The Mavericks swept the Friars in Mankato last season, but Providence was without All-American goalie Jon Gillies. It will be Gillies vs. Stephon Williams, the best goalie from Hockey East vs. the best from the WCHA. They’ll split, with MSU taking the opener and the Friars coming back. MSU 3-1, Providence 2-1

 

Bemidji State at No. 9 St. Cloud State

Matt: It’s the first series at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center since it’s grand re-opening this fall. That will be a tough environment for the Beavers to win in. SCSU 4-1, 3-1

Shane: Bemidji’s tough schedule opens in a really tough spot. The Huskies will be raising banners, and the crowd will be into it. The Beavers are going to have trouble scoring goals this season. St. Cloud sweeps. SCSU 3-1, 5-1

 

Michigan Tech at Minnesota Duluth

Matt: Another matchup between former WCHA rivals, which was dominated by the Bulldogs last season. All the Huskies could manage was a tie. Both of Tech’s losses in Duluth were by a goal, however. UMD 3-2, Tech 4-3

Shane: I think Michigan Tech is a top-three team in the WCHA. The Huskies will stun the Bulldogs in the first game, but Duluth will bounce back for the series split. Tech 5-2, UMD 3-2

 

Bowling Green State at Union

Matt: With Ryan Carpenter reportedly having surgery on a broken hand today, the Falcons are really going to have to rely on Dan DeSalvo offensively. Union 2-0, BGSU 2-1

Shane: That’s a big blow for Bowling Green off the bat, and Union was an NCAA team last season. Union sweeps a pair of close games. Union 2-1, 2-1

 

Northern Michigan at No. 3 Wisconsin

Matt: The Badgers have struggled in season-opening series against NMU the last two seasons, losing three of the last four all in Wisconsin (NMU swept UW in Green Bay last year). NMU has won three of its last four games in the Kohl Center dating back to January of 2009. NMU 3-2, UW 5-2

Shane: My first thought was to pick a sweep by the Badgers, the nation’s third-ranked team, but Matt’s pulled up some impressive stats. I’ll flip-flop the split, with Wisconsin winning the series opener and Northern pulling off an upset on Saturday. UW 4-2, NMU 2-1

 

Tuesday

Ohio State at Bowling Green State

Matt: The only win the Falcons could steal from the Buckeyes last year in their final season together in the CCHA was in a shootout, which doesn’t really count. Both teams meet again Oct. 29 in Columbus. OSU 2-1

Shane: I’ll take a Bowling Green bounce-back here. There will be a hangover for Ohio State’s tumultuous offseason. BGSU 3-1

 

Ferris State at Mercyhurst

Matt: The Bulldogs and Lakers were once league rivals in everything but hockey in Division II’s Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Lakers are participating in the IceBreaker in Minneapolis on Friday and Saturday while the Bulldogs are off. For once, a Bulldogs team will be the well rested ones after a seven hour trip from Big Rapids, Mich. to Erie, Pa. FSU 4-2

Shane: I’ll go with Matt on this one. FSU 4-2

  • Nagiom

    Losing might have been good for Ferris.

    • That other guy

      A bracket with north dakota and MN is good?

      • Nagiom

        Those are last week’s brackets. BU, Merrimack and Northern in Bridgeport is slightly better. I hope.

      • bluetell

        That was last weeks bracket. Now they’d have BU, Northern, and Merrimack. Much better than NoDak and Minnesota

  • Goldy

    I have a question about this paragraph: “A host institution which is invited tothe tournament plays in the regional for which it is the host,and cannot be moved. There are fourhost institutions this year: Yale in Bridgeport,Holy Cross inWorcester, MichiganTech in GreenBay and Minnesota in St. Paul.”

    Do those four teams automatically make the tournament?

    • Nagiom

      No, but IF they make the tourney, they play at the location where they are hosting.

    • Chrisgal

      No. But if they do make it, they have to stay in the regional they are “hosting”. It’s caused problems in the past (higher seeds getting moved, etc) and will continue to until they make conferences the hosts instead of individual teams…

  • Huntncamper

    GB is not worrisome…put North Dakota anywhere in the midwest/west and their fans WILL travel

  • DrBob

    Minnesota is in Minneapolis. I realize they share a border, but could one argue that UMD be considered a ‘host’ in St Paul? Or is Minnesota involved organizationally as a host institution?

