Looking to stay perfect in CCHA Week 11

By Ryan Stieg 

Well, it finally happened. After trying for more than two months, I achieved the elusive perfect week and I’m feeling great about that.

Not only did I pick every week correctly, but I also picked the right team winning on each night. That is an even rarer feat that I think I’ve only accomplished one other time in the three years I’ve been making my predictions. I picked correctly that Northern Michigan and Michigan Tech would split with each team winning at home and I also was right that Bemidji State would split with Lake Superior State with the former winning Friday and the latter winning Saturday. Finally, I predicted Bowling Green would sweep Ferris State and the Falcons held on Saturday to complete my achievement. Please excuse me while I perform a lengthy guitar solo.  

All right, I’ll stop gloating. But you can’t blame me for doing so, right? The way the conference is playing this season, I might not have another perfect week until next fall. So, I’ll bask in the moment one more time. Ahhh! There, I’m good now. So, here’s my picks for CCHA Week 11 and I’ll start off with a series between a team on the rise and a team currently being consistently inconsistent.  

Bowling Green at Bemidji State (Thurs., Fri.) 

Last week, I said that the Falcons were on the verge of taking off and now that they have after sweeping Ferris, they just need to make sure not to crash on the road. BG looked good at both ends last week and now, they get a chance to go into the long holiday break with some momentum. The Beavers, on the other hand, are wildly inconsistent right now. Last week’s split with LSSU was a perfect example as Bemidji blew out the Lakers Friday, which is the night the Beavers typically play well. However, Lake State returned the favor and lit up the Beavers Saturday, which is the night Bemidji typically plays poorly. So, like I said, consistently inconsistent. I think Bemidji’s trend will continue and it’ll be a split. The Beavers win Thursday 4-3, but the Falcons win Friday 4-1.  

Lake Superior State at Ferris State (Sat.) 

I’m not sure why there’s only one game being played between these two, but it should be an entertaining one. The Lakers’ roller coaster ride continues as they’ve split three of their last four series and there’s no sign that the ride will stop anytime soon. Ferris, on the other hand, is showing its true colors and that is it’s the worst team in a conference full of parity. There’s still some time for the Bulldogs to turn things around, but they’ll need to get off to a hot start in the second half to make that happen. Seeing how it’s just one game, it’s a complete toss-up, so I’ll pick Ferris because it’s at home. The Bulldogs win a tight one, 3-2.  

Minnesota State at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) 

Like a lot of teams around the country, the Mavericks are also dealing with some inconsistency, but this week is a good chance to get back on the right track. After a painful split with St. Thomas where Mankato was leading 1-0 in the third period before falling 2-1 in Mendota Heights, the Mavs travel east to New York to face an awful Engineers squad. RPI is 2-10-1 and hasn’t won since Nov. 10, so if Mankato plays at the level we all know it can, it should get two victories this week. I think it does and the Mavericks get a sweep. Mankato wins 4-1 Friday and 5-2 Saturday.  

Augustana at Alaska Fairbanks 

After a week off, the Vikings return to action in the Last Frontier, which is never an easy trip. The Nanooks have had a solid first half as they’re sitting at 18th in the Pairwise rankings and are hoping to close out the first half on a high note. Augie has been a fun surprise so far and I’m tempted to pick a split just because the Vikings can pull off unexpected wins. However, trips to Alaska can wear down teams and I think Augie won’t adjust well to the time change. The Nanooks sweep, winning 3-2 Friday and 4-2 Saturday.  

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