Paula's picks: Dec. 10

Clearly, I am not someone you can take to the bank, so to speak.
My picks last week: 2-5-3
Overall this season: 54-27-15
And I thought Thanksgiving week was bad. I did call MSU-FSU, ND-Miami and OSU-UM to split. Unfortunately, only the Buckeyes and Wolverines won and lost on the predicted nights. Ouch.
I’m now calculating my picks percentage based on a formula passed along by a friend who’s been calculating such percentages longer than I’ve been writing about college hockey. Accordingly, my percentage of success last week was a low .350. I doubt my math that leads to a .780 overall percentage for the season.
Surprisingly, there is a nearly full schedule this weekend. Miami is idle. The Spartans and Wolverines will pick up another single game Jan. 29.
LSSU at WMU. The Lakers took four points from Bowling Green last weekend with two ties and shootout wins. The Broncos took two points from Northern, losing Friday and winning a shootout Saturday. WMU is 4-2-1 against LSSU in the past two seasons, and the Broncos took five points from the Lakers last year. LSSU goaltender Kevin Kapalka has the league-leading save percentage (.948). The teams are tied for seventh in the CCHA, each with 14 points, but the Broncos have two games in hand on the Lakers. These are Lake’s last games until Jan. 14. Friday-Saturday. Games begin at 7:35 p.m. WMU 3-1, LSSU 3-2.
NMU at ND. Last week, the Wildcats earned four points against the Broncos with a win and single-point tie, while the Fighting Irish earned three points in a split in Oxford against Miami – coming from behind in genuine gritty fashion Friday night to do so. The teams are .500 in the Joyce Center (10-10-4), but the Irish hold a 6-4-0 advantage in the last 10 meetings. ND’s Riley Sheahan (0-6–6) will be missing, as he’s been invited to Canada’s Junior Selection Camp in Toronto. Saturday 7:05 p.m.; Sunday 4:05 p.m. ND 4-2, NMU 3-2.
OSU at BGSU. This seems really silly to me. These teams are 120 miles apart. The league probably has a good explanation for why these games aren’t home-and-home, but it still seems silly. Last weekend, the Buckeyes came from behind against Michigan to win in OT Friday before dropping Saturday’s game, and the Falcons earned two points with two ties against LSSU. OSU has taken the last four matches from BGSU by outscoring the Falcons 23-13. This match pits two new head coaches, so the hockey between these teams is bound to be better than it has been recently – and here’s hoping that this rivalry intensifies in ways of old in the coming seasons. The Falcons have played three consecutive OT games and have been 0-1-2-0 in that stretch. Friday-Saturday. Games begin at 7:05 p.m. BGSU 3-2, OSU 3-2.
UAF at FSU. The Nanooks are well rested after a bye week. When last they played, they took four points from the Buckeyes, two with a shootout win Nov. 26 and three the following night. The Bulldogs split a home-and-home series with the Spartans, losing at home and winning in OT in Munn. The last time UAF lost to FSU was Jan. 2, 2004, a streak of 15 games. Last season, the Nanooks swept the Bulldogs in October in Fairbanks. Friday-Saturday. Games begin at 7:05 p.m. FSU 3-1, UAF 3-1.
MSU at UM. The Spartans split with the Bulldogs last weekend, winning on the road and losing in OT at home. The Wolverines split with the Buckeyes on the road, losing in OT before winning outright. Last season, MSU went 3-1-0 against UM in the regular season, but the Wolverines swept the Spartans in the second round of the CCHA playoffs, ending MSU’s season. If you want more notes on this match – and I have plenty of them – see this week’s 15 things blog. You should also check out what Dave Starman said this week, too. Have you heard? This game’s being played outdoors! The Wolverines may have the added advantage of having played Wisconsin in the Camp Randall Classic Feb. 6 of this year. Of course, neither team has ever played in front of 100,000 people. No one has. Saturday 3:05 p.m. in Michigan Stadium. UM 3-2.
Join me for live blogging from the Big Chill at the Big House Saturday beginning at 2:30 p.m.


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