As we close in on the end of the season, it seems like nothing is safe. A handful of WCHA teams have claimed playoff spots, but their positioning is not set yet. It feels the same for nearly the entire rest of the league as every game this weekend feels like it carries some significance in the race for the playoffs.
I guess that is why they play the games, eh?
Daver last week: 5-2-1
Jack last week: 4-3-1
Daver this season: 87-43-17
Jack this season: 99-56-14
Michigan Tech at Ferris State
After the Bulldogs earned a key split three weekends ago, their playoff hopes proved far from extinguished. However, they followed that weekend up with a sweep at the hands of Northern Michigan.
This weekend, they are at home, and need at least three points to keep pace with Alaska Anchorage in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot.
The Huskies also need the points, as they trail Alaska by five points for the fourth and final home playoff spot. They are coming off a split last weekend with Lake Superior State.
Daver: MTU sweeps, 3-1 and 4-2
Jack: MTU sweeps, 5-3 and 4-1
Alabama Huntsville at Lake Superior State
If there is one team who appears to have the most difficult road to the WCHA playoffs, it is the Chargers, who have two wins all year. Ironically, they have beaten two of the three Upper Peninsula of Michigan teams, Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan. This weekend, they face the third U.P. team in the Lakers.
The Lakers took a step towards clinching the seventh spot in the WCHA playoff picture with a split last weekend in Houghton. Head coach Damon Whitten was pleased with the offensive outburst Friday (seven goals), but was disappointed that they could not complete the comeback on Saturday, falling in overtime.
Daver: UAH wins Friday 2-1, LSSU wins Saturday 5-2
Jack: UAH wins Friday 3-2, LSSU wins Saturday 5-3
No. 16 Bemidji State at No. 19 Northern Michigan
Seven points separate the Beavers and the Wildcats heading into a duel at the Berry Events Center in Marquette, Michigan.
The Beavers enter the weekend well rested after enjoying their final bye week of the season after sweeping Bowling Green the weekend prior. They are 4-1-1 in their last four games.
The Wildcats return home after a tough trip to Minnesota State last weekend that saw them fall 7-3 on Friday and 1-0 on Saturday. They would love nothing more than to bounce back and cut deeply into the Beavers’ lead in the hopes of getting to host Lake Superior State in the playoffs.
Daver: BSU wins Friday 4-2, NMU wins Saturday 3-1
Jack: BSU sweeps, 4-2 and 3-2
Bowling Green at Alaska
Coming into the weekend just one point back of Michigan Tech, the Falcons would love to earn a key win on the road against the Nanooks.
Bowling Green fought their way to a sweep of Alaska Anchorage last weekend, but it was far from easy as the Seawolves tied the game late in the third to force the extra session Friday. The Seawolves also led at three different points over the course of the night. Saturday was a different story as the Seawolves led early, but the Falcons took the lead early in the second and never looked back.
The Nanooks’ dream season continued last weekend as they took five of a possible six points from the Chargers on the road. They sit in the fourth and final home playoff spot, five points ahead of Michigan Tech and four points behind Northern Michigan in third.
Daver: BGSU wins Friday 4-1, UAF wins Saturday 3-1
Jack: UAF sweeps, 3-1 and 2-1
Alaska Anchorage at No. 10 Arizona State
Having already played 24 games in WCHA action this season, the Seawolves are in a tough situation this weekend as they play their final non-conference series of the season. The Seawolves sit just three points ahead of Ferris State in the eighth and final playoff spot. To make matters worse, they head out on the road to face Arizona State, a team still in the discussion for the NCAA Tournament thanks to a 20-9-3 record on the season.
The Seawolves enter the weekend fresh off a sweep at the hands of Bowling Green, despite holding leads in both games.
The Sun Devils had a very strong showing on the weekend against two eastern schools in Holy Cross and Bentley, earning two wins in the process. They have won five in a row and nine of their last 10.
Daver: ASU sweeps, 4-2 and 3-2
Jack: ASU sweeps, 4-0 and 3-1