The Big Ten had a decent opening weekend. So did Drew Claussen and I, although we were each bitten by picking splits the wrong way.
Drew: 5-4-1 (.550)
Paula: 6-3-1 (.650)
All six B1G teams are in action this weekend, although Minnesota plays the U.S. Under-18 team in exhibition tonight. Michigan State and Wisconsin each play two-game series; Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State each have single contests against in-state foes. All times are local.
Boston College at Wisconsin
Drew: The Badgers did take a step forward last weekend when they came back to split with Northern Michigan. However, Boston College is on another level. Tony Granato can use last year’s victory over North Dakota to rally the troops, but I can’t pick anything other than a BC sweep.
Paula: Last week, the Eagles lost 2-1 to Air Force before beating Denver, 3-1, in last week’s IceBreaker. BC and UW last met Oct. 16, 2015, a 6-0 home win for the Eagles. Friday’s game begins at 7:00 p.m. and is televised by Fox Sports Wisconsin; Sunday’s 3:00 p.m. tilt is carried by ESPSNU.
Drew’s picks: Boston College 5-3, 4-2.
Paula’s picks: BC 4-1, 4-2.
Michigan at Ferris State
Drew: Ferris State has a tough building to play in for opponents, and I can only imagine that it’ll be rocking with Michigan coming to town. I say that fact gives the Bulldogs the edge.
Paula: I love this rivalry and am missing this trip to Ewigleben only because I’m doing something foolish early Sunday morning in Detroit. Michigan is 69-30-7 against Ferris State all-time, and the Wolverines won the last meeting between the teams last season, a 5-2 game in Yost Ice Arena (Feb. 19). This Saturday game begins at 7:07 p.m.
Drew’s pick: Ferris State 4-3.
Paula’s pick: Michigan 3-2, perhaps in overtime.
Michigan State at Lake Superior State
Drew: This being Michigan State’s first two contests and having to play the Lakers on the road doesn’t help the Spartans. I admit that I see the Spartans having a very down year, but I think they can split with the Lakers.
Paula: This opens the season for both teams. The Lakers are picked to finish seventh in the WCHA this season. These teams are old in-state rivals as well, with the teams having met a total of 120 times, including three times last season. The Spartans beat the Lakers, 4-1, in last year’s IceBreaker and the teams split a pair of games in Munn Ice Arena with LSSU taking the 4-2 opener (Oct. 22, 2015) and the Spartans winning 2-0 the following night. Friday’s game begins at 7:37 p.m., Saturday’s at 6:07.
Drew’s picks: Lake Superior 4-2, Michigan State 4-3.
Paula’s picks: MSU 3-2, LSSU 3-2.
Ohio State at Miami
Drew: Ohio State quieted a lot of “slow start” talk last weekend with an impressive win over Denver and a comeback-tie against Air Force. I like the Buckeyes to keep it rolling with a close road win.
Paula: I love Drew’s faith in the Buckeyes. This is another old CCHA, in-state rivalry — one of my favorites and every bit as intense as any other fabled hockey rivalry. While the Buckeyes were in Denver for the IceBreaker last weekend, the RedHawks were splitting with Providence on the road. Miami leads this series 75-62-3 overall, with a 45-22-4 record against OSU in Oxford, Ohio. The RedHawks swept a home-and-home series last October, wining 3-2 in Columbus and 3-2 in Oxford. This Saturday game begins at 8:05 p.m.
Drew’s pick: Ohio State 3-2.
Paula’s pick: Miami 4-3, perhaps in overtime.
Penn State at Mercyhurst
Drew: I liked what I saw from the young Nittany Lions in their split with St. Lawrence last weekend. This will be a nice opportunity to see how that group handles themselves away from home.
Paula: This is the first-ever meeting between the Nittany Lions and Lakers since PSU became a Division I team. Two weeks ago, Mercyhurst dropped an exhibition game to Guelph, 6-2. I do not think this will be an easy contest for either team. This Friday game begins at 7:05 p.m.
Drew’s pick: Penn State 5-2.
Paula’s pick: Penn State 3-2, perhaps in overtime.
Drew (@drewclaussen) and I (@paulacweston) each post about hockey on Twitter, although I don’t think either of us is attending in person this weekend. I also chat about other stuff on another account (@PaulaBonaFide).