Still searching for perfection in CCHA Week 9

By Ryan Stieg 

One of the things I enjoyed doing as a kid at Thanksgiving was pulling the wishbone of the turkey because my wish usually came true. If I had remembered to do that last Thursday, I probably would’ve gotten my wish and that was a perfect week of CCHA predictions.  

I came agonizingly close to pulling it off though. I just needed Minnesota State to split with Michigan Tech, but the Huskies ended up sweeping the Mavericks in Mankato, so I ended up going 3-1 on the weekend. I’m still proud that I got Northern Michigan-Bowling Green, Bemidji State-North Dakota and Augustana-Omaha correct though. Am I finally getting on a hot streak? I think I might be.  

I can’t get cocky though as this week brings a new set of challenges including another chance for me to pick a St. Thomas series. Will I finally achieve that elusive perfect week? I’m keeping my fingers crossed. So, here are my picks for Week 9 in the CCHA and I’m going to start off with a trip to Big Rapids where a certain purple team will try to get a couple of big wins.  

St. Thomas at Ferris State 

Right now, the Tommies have to be feeling confident. They’ve won five of their last six games and are sitting in first place in the CCHA standings, which is something most people didn’t think would happen this season. Transfer players like Liam Malmquist and Matthew Gleason have been hot recently and CCHA Goalie of the Month Aaron Trotter has been locked in during November. Then there’s Ferris, who is sitting at the bottom of the standings. The Bulldogs were off last week, and that break was probably needed as they were coming off a sweep by Mankato. It’s hard to win at Ferris as the arena is small and it can get quite loud, but UST is hot right now and I can’t pick against them at this point. The Tommies win Friday 4-2 and Saturday 3-1.  

Minnesota State at Lake Superior State 

Here’s two teams that are still trying to figure things out and honestly, I’m still trying to figure them out too. I saw the Lakers in person last weekend and they’re better than last year’s squad, but still have a long way to go to get back to the level they were at three years ago. LSSU looked bad on Friday, but came out hot Saturday and ended up snapping the Tommies’ five-game winning streak. Mankato, on the other hand, has had an up and down season. The Mavericks blew a big lead to Bemidji and were just swept by Tech last week. So, are they trending downward? I’m thinking so, but I’m not confident enough to pick a Lakers sweep. So, I’ll pick a split. LSSU wins Friday 4-3, but Mankato wins Saturday 5-4.

Bowling Green at Michigan Tech 

Is Tech turning things around? It just might be. After a surprisingly bad start, the Huskies appear to have found their groove as they’ve won six of their last eight games including last week’s sweep of Mankato. In the case of the Falcons, they might not have found their groove yet, but they could be moving in the right direction. BG has split its last two series and easily could’ve swept the series with Lake State, so maybe the Falcons just need one more push to get flying again. Getting two wins over Tech could do that, but I think it’ll be a split. The Huskies win Friday 4-2, but the Falcons win Saturday 3-1.  

Augustana at Northern Michigan 

After a wacky month where the Vikings were the fun surprise of college hockey, it appears as if they have come back down to earth. Augie has lost three in a row and five of its last six including last week’s sweep at Omaha. So, maybe teams have started to figure out how to deal with the Vikings. NMU, on the other hand, is doing pretty well. The Wildcats have won five of their last six and are playing near the level that people thought they’d be at this year. I’m feeling confident about the ‘Cats, so I’ll predict a Northern sweep. The Wildcats win Friday 4-1 and Saturday 5-2.

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