Last week was a little rough for one of us. Here’s a hint: It wasn’t Drew Claussen.
Drew: 3-2-1 (.583)
Paula: 1-4-1 (.250)
Drew: 40-27-10 (.584)
Paula: 41-26-10 (.597)
There are two B1G series this week and just one more game next week before the holiday break. This week, it’s like the old College Hockey Showcase, kind of.
No. 11 Minnesota at Michigan State
Drew: Michigan State has vastly improved its play since the beginning of the season and Minnesota has yet to sweep an opponent this season, so this one could very well end up with each team capturing a victory. The Spartans embarrassed Minnesota the last time these two played, winning 5-0 last March. I said this could very well be a split, but I’m going with a Minnesota sweep so the wrong-way split doesn’t burn me one more time in 2016.
Paula: I can’t argue with Drew’s reasoning regarding the wrong-way splits, given my picks record from last weekend — but that’s not why I’m calling a Minnesota sweep. The Spartans are tenacious, and their 5-1 exhibition win last weekend gives them confidence. I’m going with the more experienced Minnesota team, one motivated by last Saturday’s 8-3 loss to Ohio State. Friday’s game in Munn Ice Arena begins at 6:35 p.m., Saturday’s at 8:05 p.m., and the Big Ten Network has both of them.
Drew’s picks: Minnesota 4-3, 5-2.
Paula’s picks: Minnesota 4-2, 3-2.
Wisconsin at Michigan
Drew: Michigan needs to pick itself up off the floor after getting outscored 11-2 last weekend at Penn State. The past couple of seasons, playing Wisconsin at home would be exactly what the doctor ordered, but I think it’s safe to say that Tony Granato has Wisconsin back to the level of being a formidable opponent this season. Wisconsin tied one game and lost another to Omaha last weekend. The Badgers have followed a trend of playing well in one game per weekend and allowing a pile of goals in another this season and I could see that continuing this weekend. I’m thinking split.
Paula: I wish I had better insight about the Wolverines. Having seen them play a number of times this season, I know they’re talented but — for lack of a better word — scattered. They haven’t coalesced yet. I don’t know if that will happen this weekend, but if last week’s trip to Penn State doesn’t turn Michigan around, nothing will this season. Games Friday and Saturday begin at 7:35 p.m. Friday’s game is carried by ESPNews and Saturday’s is not televised.
Drew’s picks: Michigan 5-2, Wisconsin 3-1.
Paula’s picks: Michigan 3-2, 3-2.
It’s a rare thing when I get to travel to two B1G games in a single weekend and I’ve been looking forward to this all season. I’ll be in East Lansing Friday and Ann Arbor Saturday. Both nights, you can find me on Twitter (@paulacweston). This area of Michigan is supposed to get hit with quite a bit of snow this weekend, which will make road conditions hazardous and make local drivers lose their minds. Please think good thoughts about a stretch of U.S. 23 between Flint and Ann Arbor, just so that I can get to Saturday’s game.