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Well, Arlan has closed to within three games after the first half of the year. Neither of us did particularly outstanding last week, as I went 13-8-2 (.608) to move to 157-52-25 (.724), while Arlan went 14-7-2 (.652) to move to 154-55-25 (.711).

We’re in agreement this week, so he’ll have to wait to the second half to try to catch me.

Friday-Saturday, Dec. 12-13

Mercyhurst at Penn State
Candace: Penn State has been one of the surprises of the first half, but I don’t see the Nittany Lions beating Mercyhurst. Mercyhurst 3-2, 4-1
Arlan: Penn State has managed to avoid a sweep thus far, and they may do so again, but I don’t know if that would mean a win, nor on which day; the odds favor the guests. Mercyhurst 3-1, 2-0

Bemidji State at St. Cloud
Candace: One of these will be close, but I like the Beavers to sweep. Bemidji State 4-1, 2-1
Arlan: The big ice surface in St. Cloud could throw the Beavers off, particularly in game one, but the Huskies look too worn out to take advantage. Bemidji State 1-0, 3-1

North Dakota at RIT
Candace: Neither team has lit the world on fire of late, but I have to think North Dakota is stronger overall. North Dakota 3-1, 4-1
Arlan: If Ali Binnington’s health is iffy, I wouldn’t expect her to play in a non-CHA series with four weeks off looming. North Dakota 3-0, 2-1

Maine at Union
Candace: Probably depends on which Black Bears team shows up, but I’ll go with Maine to sweep. Maine 2-1, 3-1
Arlan: These teams have played two-game series in each of the last six seasons, and the Black Bears haven’t swept any of them. Union took both games in Maine two years ago. Payback? Nah, probably a split. Maine 1-0, 2-1

Sunday, Dec. 14

Dartmouth at Vermont
Candace: Home ice, or the team that has been a little better of late? Dartmouth 3-2
Arlan: Despite the records, I sense that the Big Green are just a little bit better at the moment. Dartmouth 4-3