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Well, the beer race is on! The last two seasons, Arlan and I have had a friendly wager on our weekly picks race, with the winner getting a six pack of brew at the end. In our first two years, I’ve managed to just eke out a win over Arlan; last year, I had to come from behind in the second half to pull it out.

We’ll keep track weekly on who is ahead. With that said, let’s dive into our picks!

Friday-Saturday, Oct. 4-5
Minnesota State at Wisconsin
Candace: Wisconsin doesn’t quite have a go-to scorer the way it has in years past, but luckily, Alex Rigsby is in net, so it shouldn’t make too much of a difference until the Badgers run into North Dakota and Minnesota. Wisconsin 3-1, 2-1
Arlan: The Mavericks are 1-56-3 against the Badgers, including 1-30-1 in Madison. Wisconsin 2-0, 3-1

St. Lawrence home-and-home versus Clarkson
Candace: St. Lawrence is usually good for a split against its North Country rival. Clarkson looked awesome last week, but it was against RIT, who is expected to have a down year, while St. Lawrence split with UNH. Decisions, decisions. Clarkson 3-1, St. Lawrence 2-1
Arlan: If the NCAA tournament started this weekend, the Golden Knights would be my pick to emerge as the champion. Clarkson 5-1, 2-0

Minnesota at Colgate
Candace: Even without Amanda Kessel, Noora Räty, and Megan Bozek, I am going to have a hard time picking against the Gophers this season. Minnesota 4-1, 5-1
Arlan: Do the Raiders have enough scoring to exploit the Gophers’ weaknesses? Minnesota 3-2, 4-1

Rensselaer at Robert Morris
Candace: RMU could be a puzzle this year, but then again, so could RPI. RMU lost starting goaltender Karen DiCocco to graduation; can Alexa Gruschow and company take advantage? Robert Morris 3-2, 2-1
Arlan: RMU is 34-24-7 under Paul Colontino, and that record would be a lot better but for a seven-week stretch in January and February where the Colonials went 2-11-1. Robert Morris 3-2, Rensselaer 4-3

Quinnipiac at St. Cloud State
Candace: Kelly Babstock is back as a senior, and she and Nicole Kosta should have enough to stop the Huskies. Quinnipiac 3-2, 3-1
Arlan: The Bobcats face a WCHA opponent for the first time in five years. St. Cloud State 2-1, Quinnipiac 3-2

Friday, Oct. 4

Syracuse at Northeastern
Candace: Kendall Coyne will be a huge loss for Northeastern while she competes in the Olympics, but I am going with home ice. Northeastern 1-0
Arlan: Neither team returns a lot of offense, so the first team to score will likely win. Syracuse 1-0

RIT at New Hampshire
Candace: Most of the experienced players from RIT’s D-III title team are gone. It may prove a rough couple of months for the Tigers. New Hampshire 2-1
Arlan: October may be a tough month as the Tigers work on filling holes; RIT’s first game versus a Hockey East opponent since going D-I. New Hampshire 3-1

Saturday, Oct. 5

Syracuse at New Hampshire
Candace: New Hampshire is still an up-and-down team, but I think they should come out on top. New Hampshire 2-1
Arlan: UNH was a goal better at Syracuse a year ago. New Hampshire 2-0

RIT at Northeastern
Candace: Again, I go with home ice. Northeastern 3-1
Arlan: The Huskies should retain enough speed to claim this one. Northeastern 4-2

Ohio State at Mercyhurst
Candace: Mercyhurst lost its senior netminder to graduation, but I am going with home ice. Mercyhurst 4-2
Arlan: First meeting of the two teams since 2004; the Buckeyes fell by 2-1 scores in the only two previous games. Mercyhurst 3-2