This is the final week of full-on nonconference play for the Big Ten before league action begins next Thursday, and B1G hockey is in good shape with a record of 38-19-8 and a .646 win percentage. Here’s how Drew Claussen and I are doing so far, too.Last weekDrew: 6-2-0 (.750)Paula: 6-2-0 (.750)This week, it was Drew’s turn to be bitten by the wrong-way split bug. He correctly called that Wisconsin would split with Merrimack but called wins for each team on the wrong nights.SeasonDrew: 34-21-8 (.603)Paula: 37-18-8 (.730)
Everyone travels except for Michigan, and Ohio State and Penn State sit this one out. All times are local.Lake Superior State at No. 16 MichiganDrew: The Lakers had a good start to the season and even worked their way into our poll a couple weeks ago but have since dropped their last five games. I think Michigan will take care of business at home.Paula: This series renews an old CCHA and intrastate rivalry, one that Michigan leads 62-46-7 all time. These teams split their last series Jan. 18-19, 2013, and the Wolverines are 8-1-1 in the last 10 meetings. The Lakers dropped a pair of road games to Ferris State last weekend. Games begin at 7:35 p.m. Friday and Saturday night in Yost Ice Arena and neither is televised.Drew’s picks: Michigan 4-2, 3-1.Paula’s picks: Michigan 4-2, 4-2.Michigan State at No. 5 North DakotaDrew: After a period of play that saw the Fighting Hawks go 0-4-2 against Minnesota-Duluth, Minnesota and Denver, North Dakota got back on track by sweeping St. Cloud State on the road last weekend. Hosting the Spartans is a great opportunity to extend that winning streak to four games, and I think North Dakota will do just that.Paula: I don’t see the Spartans stealing a win from the Fighting Hawks on the road. North Dakota leads this series 64-36-2 all-time. The Fighting Hawks swept the Spartans in East Lansing Thanksgiving weekend 2015. Friday’s game begins at 7:37 p.m. in Engelstad Arena, Saturday’s at 7:07 p.m., and both games are carried by Midco Sports Network.Drew’s picks: North Dakota 4-0, 4-1.Paula: North Dakota 4-2, 4-1.No. 11 Minnesota at Northeastern and No. 4 Boston CollegeDrew: We saw both sides of Minnesota last weekend. The Gophers were vastly outplayed during Friday’s 4-1 loss to Minnesota State on Friday, but rebounded to pick up a 1-0 win on Saturday that could have been worse if not for strong play in net by Jason Pawloski. This week Minnesota gets a 4-5-4 Northeastern team on Friday and will follow that up with a game at No. 4 Boston College on Sunday afternoon. The Gophers have handled their road nonconfernce opponents pretty well this season, so I’ll pick them to get two wins this weekend.Paula: The Gophers lead their series with the Huskies 5-8-0, including a sweep in Mariucci Arena Oct. 23-24, 2015. Minnesota beat BC the last time the teams met, Nov. 28, 2014, in Chestnut Hill. Don Lucia is just one win away from his 700th this weekend, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he had to wait until Sunday, but I’m calling a sweep as well. Friday’s game Matthews Arena begins at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday’s game in the Conte Forum starts at 1:00 p.m. Neither is televised.Drew’s picks: Minnesota 4-1, 3-2.Paula’s picks: Minnesota 3-2, 3-2.Wisconsin at Colorado College and No. 2 DenverDrew: I think Wisconsin’s offense will power it past CC, but I can’t pick the Badgers to upend Denver on the road.Paula: This is a weekend of old WCHA rivalries for the Badgers. UW is 111-67-9 all-time against the Tigers, but CC has won seven of the last 10 meetings, most recently Nov. 21, 2014 at Broadmoor World Arena. Wisconsin leads the all-time series with Denver 75-61-13, but the Pioneers tied and defeated the Badgers in Madison last November. I think Denver is beatable, but perhaps not this weekend. Friday’s game at The Broadmoor begins at 7:37 p.m., Saturday’s game at Magness Arena begins at 7:05 p.m., and neither is televised.Drew’s picks: Wisconsin 5-3, Denver 6-3.Paula’s picks: Wisconsin 3-2, Denver 4-2.