In the past couple of months, I’ve heard plenty of comments about my score predictions and how accurate they (sometimes) are. I always have four things in mind when I set out to anticipate the results of a game or series:
#1: How many points will each team earn on the weekend? This one is fairly simple. Do I expect a split? Sweep? Three points?
#2: The result of each individual game (win, loss, or tie). In other words, will the home team take the opener but struggle in the rematch? Will travel be a factor? How have the teams been playing on Fridays and Saturdays?
#3: The nature of each game. Will the result be lopsided? Low scoring? Racehorse hockey?
#4: The actual score I expect for each game. Hockey scores are so random, with special teams, goaltending, and in-game adjustments all playing a role.
I went back and looked at the past 10 weekends for North Dakota. One of the weekends was a single game at Duluth (Hall of Fame Game), while the other nine were two-game series. So we’ve got a stretch of 19 games to examine.
Here are my predictions, the actual scores, and a comment for each series.
vs. Notre Dame Prediction: 5-2, 2-2. Actual Scores: 6-3, 2-2. I feel good about this; picking a three point series is tough, and I nearly nailed both scores.
vs. St. Cloud State Prediction: 5-2, 3-3. Actual Scores: 3-1. 6-2. Meh.
at MSU-Mankato Prediction: 4-3, 4-2. Actual Scores 4-3, 4-2. Doesn’t get any better than this.
at Minnesota-Duluth Prediction: 4-3. Actual Score: 5-0. Predicted the victory, but that’s about it.
vs. Robert Morris Prediction: 6-1, 3-2. Actual Scores: 8-0, 2-1. As I said above, I nailed the results and the types of games we could expect. Good stuff here.
vs. Minnesota Prediction: 2-3, 4-1. Actual Scores: 2-3, 4-1. Nailed it again. This is when the buzz about my predictions really started.
vs. Nebraska-Omaha Prediction: 3-2, 3-3. Actual Scores: 4-8, 4-2. Ugh.
at Colorado College Prediction: 3-2, 3-4. Actual Scores: 2-4, 6-0. I called the split, but had the wins reversed and the scores were not close at all.
vs. Alaska-Anchorage Prediction: 6-2, 2-1. Actual Scores 6-1, 3-1. I’m as happy about this as I am about calling both scores right. No one expected UND to hang 6 on the Seawolves, but I had to go with my gut.
at St. Cloud State Prediction: 3-3, 5-1. Actual Scores: 3-3, 3-2. Called the three points and got the opening score correct. The second game was much closer than the four goal cushion I gave the Sioux, but still not bad.
So if you’re counting at home (and if, amazingly, you’re still reading), the following stats might help:
I called the exact score in 6 of 19 games.
I predicted the correct result (win, loss, or tie) for each individual game 14 out of 19 times.
I correctly predicted the number of points the Sioux would earn in 8 of 10 weekends, only missing UNO (called three points, series was a split) and SCSU (called three points, series was a UND sweep).
Over the last ten weekends, I predicted UND’s record in those games would be 13-2-4 (.789). North Dakota’s actual record was 14-3-2 (also .789).
Bottom line: I’ll keep cranking out scores and we’ll see how close we can get the rest of the way.
Thank you for reading. I welcome your comments and suggestions.