The WCHA playoffs are finally here, and we’ve actually got a bunch of very good matchups this weekend.
The top two seeds, Minnesota State and Bemidji State, both appear to have easier draws than the other two teams with home ice, which is to be expected, but there’s always the chance for an upset in the WCHA.
Still, the 3-6 and 4-5 matchups promise to be the best viewing on the weekend. Let’s get right to our choices.
Daver last week: 5-5-0
Jack last week: 8-2-0
Daver this season: 105-49-21
Jack this season: 118-61-18
No. 8 Alaska Anchorage at No. 1 Minnesota State
Perhaps the most uneven matchup in the first round; the Seawolves played one good game against the Mavericks in the regular season, but that was also in Anchorage. They should find it tougher going in Mankato.
Jack: MSU sweep, 7-2, 3-0
Daver: MSU sweep, 6-1, 4-0
No. 7 Lake Superior State at No. 2 Bemidji State
This one should be slightly more competitive. The Beavers did take 10 of 12 points from the Lakers during the regular season, but the Lakers are playing great hockeyt down the stretch. On the other hand, so are the Beavers. Considering BSU has only lost twice at home so far this season, the consensus is they’ll take care of business this weekend.
Jack: BSU sweep, 3-1, 3-2
Daver: BSU sweep, 5-2, 4-1
No. 6 Michigan Tech at No. 3 Northern Michigan
After series last weekend that saw each UP rival win a game on their opponent’s home ice, the Wildcats and Huskies are back at it again right away. Both games last weekend were contentious, and the playoff atmosphere cranks is up a notch. This one is going three games for sure, but Daver and I disagree on who wins. Either way, it’s a toss-up and should be a fun watch for neutrals this weekend.
Jack: Wildcats in three (MTU wins Friday 4-2, MNU wins Saturday 5-2, NMU wins Sunday 3-2)
Daver: Huskies in three (MTU wins Friday 3-1, NMU wins Saturday 2-1, MTU wins Sunday 4-2)
No. 5 Bowling Green at No. 4 Alaska
Some late-night playoff hockey on the last frontier this weekend for those insomniacs among us (or for those who forget to turn their clocks back). The Nanooks haven’t hosted a home playoff series in five years, so here’s hoping for a cranked-up atmosphere in Fairbanks. These teams were about as close as you could be during the regular season, so we’re expecting another tight three game series.
Jack: Nanooks in three (UAF wins Friday 4-2; BG wins Saturday 3-2; UAF wins Sunday 4-3)
Daver: Nanooks in three (BGSU wins Friday 2-1, UAF wins Saturday 3-1, UAF wins Sunday 3-0)