Pickin’ the Big Ten: Oct. 30-31, 2015

Penn State tied St. Lawrence, 2-2, Thursday night, bringing the Nittany Lions’ record to 4-1-1. Let’s see how Drew Claussen and I are doing so far.

Last week
Drew: 8-2-3 (.731)
Paula: 9-1-3 (.808)

Drew: 20-6-7 (.712)
Paula: 19-7-7 (.689)

This week

Four Big Ten teams are playing nonconference games this week. Last night, PSU freshman defenseman Vince Pedrie netted his first collegiate goal to tie the Nittany Lions’ game against St. Lawrence, 2-2, at 6:26 in the third period. SLU and PSU play their second game tonight; Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin are in action Friday and Saturday nights.

St. Lawrence at Penn State

Drew: Until Penn State’s offense shows signs of slowing down, it’s going to be hard to pick against the Nittany Lions. If PSU can shore up its defense, which should happen with three rookie defensemen becoming more comfortable each week, it has a real shot at being one of the top teams in the conference. St. Lawrence should provide a tough test, and a split is probably the logical choice here, but I’m thinking sweep.

Paula: I, too, was thinking that the Nittany Lions would sweep — and I, too, am not picking against them until they lose. Tonight’s rematch begins at 7:00 p.m. and is not televised.

Drew’s pick for Friday: Penn State 4-3.
Paula’s pick for Friday: Penn State 3-2.

Arizona State at Wisconsin

Drew: A coin flip may actually be a good way to pick this series, so that’s what I did. Heads was Wisconsin and tails was the Sun Devils. Results were heads first and then tails, so my prediction is a split.

Paula: The Sun Devils (3-4-0) are 1-4-0 against Division I opponents, having earned their first program win, 2-1, against Alaska in the Kendall Hockey Classic Oct. 10. Last weekend, Arizona State swept a D-III opponent, So. New Hampshire, 9-2 and 7-1. So far this season, 15 different Sun Devils have combined for the team’s 21 overall points. Three different goalies have seen time in ASU’s net. The Badgers tied Ferris State, 5-5, last Friday before losing to the Bulldogs 2-1. Both of these games begin at 7:00 p.m. and neither is televised.

Drew’s picks: Wisconsin 4-3, Arizona State 3-2.
Paula’s picks: Wisconsin 4-3, 4-3.

Mercyhurst at Ohio State

Drew: I just feel like Ohio State has to break through and get one this weekend. Mercyhurst played pretty well against Michigan a couple weeks ago, and already has racked up two sweeps this year, but I think Ohio State wins on on Friday.

Paula: The Lakers swept Army last weekend and the Buckeyes are still looking for their first win of the season after having been swept by Providence. The teams met Jan. 2-3, 2015, in Erie, Pa., where OSU won 6-3 and tied 2-2. Friday’s game begins at 7:00 p.m., Saturday’s at 4:00 p.m.

Drew’s picks: Ohio State 3-2, Mercyhurst 4-1.
Paula’s picks: OSU 3-2, Mercyhurst 3-2.

Robert Morris at Michigan

Drew: Robert Morris has scored 13 goals in its two wins this season, so if the Wolverines play shaky defense the Colonials have some players on the team that will make them pay. Michigan also has had a potent offense so far this season, averaging 4.75 goals per contest, so even if one of both of these games turn into a track meet I’m pretty confident in the Wolverines playing at home.

Paula: That’s the issue with the Wolverines. Michigan is allowing nearly as many goals as it’s scoring, but the undefeated Wolverines are still staying a step ahead of opponents. The undefeated Colonials (2-0-2) tied and defeated Niagara last weekend, 3-3 and 8-2. These are the first games between these teams. Friday’s game begins at 7:30 p.m., Saturday’s at 3:00 p.m.

Drew’s picks: Michigan 4-3, 5-1.
Paula’s picks: Michigan 4-3, 4-3.