It is just like old times for the Bulldogs. Starting in a new conference may be daunting and unfamiliar, but UMD will start with a known opponent, Michigan Tech.
UMD has played Tech more times than any other team in program history. A total of 223 time with Tech holding the decisive edge 119-84-20.
The Huskies and Bulldogs have faced each other at least four games per season since the WCHA instituted the rival and pod system of scheduling.
The teams are no longer in the WCHA together, but the partnership lives on. This time it is a warm up for each team as they prepare to enter their respective conferences.
The facts are that UMD historically doesn’t do well on opening weekends/series. Their last sweep of one opponent on opening weekend was back in 1995 with a series win at the Maverick Stampede Tournament in 2002.
Without much to say about teams that have a new season in front of them we will go onto the picks.
Picks by @afiskness. I would like to say that this past summer I spent hours watch film from last years games to make this first week's "real" college hockey picks, but I didn't. I don't have too much knowledge of some of the teams and will be learning a lot more about them as the season progresses. So here are this weeks NCHC picks:
Western Michigan vs. Notre Dame (home/home series): I will go with the safe pick and say a split series.
Michigan Tech @ UMD: I like Duluth more in this series but UMD historically struggles opening weekend. Split.
Bently @ Nebraska Omaha: The Mavericks should be too much Falcon's, UNO sweeps.
Vermont @ North Dakota: Vermont wasn't very good last year and being on the road to start this season will be tough. North Dakota sweeps.
Bemidji @ Saint Cloud State: The new fight anthemfor the Huskies should really get the players pumped for the game, Huskies sweep.
Merrimack @ Denver: I think Jim Montgomery will be able celebrate his first win as the new coach for the Pioneers against the Warriors this weekend, but only one win. Split.
Miami vs. Ohio State (home/home series): Miami should be the better team, but I will go split with the home/home series.