Merlin’s Week 9 started off slow, losing the first two games on Friday, with Utica and Orlando dropping their respective games. But, after that, I went 7-2, ending the week with a 7-4 record. Hannah, on the other hand, had her best week so far, going 9-2! So, this is the perfect opportunity to make a bet with Hannah. I approached her with the following bet: If she beats me this week in picks, I will paint my face Utica City colors for the next home game on February 10th against Mississauga. If I win, she will have to do the same. There’s a lot at stake this week, so let’s get picking!

FRIDAY 2/1:

FLORIDA over St. Louis: Rematch! It will be six days since their last meeting, which ended in a Florida home victory. The teams stay the same, but the venue has changed to the Family Arena in St. Louis. For the Ambush, this is the start of a seven-game homestand, with six of those games against the South Central Division, so every game will be huge for them. The Tropics need to string together some wins to keep up with the rest of the division. The trades Florida has made over the last couple of weeks have paid early dividends for them, and I see the momentum shifting. Watch out for Florida in a slight upset over the Ambush, 8-7. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah means business this week. She’s going against her father and picking St. Louis.

TACOMA over El Paso: Tacoma hasn’t played since January 20th, a 7-4 loss against Ontario, and have lost five out of their last six games. The good news for the Coyotes is they’ve already beaten Tacoma at home, a 9-7 victory back on January 4th. The bad news is the Stars will avenge that loss. Tacoma, I feel, is a better team than in recent weeks. A turn around must happen if they are to catch Ontario for the second playoff spot. The Stars will be out in full force, and will down the Coyotes 7-5. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah is picking Tacoma as well.

ONTARIO over Turlock: The Fury almost beat the Monterrey Flash on the road, losing 6-5 in overtime, in a great same on Sunday. Turlock, also lost a nailbiter on the road to the El Paso Coyotes, 8-7. This game is taking place in Turlock, which has given the Fury fits in the last few games played there, both one goal victories for Ontario. I see the Fury winning, but only by two, 6-4. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah is going with Ontario as well to win the last match on Friday.

SATURDAY 2/2:

KANSAS CITY over Florida: The Tropics continue their tour of the Midwest as they travel to face the Comets. Kansas City almost lost to the Mississauga MetroStars, if it wasn’t for the last five minutes of the game. Both teams as mentioned earlier, have a lot to play for, but the second game of a back-to-back have shown to be difficult this year, so the Comets will pull this one off, 9-6. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah apparently sees all of the games in the South Central Division differently than her father, as she’s taking the Tropics.

MILWAUKEE over Baltimore: This is the game of the week, but merely for the history between these two teams. Last year, they met in the Eastern Conference finals, with Baltimore defeating the Wave. These teams have been a little off recently. Milwaukee recently lost to Orlando, and almost lost to Mississauga at home, meanwhile the Blast lost on the road to Harrisburg on Saturday. A possible rematch could be on the horizon, but both teams need to turn things around. I like Milwaukee in this one, as Baltimore hasn’t done well on the road this season. The Wave crash the Blast 8-5. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah isn’t really certain on this one, but after thinking about it for a little while, she’s picking the Blast.

ST. LOUIS over Orlando: Not only do the Tropics have back-to-back games this weekend, but St. Louis also has this honor as well. I think this will be a rare occasion, as I see them winning the second game of a back-to-back. In order for the SeaWolves to pull off the victory, Gordy Gurson needs to have a huge game. I see that happening, but it won’t be enough as the Ambush win, 9-7. HANNAH’S PICK: Another disagreement on a South Central match-up, as Hannah goes with Orlando.

RIO GRANDE VALLEY over El Paso: One of the hottest teams in the league right now doesn’t play in San Diego or Milwaukee, but in Hildalgo, Texas. The Barracudas have won their last five games and, if Monterrey had lost on Sunday, would be sitting in first place in the Southwest Division. They travel to El Paso to face the Coyotes, who are currently sitting a game out of 3rd place. The Barracudas will continue their streak, as they chase the Coyotes out of El Paso by a score of 10-5. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah thinks the Coyotes have what it takes to pull off the upset against the Barracudas.

There you have it folks, our picks for Week 10 of the MASL season. What say you? Will I be seeing blue on the 10th, or will Hannah don the Utica City colors against the MetroStars? Stay tuned!

Merlin –
Last week: 7-4, Season: 67-24

Hannah –
Last week: 9-2, Season: 37-25