A renewal of teams split apart by conferences is the name of the first day of the North Star College Cup (NSCC).
UMD meets the Purple Mavs of MSUM in the early game. Saint Cloud faces the Gophers in the late game.
Banter has been going around speculating if the tournament will be, or become, a Minnesota staple for college hockey. For now we look for good games and fan support.
With not much time before the first faceoff, we will cut the chase and get to the stats and picks.
StatPack. MSUM has more penalty minutes per game than UMD? Not often that we see a team with more than the Dogs, but that maybe a sign of the team realizing how close every game is going to be in the NCHC and playing more disciplined. Maybe? We'll see. The rest of the stats:
|Images via Wikipedia: Bulldog, NCAA, Mav|
Picks by @afiskness. The NCHC is proving to be a league that is very tough every night and the expected outcomes just might not happen. Just after and impressive sweep in Omaha the Bulldogs just couldn't get it going at home last weekend against Denver. Similarly Miami at home playing a struggling Mavericks team couldn't play well enough to get a win either. My picks in recent weeks have not been good so I might need to go out on a limb and take a chance with the picks.
Miami @ Colorado College: The bottom two teams in the league square off in what may actually be a very even matchup. This should be a split, but I will go with a Redhawks win and a tie.
North Dakota at Denver: The Pioneers looked good on the road last weekend thanks to some great goaltending. North Dakota is hot having not lost an NCAA game in the past nine. This will be a split.
North Star College Cup
Minnesota State Mankato vs. Minnesota Duluth: The is a great matchup and probably a coin toss, I should probably pick the tie. The Mavericks had and impressive sweep of the Bulldogs of Ferris State last weekend, meanwhile the Bulldogs of UMD at least got a much needed tie and the extra point for the shootout. My gut says the Mavericks, but I think the Bulldogs effort will be better on the nuetral ice. Bulldogs win.
St. Cloud State vs. Minnesota: The Gophers appear to be the better team right now as the Huskies have struggled of late. Gophers win.
If these matchups hold I will go with the Gophers beating the Bulldogs and St. Cloud beating the Mavericks.