Pickin’ the Big Ten: Oct. 17-19


Hi y’all, happy Thursday.

Week one saw both of us pick a split the wrong way, so we’re already in mid-season form in that regard. Penn State and Alaska get the party started for this weekend tonight, so you get the picks a day early. First, let’s take a quick look back at last week.

Last week

Drew: 8-4-2 (.643)
Paula: 8-4-2 (.643)

This season

Drew: 8-4-2 (.643)
Paula: 8-4-2 (.643)

Still tied after the first week.

This week

Five Big Ten teams are in official action this weekend. Notre Dame takes the weekend off and Michigan State plays the US Under-18 Team, which we don’t care about for pickin’ purposes. All times are local.

Alaska at No. 9 Penn State
Thursday and Friday at 7:00 p.m.

Penn State coming into this series undefeated was decently-predictable. The Nittany Lions put a baker’s-dozen worth of goals on the board in their opening series against Sacred Heart, winning 8-2 and 5-4. The Nanooks, on the other hand, surprised everyone by sweeping Michigan Tech on the road last weekend. Even with that momentum, we all know that games at Pegula Ice Arena are a tall order for the opposition.

Drew: Penn State 8-2, 4-3
Paula: Penn State 5-2, 5-2

Niagara at Minnesota
Friday and Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

After two close games and a split at Colorado College Minnesota returns to Mariucci to open its home slate this weekend. The Gophers are 3-0-0 all-time against Niagara, for what that is worth. This is a good opportunity for a young Minnesota team to build on what worked last weekend. The Purple Eagles have yet to play a non-exhibition game this season.

Drew: Minnesota 4-2, 3-1
Paula: Minnesota 3-2, 3-1

No. 3 Minnesota Duluth at No. 17 Wisconsin
Friday and Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

With the defending champions coming to town for a top-20 battle, it’s nice to see big games with a lot of hype being played at the Kohl Center again. Wisconsin dropped its opener at Boston College 5-3 and rebounded by downing Merrimack 11-5. Granted there’s only one weekend as a sample-size, but it looks like the Badgers’ offense is going to be fun to watch and the defense could be the Achilles heel. The Bulldogs split their series with UMass-Lowell at home last weekend, dropping Friday’s game 3-2 and winning 2-1 on Saturday

Drew: Minnesota Duluth 4-3, 5-3
Paula: Minnesota Duluth 4-3, Wisconsin 4-2

Omaha at No. 12 Ohio State
Friday at 7:00 p.m., Saturday at 5:00 p.m.

A shootout “victory” against Western Michigan and a 3-1 win over RIT gave the Buckeyes the Ice Breaker title last weekend in Toledo. Now Ohio State returns home to entertain the Mavericks. The Buckeyes won last weekend like they did last season, good defense and timely scoring. Omaha got off the mark last weekend by routing Alabama Huntsville at home, winning 6-1 on Friday and 5-0 on Saturday.

Drew: Ohio State 4-2, 3-1
Paula: Omaha 4-2, Ohio State 3-2

Lake Superior at Michigan
Friday and Saturday at 7:37 p.m.

The Wolverines started the season with a tie and loss against Clarkson. This weekend Michigan welcomes in-state rival Lake Superior State to Yost. The Lakers started their season off by sweeping Merrimack at home and were swept by Denver last weekend. This will be their first road test of the year.

Drew: Lake Superior State 4-2, Michigan 3-2
Paula: Lake Superior State 3-2, 3-2


Follow both Drew (@drewclaussen) and me (@paulacweston) on Twitter. I’m cheating on the B1G and checking out North Dakota at Minnesota State as a fan on Saturday.

Enjoy the games!