2016-17 WCHA Week 15, Series 45 Prediction: Bowling Green (1576) at Minnesota State (1604)

2016-17 Week 15, Series 45: Bowling Green (1576) at Minnesota State (1604)

MSU sweeps25.99%
BGSU Sweeps18.90%
MSU 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)6.33%
MSU 5 points (W, OTW)6.25%
BGSU 5 points (W, OTW)5.27%
BGSU 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)4.68%

This is the marquee matchup of the weekend.  Each team has nine conference wins (the B tiebreaker), and Minnesota State should win the C tiebreaker if it comes down to it — though a tie of these two means that the teams probably split the weekend.

MSU and BGSU are a microcosm of the 2016-17 WCHA.  We want to be a national force, but our good teams have been maddeningly inconsistent.  The Mavericks swept Alabama-Huntsville on the road last weekend, something that the Falcons also did.  BG has done a good job of beating the teams below them in the standings, and their breakthrough game may have been a win over Bemidji State last weekend.

If I had my full-season model working, I’m pretty sure that this series would be clearly pivotal.  This is probably for the third seed, since it doesn’t seem likely that Bemidji or Michigan Tech will come back to the pack at this point.  But if either team is going to make a run at 1st or 2nd, it starts with a sweep this weekend.

I’m going split.