Michigan State kicks off the weekend with a home game against former CCHA rival Ferris State Thursday night. Before we get to the picks, though, let’s look at how Drew Claussen and I have been faring.
Drew: 4-3-2 (.556)
Paula: 5-2-2 (.667)
Drew: 22-18-7 (.543)
Paula: 26-14-7 (.628)
There are four Big Ten teams playing this week. Both Minnesota and Wisconsin have bye weeks. All times are local. Sadly, not one of these games is televised this weekend.
Alaska-Anchorage at No. 12 Penn State
Drew: I can’t think of a reason to pick against Penn State at home against a 1-7 team.
Paula’s picks: Neither can I. The Seawolves lost two road games to Alabama-Huntsville last weekend, 5-2 and 3-2 (OT). The Nittany Lions are riding a seven-game unbeaten streak (6-0-1) into this series, their third consecutive weekend series in the friendly confines of Pegula Ice Arena. Penn State leads this series, 1-0-2. Last season, the Nittany Lions defeated and tied the Seawolves in Anchorage (Nov. 20-21, 2015). Games are Friday and Saturday at 7:00 p.m.
Drew’s picks: Penn State 3-1, 4-0.
Paula’s picks: Penn State 5-2, 5-2.
No. 4 Boston University at No. 18 Michigan
Drew: This is definitely the marquee series featuring a Big Ten team and is one of the top series across the country this weekend. Michigan has had a ho-hum start to the season with nice wins over some fellow Michigan schools, but disappointing losses to Vermont and Dartmouth. Boston University, on the other hand, has only dropped one game. Since the Wolverines have home-ice advantage, I’m going with a split.
Paula: I think that’s solid reasoning. These teams have quite a history, with Michigan leading the series 15-12-0. The Wolverines are 5-0-0 against the Terriers in Ann Arbor, the last home win for UM coming Oct. 25, 2013. The Bulldogs are unbeaten (3-0-1) in their last four games this season, having tied 4-4 at Northeastern last weekend before beating the Huskies at home, 3-0. Last weekend, Michigan beat Arizona State on the road, 4-1. Friday’s game begins at 7:35 p.m., Saturday’s at 5:05 p.m., and both are in Yost Ice Arena.
Drew’s picks: Michigan 4-2, Boston University 4-2.
Paula’s picks: Michigan 4-3, Boston University 4-1.
Connecticut at No. 14 Ohio State
Drew: The Buckeyes had their first letdown of the weekend last time out, with a loss and tie to Robert Morris. Ohio State and UConn have combined for seven ties already this season, so I wouldn’t be surprised if one of these games ended with the score even. However, picking a tie is boring, so I’m going to predict that the Buckeyes get back on track this weekend.
Paula: The Huskies and Buckeyes have never played each other before, so there’s no history to report. Connecticut played a single game last weekend, a 2-2 road tie against Massachusetts. Friday’s game begins at 7:05 p.m. and Saturday’s at 4:05 p.m. Both are in Value City Arena.
Drew’s picks: Ohio State 4-2, 4-3.
Paula’s picks: Ohio State 4-3, 5-2.
Ferris State vs. Michigan State
Drew: If Ferris State can win Thursday’s game on the road, I think the Bulldogs will complete the sweep on Saturday. Gerald Mayhew has been heating up the past couple weeks and I think he and the rest of the Bulldogs will be too much for Michigan State to handle.
Paula: I’ve made no secret of my soft spot for the Bulldogs in the past. There’s something about that program that I’ve always liked. In spite of that, I don’t see a sweep for Ferris State this weekend. I like how the Bulldogs have played the last couple of weekends — but I really like the tenacity I see from the Spartans. This old CCHA rivalry goes back a ways, with Michigan State 70-26-15 all-time against Ferris State. In the last five meetings in Munn, Ferris State holds a 3-2 edge; in the last five meetings in Ewigleben Arena, the Bulldogs are 5-0 against the Spartans. Thursday’s game begins at 7:05 p.m. in Munn Ice Arena. Saturday’s rematch begins at 7:07 p.m. in Ewigleben.
Drew’s picks: Ferris State 4-3, 5-2.
Paula’s picks: Michigan State 3-2, Ferris State 4-2.
You can find Drew (@drewclaussen) and me (@paulacweston, @PaulaBonaFide) on Twitter. Talk to us. We won’t bite. I’ll be tweeting live from Yost Ice Arena during Friday’s game — provided I can find a parking spot in advance of the puck drop.