New year, new start in CCHA Week 13

Happy New Year everyone! 

With this new year, we all get a fresh start and based on what happened last weekend, the CCHA is probably thrilled about that as it had a horrible holiday week.  

As far as I go, I did decent with my predictions. It’s hard to pick mid-season tournaments correctly, but I was right that Maine would win the Ledyard Bank Classic and that Notre Dame would sweep Augustana in South Bend.  

However, Michigan Tech rallied past Alaska to get past the Great Lakes Invitational semifinals and then beat Michigan State in a shootout to win the GLI and hand me a loss. Tech was also the only CCHA squad to win last week, so it was an awful winter break for the league.

That wasn’t my only defeat though as I also got the St. Cloud State-Bemidji State series wrong. I thought it’d be a competitive split and the Huskies stomped the Beavers in an easy sweep. So, not a great week for me, but also not a bad one.  

This week, both the CCHA and I get a chance to get on back on track and begin 2024 on a good note. There’s two conference series as well as a nonconference battle in Ohio on deck, so let’s get started. Here are my picks for Week 13 in the CCHA and I’ll start off with a big battle in the Buckeye State. 

Bowling Green vs. Ohio State (Friday at Columbus, Saturday at BG) 

Just when I thought the Falcons were starting to soar, they plummeted back to earth. Before Christmas, BG was swept by Bemidji and in arguably their most embarrassing moment of the season, the Falcons lost badly to Windsor in an exhibition last Saturday. It doesn’t get any easier either as the Buckeyes are a more talented squad than both the Beavers and the Lancers. OSU (6-8-4) has had an up and down year and has battled inconsistency, so if the Falcons can get things going offensively, maybe they can get back in the win column. I think BG pulls it together and forces a split. OSU wins Friday 4-2, but the Falcons win Saturday 3-1.  

Bemidji State at Ferris State 

So how good are the first place Beavers? Well, it’s hard to say. They looked good against BG a couple weeks ago, but awful against St. Cloud as Bemidji got outscored 12-2 last week. If there’s a positive for the Beavs, they get the Bulldogs, who are on a six-game skid. Ferris is just having a bad year and it’s a bit surprising as it looked as if the Bulldogs made progress last season. Bemidji should get a sweep here, but this is the CCHA and rarely does anything that should happen, actually happen. As a result, I’m picking a split. Ferris wins Friday 3-2, but Bemidji wins Saturday 5-3.  

Minnesota State at Augustana 

It’s been a while, but the Mavericks are back in action again. The last time Mankato hit the ice, it finished with a surprising split at RPI after the Engineers upset the Mavs in the opener. Now, after two weeks off, the Mavs head to Sioux Falls where the Vikings are coming off a sweep at Notre Dame. On paper, Mankato is the better team, but Augie played better than expected last week and got wins over Northern Michigan and Alaska last month, so it’s a tough call. I’m tempted to pick a Mavericks sweep, but I think the rust will come in to play for them and it’ll be a split. The Vikings win Friday 5-4, but Mankato rolls to a 6-2 win Saturday.  

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