Not taking many risks in CCHA Week 4 

By Ryan Stieg 

Sometimes, people ask me why I never bet on sports, or if I do, why is it in small amounts. The type of bets you would probably call wuss bets, or something of that nature. Well, I think if you look back at my CCHA predictions from last week, you’ll see why.  

Last week was a complete disaster for me and it was unprecedented. I’ve never had a winless weekend when it came to my picks, but that’s what I got handed, five losses. No. 10 Western Michigan took two games from Bowling Green, No. 19 UMass swept Minnesota State in Mankato, Northern Michigan lost twice at No. 13 Arizona State, Michigan Tech fell twice to No. 14 Wisconsin and No. 11 Minnesota Duluth won both games in their home and home series with Bemidji State. Yikes! Next Tuesday is Halloween and I’m going to be haunted by this weekend right up to then.  

I don’t keep track of my overall prediction record, but after last week’s abysmal performance, I’m guessing that I’m slightly above .500 right now. That’s nothing to brag about, but it’s nothing to complain about either. There’s only one way to make up for a horrendous outing when it comes to predictions and that’s to get a perfect week the next time. So, let’s do it. Here are my picks for Week 4 and I’ll start with a series involving the team I cover the most.  

St. Thomas at Bemidji State 

Yes, that’s right. I’m picking a St. Thomas series this week. I’m sure you’re wondering why and that’s because I can’t afford a subscription to FloHockey anymore. Therefore, I won’t be able to watch the Tommies play this weekend on TV. So, from now on, if UST is televised on that network, I’ll be making a prediction about the Tommies on my website and this week, it’s a tough call.  

Bemidji has built up a reputation over the years for stingy defense and good goaltending. This year isn’t any different and that’ll mean goals might be hard to come by this week for the Tommies. However, UST is potent on offense with Lucas Wahlin, Liam Malmquist and the always dangerous Mack Byers all off to good starts so far, so they could surprise people and get hot up north. I think it’ll be a split though. The Tommies win Friday 4-2 and the Beavers win Saturday 3-2.  

Ferris State at Northern Michigan 

It seems like whenever these two teams tangle in Marquette, the goals come quickly and often. That should definitely be the case for the this time Wildcats as Tanner Latsch is on fire right now and the rest of the offense is humming along as well. However, NMU is still searching for its first win despite its explosive offense. It might come this weekend as the Bulldogs only played an exhibition game last week against a club team from Grand Valley State and Ferris won easily. I’m going to go with a Wildcats sweep as Northern wins Friday 5-4 and Saturday 4-3.

Minnesota State at No. 4 North Dakota 

I think this weekend will show signs of where the Mavericks are now. Mankato looked good during its weekend against St. Cloud, but it was swept last week at home by UMass and this weekend doesn’t get any easier with a good Fighting Hawks squad. I still think the Mavs are in decent shape, but it’s hard to win in Grand Forks and I think MSU doesn’t have the weapons this year to keep up. UND sweeps, winning 4-2 Friday and 5-1 Saturday.  

Michigan Tech at St. Lawrence 

So how good are the Huskies? At the start of the season, they seemed like the team to beat in the CCHA, but Tech is still winless and hasn’t exactly looked good either. They managed only a tie against Alaska at home and were then swept aside by Wisconsin. If you want a true gauge on where MTU is at, it should come this weekend. The Saints have lost three straight, so if the Huskies are going to get on track, this is a great opportunity. I think Tech sweeps, winning 4-1 Friday and 5-2 Saturday.  

Lake Superior State at Clarkson 

Are the Lakers getting better? There was nowhere to go but up for LSSU at the start of the season and right now, they’re not exactly going up. The Lakers rose slightly two weeks ago when they nabbed their first victory, but are veering sideways at this point as they lost to Alaska Anchorage and then needed to rally to beat Simon Fraser in an exhibition game last week. Now, they head east to face the Golden Knights and long trips aren’t easy on any team. I think Lake State gets a win this week, but it’ll finish with a split. Clarkson wins Friday 2-1, but the Lakers win Saturday 4-3.  

Augustana at No. 2 Denver, Colorado College 

Well, the Vikings sure pulled a surprise two weeks ago when they not only defeated Bowling Green but swept the Falcons as well. This week is a much more difficult challenge though as the Pioneers are loaded as usual and the Tigers seem to be improving as a program. I think both opponents will be too much for Augie to handle, but it’ll put up a decent fight both nights. Denver wins Friday 6-2 and CC wins Saturday 5-2.  

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