Trying to end a slump in CCHA Week 6

By Ryan Stieg 

What is the deal with this league? That’s the big question CCHA writers and fans have been asking each other. Currently, there is no real frontrunner in the conference, and it appears anybody can beat anybody on any given night. This makes me wonder if I should keep making predictions as unlike the previous two years, I continually make a fool of myself with each passing week.  

Two weeks ago, I only picked one CCHA series correctly and that was due to a technicality. Last week, I was hoping to make the correct picks outright and not have to rely on a special rule to bail myself out. Well, I accomplished that when Michigan Tech swept Augustana, but that was the only pick I got right as I whiffed on Mercyhurst-Bowling Green, Bemidji State-Lake Superior State and St. Lawrence-Ferris State.

I’ve never been consistently wrong with my predictions until this season and I thought about maybe sitting out this week, especially since I didn’t have time to make my picks until today. However, I figured my slump has to end at some point, and I may as well keep going until it does. So, let’s start off my Week 6 predictions with the main team that I cover as it heads out east to Ohio.  

St. Thomas at Bowling Green 

Looking at my recent track record, I’m glad the Tommies played at home last week because I would’ve had to deal with another prediction defeat as I would’ve picked them to split with Northern Michigan and they ended up sweeping the Wildcats in impressive fashion. Now, UST heads to BG to face a Falcons squad coming off a split with Mercyhurst. The win on Saturday ended a six-game skid for BG and it might give it a little momentum going into the weekend. I think it’ll be a split with the Tommies winning tonight 4-2 and the Falcons winning Saturday 3-2.  

Lake Superior State at Northern Michigan 

The fight for the Cappo Cup begins tonight in Marquette and it’s between two teams currently going in opposite directions. NMU is struggling on both ends, while the Lakers are somehow the only CCHA squad currently above .500. Yes, the team that finished last the previous season has the best overall record in the league. The smart pick would be a Lakers sweep after LSSU dominated Bemidji last week in two games, but the Wildcats tend to rebound well. Since it’s a rivalry series, I’m picking a split. LSSU wins tonight 3-2, but Northern wins Saturday 5-2.  

Minnesota State at Ferris State 

The mystery that Ferris State continues to be confusing as the Bulldogs should’ve picked up a sweep over the Saints last week, but they finished with a split. Meanwhile, the Mavericks were on a bye and are still trying work through some things. I’m tempted to gamble here and pick a Ferris sweep as the Bulldogs have been known to surprise the Mavs occasionally and Mankato might be a little rusty. However, Ferris’ inconsistency is causing me to play it safe and go with another split. The Bulldogs win tonight 4-3, but the Mavericks win Saturday 4-1.

Michigan Tech at Bemidji State 

Have the Huskies figured it out? It’s possible. They got their first two wins of the season with that sweep of Augustana, but it wasn’t easy as Tech needed overtime to finish off the Vikings Saturday. Now, they head to northern Minnesota where the Beavers are probably still scratching their heads after last week. Bemidji had just swept the Tommies and then went out to Sault Ste. Marie where the Beavers got run over by the Lakers. So, like everybody else in the conference, Bemidji is still a question mark. So, who wins this one? Well, I’m picking another split. Yeah, I know. Roll your eyes if you want, but that is what’s going to happen. Tech wins tonight 2-1, but Bemidji wins Saturday 3-2.  

Augustana at Lindenwood 

Well, it finally happened. The Vikings got dealt their first Division I loss and their first sweep last week, but it’s impressive that it took this long for that to happen. I had my doubts, but Augie’s offense is consistently good. However, its defense is still shaky and that’s what is keeping me from jumping on the bandwagon yet. The good thing for the Vikings is they’re off to face a team that has a good goalie in Trent Burnham, but not much else, so Augie should get a sweep here. The Vikings win tonight 5-2 and Saturday 6-3.  

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