Pickin’ the Big Ten: Nov. 20-22, 2015

The Big Ten has been competitive in nonconference play so far. How competitive have Drew Claussen and I been?

Last week
Drew: 5-3-0 (.625)
Paula: 6-2-0 (.750)

Drew: 31-16-8 (.636)
Paula: 32-15-8 (.656)

Poor Drew. It isn’t often that he’s bitten by the wrong-way split. I can sympathize.

This week

There are four teams in action this weekend. Minnesota and Ohio State have bye weeks.

Denver at Wisconsin

Drew: Looks like I have to start putting some more thought into picking Wisconsin games. Denver’s losses this year have come when both teams score 7-10 goals, so the Badgers should look to open up the offense. I don’t think they can go in with a defensive mindset and pick up a win. I want to predict a win for Wisconsin this weekend, but I can’t. The win over North Dakota definitely gave the young Badgers’ team some confidence, but it also served as a reminder to future opponents not to take they lightly.

Paula: The Pioneers are riding a four-game unbeaten streak into Madison (3-0-1) after defeating and tying Minnesota-Duluth last weekend, 3-0 and 1-1. The Badgers are returning from a bye week, having last split a pair of 3-1 games with North Dakota on the road, Nov. 6-7. These teams last met Nov. 22, 2014, a 3-2 home win for Denver. This weekend, Saturday’s game will be the 150th time these two programs have faced off. Friday’s game begins at 7:30 p.m. and is televised by American Sports Network; Saturday’s starts at 8:00 p.m. and is carried by the Wisconsin Channel.

Drew’s picks: Denver 3-1, 4-1.
Paula’s picks: Wisconsin 4-2, Denver 2-1.

Michigan at Boston University

Drew: Both of these teams are giving up some goals this season (BU is averaging three goals per game and Michigan is at 3.29), so that means we should get a couple high-scoring games. BU’s opponents have scored either four or five goals in its three defeats this season, so Michigan is probably going to have to continue that trend to see success. I think the Wolverines will grab a win this weekend, but (and I feel like a broken record here) their goaltender, whoever it may be, will have to play better than he has this season.

Paula: The Terriers are defending a five-game unbeaten streak (3-0-2) after a pair of ties against Providence last weekend, 1-1 on the road and 3-3 at home. The Wolverines beat Niagara 7-3 Nov. 13. The Wolverines are 14-11-0 all-time against the Terriers, but UM is 2-4-0 against BU on the road and 0-3-0 in Agganis Arena. Drew’s right about the goaltending — but also about Michigan’s overall team defense, which needs to be much more secure. The Terriers haven’t lost at home yet this season. Friday’s game begins at 6:00 p.m. and is televised by American Sports Network and NESN. Saturday’s game starts at 4:00 p.m. and is not televised.

Drew’s picks: Michigan 4-3, Boston University 5-3.
Paula’s picks: Boston University 4-3, Michigan 6-4.

Michigan Tech at Michigan State

Drew: Where the Big Ten schedule is still half a month away, this will be Michigan Tech’s first game outside of the WCHA this season; schedules can be funny sometimes. I liked the effort Michigan State showed last weekend against Boston College and will be interested to see if it can seal the deal this weekend. I predict that Jake Hildebrand has a strong weekend and the Spartans use the home-ice advantage to pick up their second sweep of the season.

Paula: The Huskies split a pair of home games against Bowling Green last weekend, winning 2-0 and losing 3-2. The Spartans showed incredible resilience in coming back against BC on the road before losing 6-4. Tech swept State the last time the teams met, Nov. 8-9, 2013, 3-0 and 3-2 games in Houghton, and no one on this Michigan State team has beaten Michigan Tech in three meetings total. I can’t say enough about this Michigan State team. The defense is usually consistent and tight, and Hildebrand is having a good start to the season. If the offense continues to roll, the Spartans will be Big Ten contenders. Saturday’s game begins at 7:00 p.m., Sunday’s game begins at 4:00 p.m., and both games will be televised by Comcast.

Drew’s picks: Michigan State 3-1, 3-1.
Paula’s picks: Michigan State 4-2, 3-2.

Penn State at Alaska-Anchorage

Drew: No matter who it is, the trip to Alaska seems to wreak havoc on opponents. That coupled with the fact that the Seawolves have gotten off to a decent start this year could make for a tough weekend for the Nittany Lions. I think Penn State will drop a close one on Friday and comeback with the win on Saturday.

Paula’s: Anchorage split a pair of home games against Ferris State last weekend, a 3-2 overtime loss and 5-0 win. Penn State is unbeaten (2-0-1) in its last three, having swept Sacred Heart last weekend, 8-2 and 3-2. The Seawolves and Nittany Lions have met once, a 3-3 tie in the Brice Alaska Goal Rush (Oct. 17, 2014). Games are at 7:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday and neither is televised.

Drew’s picks: Alaska-Anchorage 4-3, Penn State 4-1.
Paula’s picks: Penn State 4-2, 4-2.


  1. Predictions for tonights results
    Cornell starts Garman. Wins a one goal game with multiple overtimes (CU 2-1)
    SLU tops Yale for a major upset (SLU 3-1)
    Union loses shockingly to Colgate (Colgate 4-3)
    Dartmouth sends Haahvahd back to Bahstan (Dartmouth 2-0)
    And my final prediction
    Most of these predictions will be wrong. Very wrong.

