Pickin’ the Big Ten: Dec. 13-15

LOWELL, MA - NOVEMBER 30: Nate Sucese #14 of the Penn State Nittany Lions skates against the Massachusetts Lowell River Hawks during NCAA men's hockey at the Tsongas Center on November 30, 2019 in Lowell, Massachusetts. The River Hawks won 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/USCHO) (Rich Gagnon)
It’s so strange that just last week, Drew Claussen was hoping that your Thanksgiving had been a good one. This week, I’m wishing you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a Happy Kwanzaa!

These are the last games for Big Ten teams until Ohio State hosts Colgate Dec. 27-28. Drew and I will have a picks blog in advance of that, which is also the same weekend as the Mariucci Classic, with the Great Lakes Invitational tournament on the following Monday and Tuesday.

Last week
Drew: 3-4-1 (.438)
Paula: 4-3-1 (.563)

This season
Drew: 53-26-6 (.659)
Paula: 46-33-6 (.576)

This week

There are three B1G teams in action this week, including an intriguing series between Penn State and Notre Dame (that Drew previews here), plus Arizona State’s tilt against Michigan State. All times are local.

No. 7 Penn State at No. 15 Notre Dame
Friday at 7:00 p.m., Saturday at 6:00 p.m.

After last week’s road split with Michigan, the Nittany Lions are facing a Notre Dame team that is 0-5-1 in its last six games. Last weekend, the Fighting Irish were swept by Boston College, outscored 10-1 on a home-and-home series. These teams last met when Notre Dame beat Penn State 3-2 in the 2019 Big Ten championship game. The Irish are 8-4-2 all-time against the Nittany Lions. If Notre Dame takes one this weekend, Drew and I are both betting that it comes on Friday night.

Drew: Notre Dame 3-2, Penn State 4-2
Paula: Notre Dame 2-1, Penn State 5-2

No. 16 Arizona State at No. 18 Michigan State
Saturday at 7:00 p.m., Sunday at 5:00 p.m.

The Sun Devils come into Munn Ice Arena with a record of 8-4-2, having defeated and tied Denver at home last weekend. The Spartans swept Wisconsin last weekend, needing overtime in the second game to do so. This will be the second time that these teams are meeting for a series; the Sun Devils swept the Spartans in Arizona Nov. 9-10, 2018. Arizona State is a formidable opponent, averaging 3.07 goals per game while allowing 2.29. This will be a marquee match between ASU sophomore goaltender Evan Debrouwer (2.10 GAA, .930 SV%) and MSU senior John Lethemon (.201 GAA, .941 SV%).

Drew: Michigan State 4-3, 3-2
Paula: Michigan State 3-2, Arizona State 3-2

The Twitterverse

Follow Drew (@drewclaussen) and me (@paulacweston) on Twitter. On Saturday night, I’ll get my first live look at the Sun Devils and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ll also be live from the Great Lakes Invitational, all four games.