A Look Ahead - WCHA

This week we have many interesting games to be played in the WCHA.  Teams are starting to set themselves apart from others, some going in to panic mode and others embracing strengths and earning wins.  Denver and St. Cloud State stand in first place in the WCHA with 6 points each.  My predictions didn't go so hot last week but hell, why not give it another go.

Denver at Minnesota State:
Honestly, to me, this one is pretty easy to predict from looking at stats, but this is college hockey.  Denver is coming off a big 6 to 1 win over SCSU, but lost on Friday night.  Denver leads the league in both scoring offense and defense at 4.33 goals per game while only allowing 1.67.  Pretty impressive.  Mankato on the other hand is towards the bottom in both categories.  But I wouldn't necessarily guarantee anything.  Mankato is coming off a big win against Minnesota and if they can find a way to stay out of the box and kill the penalties they do get, they could put up a decent fight.  BUT, Denver sweeps.

North Dakota at St. Cloud State:
This is one of my "series to watch".  North Dakota hasn't been as consistant as Hakstol may like, but you can't count these guys out, ever.  They split with Boston University last weekend at Ralph in what was actually a pretty great series.  What we do know is SCSU has been playing very well and averages 3.88 goals per game which may be deadly against if North Dakota can't get their defense going.  On the other hand, ND only allows, on average, 2 goals per game which could give the Huskies a world of problems.  Split.

Bemidji State at Colorado College:
We're full of good match-ups this week, I like this one as well.  Colorado College is coming off a sweep of Wisconsin at Kohl, so they high expectations and rolling thunder on their sides.  But Bemidji looks a hell of a lot better than last year.  BSU Goalie Andrew Walsh leads the all WCHA goaltenders in GGA and save percentage with a 1.48 and .955%.  Those numbers alone aren't going to help anything that CC can bring to the table as far as their offense is concerned.  I'm sure Colorado College is hoping for a sweep here but I'm going with the Beavers taking at least one night.  Split.

Minnesota at Alaska Anchorage:
Gophers say they're not in panic mode just yet, but the pressure is on for Don Lucia and his gang.  After suffering 2 loses to 2 unranked teams thus far, the Gophers have fallen short of preseason polls and Minnesota expectations, but there is still plenty of hockey to be played.  UAA isn't exactly an easy team to predict, either.  Anchorage was able to tie North Dakota and beat Merrimack 6 to 3.  Another interesting note is both teams have played Canisius, Minnesota beat them 1 to 0 and Anchorage beat them 2 to 0.  I'm sorry but I am unable to count Minnesota out here, but cannot give them the sweep.  Split.