WCHA First Round Playoff Predictions

Here are my thoughts about the five first round matchups:

#10 Michigan Tech at #1 North Dakota

Tech seems to give UND fits. The two teams split the regular season series 1-1-1, but there’s too much on the line and the Fighting Sioux have been lights out in 2009. North Dakota in two.

For a complete preview of this series, click here.

#9 Alaska-Anchorage at #2 Denver

Here’s my upset special of the week. The Seawolves split with the Pioneers in Denver this year, they’ve played well on the road, and they’re playing as well as anyone (aside from UND) in the conference. The Pioneers will watch the Final Five from home and get Bozak back in time for the NCAAs. Anchorage in three.

#8 Minnesota State University-Mankato at #3 Wisconsin

The Badgers were on a terrible slide until the regular season finale in Madison. The Mavericks’ Trevor Breuss will be unavailable for Friday’s opener due to another suspension, and UW will roll at home. Wisconsin in two.

#7 Minnesota-Duluth at #4 Colorado College

I wish both of these teams could make the Final Five, but it’s not meant to be. I like the Bulldogs in this one, and it’s not an upset. Duluth in three.

#6 St. Cloud State at #5 Minnesota

The Gophers handled the Huskies in the regular season, winning all four games. It all depends on which Maroon and Gold squad shows up (and more to the point, what kind of goaltending they get). This series might set records for the most goals scored in a first round series. St. Cloud State in three.

So my Final Five will look like this:

North Dakota
St. Cloud State

Check back on Sunday night for a look at how close I was and for a complete preview of the WCHA Final Five.

5 thoughts on “WCHA First Round Playoff Predictions”

  1. Is this a joke? How can you pick Duluth and Alaska… North Dakota in three, Wisconsin in three, Minnesota in two, CC in three and Denver in two. Looking forward to a big Gopher/ Sioux game on Friday evening, both make the NCAA tournament. Duluth looked so bad the past two weekends.

  2. A couple fun stats: 1) KRACH says Duluth is the favored team with a 51% chance of winning each game. 2) Duluth’s WCHA point differential is +6, CC’s -3

    I’m not going so far as Dave and saying Duluth wins the series, but ignoring local factors that don’t make it into the stats, it going to three sure wouldn’t be a surprise and neither outcome could really be considered much of an upset. AA to win the series? Dave’s on his own defending that one 😉

    That said, I’d personally be tempted to pick it straight, 1-5. The usual temptation is to flip the 5-6, if any, and I just don’t see it.

  3. UMD with a huge win last night. With so many of the top seeds needing to win to get into the NCAA I thought (think) we will have 1-5. Most years we have locks through three or four and that is where upsets happen. How can CC lose when they need this weekend and at least one win in the Final Five to make the NCAA. It would be the biggest surprise of the season if they don’t get in.

    I still think the Gophers beat CC on Thursday and end up at home for the NCAA. I hate to say it but watch out then.

  4. Duluth is a mystery… we’ll see if this teams shows up on Thursday night. If so, it will be fun.

  5. Well, I got three out of five by picking three road teams (Anchorage, Duluth, and St. Cloud) to win. I would have had four out of five by going with all five home teams, but where’s the fun in that?

    And as Jim correctly pointed out, Duluth over Colorado College was not an upset. A little surprising that they swept the Tigers on the big ice sheet, but I’m not shocked at all that they advanced.


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