  2. Well, Dartmouth is a bit more disciplined than I thought they might be — barely, but good for them! Congratulations to Yale, Colgate and Cornell. It just keeps getting “funner” in this great league whose teams entertain us better than anyone in that other sport being played this time of year! Union, don’t despair, you will go deep, I think, once you regroup.

  3. Am I reading the scores right? Colgate beats Union in OT? Who’da thunk! The Red Raider goalie must have had a whale of a game. Whose next for the Cinderella Raiders? In another shocker, can they pull down Yale? Not likely but they’re playing their hearts out. Gotta luv’em.

    • Well Mihalik did give up 3 goals but he did face 34 shots. That said it wasn’t even the best performance by a goalie on the night (That would be Mike Garman’s 37/39 to help the Ithacans escape Lynah). Still Mihalik had a hell of a series.

    • I think Colgat ecould beat Yale..Yale’s performance Sunday night was so poor…Diving and falling down after a clean check and they got the calls all night long…Unclassy for a team that has won nothing yet..

    • I saw Yale and Colgate in the last reg. season game in New Haven….Colgate was excellent…..I thought Yale played a good game and Colgate was deservingly even all night long….I doubt Yale wants to play a consulation on Sat. heading into the NCAA’s….and I’m sure Colgate feels pretty good about themselves….should be a great game..Congrats to all 4 teams in NJ

      • i was at that game too, it was a great one, and quite shocking for a raider fan. We thought it would be 6-0 after the first (jk) im sure u spotted us though, being the only raider fans there

    • We Yale fans hope so. It’s been a very, very rocky 2011. And we’re not discounting Colgate. They were the first team to give us anything but a W on home ice.

      • ur talking about having a rocky season us raiders have had it worst. We only won 3 games all against atlantic hockey, until february when we finally beat an ecac team. You yale guys have had an awesome smooth sailing season

  4. If i was a Yale fan, i would be disgusted with the way they played Saturday and Sunday night…Head hunters is all they are…If the physical play get’s taken to them, they head hunt…Put a player into the boards from behind and end his season, then turn around and hit another player from behind…Not to mention that it is pretty sad that when your player is bumped, he goes down like he was shot…Ivy League slouches that have won nothing yet…

    • What I saw over the series was pretty clear…SL played a good opener on Fri. I thought Yale had the over-all better of the play, but, weren’t crisp finishing ( credit to SL ) On Sat SL tried to get overly physical and ended up running around the def. end ….Yale basically kicked their butts…..On Sun. Yale beat SL in every zone….Basically I didnt see anything from SL on the offensive side that was sustaining in any of the 3 games…SL played the physical card, which was all they had in their hand…it wasn’t enough…the better team won the series…….

  5. UMD can think they’re #1 for now, that’s fine. We all know they’ll be peeing their pants when they have to face the Gophers again.

  6. Let’s go to HEA and the Eagles. I was there for both games and there is no doubt in my mind that BC is a better overall team than Mercyhurst. They literally dominated Mercyhurst most of both games. With that said, I haven’t followed Mercyhurst much but it seems like Pattenden is a very emotional goalie. Get on her head early and you’ll probably be a step ahead, besides the hole she has on her glove side. Needless to say that on saturday’s OT win, Mercyhurst was only able to score on 5 on 3 and 5 on 4 on regular time. That right there should show you how hard was for them to make it happen. On the Eagles side, the defense improvement has been great but.. at the same time they have let go their special teams. They must work on their power play killing and scoring unit. I also usually don’t count empty net goals but the Friday game one made by Alex wasn’t your regular break out or dump in goal. That took skills and Mercyhurst had a great chance to stop it from happening. Bottom line is that playoffs are 1 and out, you have no chance to try and make it up the next day, and when it was so hard for you to make it happen on the second day… well, you might just not survive.
    On the future no longer fighting Sioux, it seems like they are planning to keep Monique on defense because it has been “working” so far. Well, newsflash coach it didn’t work so much with UMD second game did it?? Which makes you wonder that if Dagfinrud is not on top of her game you ain’t making it? and if Monique decides to get a little frustrated all goes to hell?? Regardless, we all know Weibe’s line ain’t enough to go against the Badgers.. well the bottom team just proved it this weekend. They have to do some major surgery on their defense.
    As usual, no comments about the Badgers. They’ve played a very solid and consistence game.

    I haven’t watched the Big Red play this season, but after watching Mercyhurst this weekend I’m starting to agree with Candance and believe that BC should be over Cornell. If you allow a team like them score 4+ goals on you, that you def. are not worth of the 3rd spot in the nation.

    To all the coaches of the best sport in the world out there.. toughen up a bit, think outside the box and put your overall team well being on top (take no favorites). 

  7. What can I say…this one did indeed put the “dynasty” label on BC, as it left zero doubt that Jerry York has created the top program in college hockey.

    FSU played their hearts out, as it was an evenly played game for 55 minutes.  Not to be greedy, but I’d like a repeat just once…so here’s looking forward to 2013! 

  8. Kudoo BC & Ferris.  Well played match by two deserving teams!  Coach York has built an outstanding program for college hockey and these yound men!

  9. Concerning MSU-MTU. I could only find on the Comcast listings that the Saturday game is being televised. Nothing about Friday.


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