Pickin’ the Big Ten: Oct. 25-26

It didn’t take long for Drew to pull ahead of me. He picked Ohio State to sweep Omaha and I picked the teams to split – but on the wrong nights. And, of course, I was punished for picking the Lakers to sweep the Wolverines.

Last week

Drew: 5-5-0 (.500)
Paula: 4-6-0 (.400)

This season

Drew: 13-9-2 (.583)
Paula: 12-10-2 (.541)

This week

We’re still a week away from Big Ten conference play but there are some juicy interleague matches this week, including two intrastate, home-and-home series: Minnesota Duluth vs. Minnesota and Western Michigan vs. Michigan. B1G Hockey currently has the best intraconference record in D-1 (16-6-2, .708) with every team in the league at .500 or better. It will be interesting to see how this last week of all nonconference play affects the league overall as the season progresses.

All times are local.

No. 13 Clarkson at No. 6 Wisconsin
Friday and Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

At home last weekend, the Golden Knights beat Vermont and lost to Providence. Wisconsin grabbed headlines by sweeping Minnesota Duluth. Can the Badgers maintain their momentum after an emotional series against Duluth? It also remains to be seen whether the Wisconsin offense will continue to be so dominant. These teams met once last season, a home win for Clarkson. I’m not picking against the Badgers again until they lose.

Drew: Clarkson 3-2, Wisconsin 5-1
Paula: Wisconsin 4-2, 4-2

Lake Superior State at No. 5 Notre Dame
Friday at 7:00 p.m., Saturday at 6:00 p.m.

The Lakers head to South Bend after having been swept in Ann Arbor and the Fighting Irish return to play after a weekend off. Notre Dame leads this overall series 36-26-7, but the teams haven’t met since 2014-15 when the Irish were 2-0-1 against the Lakers.

Drew: Notre Dame 4-1, 3-2
Paula: Notre Dame 4-2, 4-2

Michigan State at Colorado College
Friday at 7:37 p.m., Saturday at 6:07 p.m.

Colorado College earned a home split against Minnesota last weekend while Michigan State beat the US Under-18 Team in exhibition. The Tigers lead this series 45-31-1 all-time, but the teams haven’t met since the 2010 Great Lakes Invitational Tournament.

Drew: Colorado College 4-2, Michigan State 2-1
Paula: Michigan State 3-2, 3-2

No. 8 Minnesota Duluth vs. No. 20 Minnesota
Friday and Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

Stinging after that sweep at the hands of Wisconsin last weekend, Minnesota Duluth will attempt to find solace against Minnesota. The Golden Gophers are 134-81-17 all-time against the Bulldogs, but Duluth owns this series 8-3-2 in the last six years. Last year, the teams tied 1-1 before the Gophers won 7-4. Friday’s game is in Minneapolis.

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

No. 15 Ohio State at Mercyhurst
Friday and Saturday at 7:05 p.m.

The Buckeyes split a pair of games at home with Omaha last weekend and Mercyhurst was swept at home by St. Lawrence. The Buckeyes are 8-2-1 all-time against the Lakers. The teams last met in 2015 in Erie, a win and tie for Ohio State.

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

Robert Morris at No. 12 Penn State
Friday at 7:00 p.m.

After splitting with visiting Alaska last weekend and having been shut out for the first time in two seasons, the Nittany Lions will be ready to go against the Colonials for this one. Last weekend, Robert Morris split with Army on the road. Penn State leads this all-time series 6-4-0. PSU swept RMU in a home-and-home series last season, including an 11-6 win in Pegula Arena.

Drew: Penn State 6-1
Paula: Penn State 7-6

No. 18 Western Michigan vs. Michigan
Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 7:05 p.m.

Last weekend, the Broncos lost two 2-1 games to Bowling Green and Michigan swept visiting Lake Superior State. Michigan leads this all-time series 72-35-10 but the teams haven’t met since the 2013 Great Lakes Invitational. The Wolverines host Friday night.

Drew: Michigan 3-1, Western Michigan 3-1
Paula: Michigan 4-2, Western Michigan 3-2

The Twitters

Follow Drew (@drewclaussen) and me (@paulacweston) on Twitter. Say hello and we’ll do the same.

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