Playoff hockey is upon us and the second season is ready to begin. All eyes will be on the Golden Gophers to see if they can continue their vaunted streak. All series will begin on Friday and conclude Sunday, if necessary. Let's look at the upcoming series in the WCHA along with some predictions.
#4 Minnesota-Duluth hosts #5 Ohio State- The season series is even at two wins a piece. Neither team have won a game at home. The wins are more about how each team was playing at that time in the season. OSU started very strong and has tailed off, while UMD started slow, but has picked up their play. UMD goalie Kayla Black and Brigette Lacquette have been a big part of the team's turnaround. PREDICTION: UMD wins series 2-0.
#3 North Dakota hosts #6 Minnesota State- UND has won three out of four in this series for the season. Minnesota State caught them once early in the season, as UND struggled early. I really thought this would be the year that UND made a big splash. They have done very well, don't get me wrong, but have not gone to the next level. They have managed to stay in the top ten 19 of the 21 weeks, but that should be a given with a Lamoureux twins-led team. PREDICTION: UND sweep.
#2 Wiscconsin hosts #7 St. Cloud State- The Badgers swept the season series and there is no reason to think they won't keep up that trend. SCSU has a very solid goalie in Julie Friend, but have little firepower on offense. PREDICTION: Wisconsin sweep.
#1 Minnesota hosts #8 Bemidji State- The Beavers are the only team to take Minnesota to the brink. The Beavers were able to force overtime and almost stole one from the Gophers, But Mira Jalosuo tapped in the game winner in OT. The Beavers will need a lot of things to go right, but the main thing will be for Minnesota to not get bored. The Gophers look disinterested at times in the near loss against BSU. If the Gophers come out flying, it will be a quick trip to the showers for BSU. PREDICTION: Minnesota sweep.
Thanks for reading!