    I’m asking because, given the population density of MSP, one could see a preponderance of tournaments in which Minnesota gets to stay home. I would consider this a competetive advantage. Minnesota ought to draw just as many people to Green Bay (especially when Wisconsin is out of the mix), and UMD has a tremendous alumni community in the Twin Cities.

    And frankly, if the Frozen Four is to be held in places such as Tampa, then travel should not be a consideration when setting up the tournament. As it is – nice bracketology, Jason!

    • Mr. Hockey

      Minnesota is the host school this year. As for staying home? Minnesota has played in Worcester, Mass and other Eastern cities over the years as well. As a Gopher Season ticket holder and Minnesota hockey fan in general I say keep Minnesota and UMD both in St. Paul. The “X” would be packed, plus both fan bases have a respect for each other. With both schools having a lot of Minnesotan’s on their rosters, it makes sense to put them in St. Paul. 

    • Cmlobue

      Being a host means more than being near the site.  Minnesota did the work on the regional, so they get to stay there regardless.

  • Pbirnesser

    I would set the brackets as follows

    St. Paul
    #1 UMD vs.  #16 AFA
    #7 MN vs. #9 Union

    Worcester
    #2 BC vs. #14 NoDak
    #8 MIA vs. #10 Maine

    Green Bay
    #3 Mich vs. #13 DU
    #6 UML vs. #11 MSU

    Bridgeport
    #4 FSU vs. #15 Merrimack
    #5 BU vs. #12 NMU

    • Sparta

      i agree, except for 1 switch-union and maine. moy has the bracket integrity all torn up.  the first thing he did was put denver13 with BC when it should have been UND14.

  • Bc09forward

    I don’t understand why you would even consider putting UMD in Green Bay. St. Paul is 3 hours closer to them. That is a clear benefit for the team and traveling fans. End of discussion.

    • PerfectlyCromulent

      Duluth was put into the St. Paul bracket this week.  you are looking at the previous weeks bracketology.

      • Bc09forward

        I know that Duluth was put in St. Paul this week. But in the step-by-step process, they were initially put in Green Bay.

  • SIOUXFAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    this is stupid. North Dakota brings more fan to the Excel in  Minneapolis than UMD does. Why move the Sioux farther away just because you want a Minn fest?….once again North Dakota gets swept under a rug…………

    • BigDogpa

      …..and STAY under there!

  • WCHA HOCKEY

    North Dakota fans are crazy and would actually make the drive to Green Bay to watch the Sioux, not as many Duluth fans will, why not just keep UMD in St. Paul. Also the NCAA should evalute letting Alabama host the tourny in Tampa Bay??? Alabama hardly has an attendence as it is, why let them host the tournament like 200 miles if not more from them and the rest of college hockey in the North. This is the part that doesn’t make any sence.

  • Schneidz

    I don’t understand why you are insisting on switching Merrimack with Denver to avoid the intraconference matchup in  both cases don’t you try to keep bracket integrity by switching with the closest seeds as long as it doesn’t create another conference matchup. That would mean switch Merrimack with UND. I had my bracket exactly the same as Pbirnesser

  • Enron

    As a UMD fan, I would rather see UMD play in Green Bay for one reason.  I can’t imagine a better way to knock the Gophers out of the NCAA tournament than beating them in the Frozen Four.

    I do think it’s crap that UofM is automatically considered the host every time there is a regional in MPLS.  Too bad Amsoil isn’t a bigger venue, but it’s a great venue for home games.  Would rather a smaller venue be packed for most home games, rather than a huge venue only be half full during most of the regular season.

    To the Gopher’s credit – that Sweep they gave UMD at the begging of the year has haunted us all year.  Going to be pulling for the Badgers this weekend to keep the Gophers out of the W column, and for the ‘Dogs to sweep SCSU.

    Go Bulldogs!

    • Djean02

      BTW, UofM is University of Michigan.  Minnesota is Minnesota…

  • Yooper

    It’s convoluted I know, and you do a methodical job.    And granted, some of these teams (including NMU) have work to do before they get to the dance.  But, with the current roster, isn’t there a way to get NMU to Green Bay?  It’s a three hour bus ride.    

  • Big Ten Bound

    The Gophers and UMD should be in different regions … like BC and BU .. so each has a better chance of making the Frozen Four — it’s an EASTERN conspiracy! AGAIN!

  • NattyChamps

    ’bout time UMD is put in the St. Paul regional!!!