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Face Off Tackle Empire // Weekend Preview and Open Thread January 28th-31st

There's a loaded slate of games this weekend for B1G Hockey fans. Every team is in action with two conference series, two non-cons and UNO playing. Michigan and Penn State kick off the action Thursday night while the Gophers close out the weekend Sunday in the North Star College Cup.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

(6) Michigan at (15) Penn State

Pegula Ice Arena; University Park, PA
Thursday @ 7 et/6 ct on BTN Plus
Madison Square Garden; New York, New York
Saturday @ 7 et/6 ct on BTN/BTN2Go

Michigan and Penn State meet for the first time thus year in Happy Valley Thursday night.  Both teams trail the Gophers by 6 in the standings and close out the first half the conference slate this weekend.  Penn State has played Michigan well, winning 6 of 9 matchups if you include the conference tourney.  The Nittany Lions swept the Wolverines at Pegula Ice Arena last year ( Michigan has only won there once).  The teams take Friday off so they can travel to Madison Square Garden in NYC for a Saturday night tilt.  I think Penn State wins at home on Thursday while Michigan takes the game Saturday.

My Pick: MI 3 - 3 PSU
KRACH: MI 3.75-1.39 PSU

Michigan State at Ohio State

Value City Arena; Columbus, OH
Friday @ 6:30 et/5:30 ct on BTN/BTN2Go
Saturday @ 7 et/6 ct on BTN Plus

The Spartans and Buckeyes close out the first half in Columbus.  OSU is 4-2-2 since Christmas while MSU has lost 8 straight.  OSU will be without Josh Healey, serving a 2-game suspension for a blow to the head last weekend against Penn State.  I'd like to call an OSU sweep but I think MSU finds a way to earn 2 points.

My Pick: MSU 2 - 4 OSU
KRACH: MSU 1.88 - 4.12 OSU

Alaska-Fairbanks at Wisconsin

Kohl Center; Madison, WI
Friday @ 8 et/7 ct on BTN Plus
Saturday @ 8 et/7 ct on The Wisconsin Channel (Public TV)/BTN2GO

Wisconsin hosts Alaska Fairbanks this weekend. Neither team is very good. Wisconsin is without Eddie Wittchow both games and Aiden Cavallini on Friday for illegal hits last weekend.  Alaska has been respectable on the road so I see them earning a split.

My Pick: MN 1 - 1 WI
KRACH: MN 0.85 - 1.15 WI

(20) Minnesota at the North Star College Cup

Xcel Energy Center; St. Paul, MN
Bemidji State
Saturday @ 3 et/4 ct on FSN/BTN2GO
(19) Minnesota State-Mankato or (3) St. Cloud State
Sunday @ 2 or 5 et/1 or 4 ct on FSN/BTN2Go

Minnesota heads across town to the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul for the North Star College Cup.   The Gophers play Bemidji State Saturday afternoon then get the winner or loser of St. Cloud-Mankato.  The Gophers have won 5 straight and 9 of 12. I think they beat Bemidji on Saturday then lose to St. Cloud on Sunday. If they play Mankato on Sunday, i think they win.   I think Bemidji loses on Sunday no matter who they play.

My Pick: MN beats BSU, loses to SCSU; Mankato loses to SCSU, beats Bemidji
KRACH: BSU  0.25 -  0.75 MN
KRACH: MSUM 0.41 - 0.59 MN
KRACH: SCSU 0.78 - 0.22 MN

(12) Nebraska Omaha at Colorado College

Baxter Arena, Omaha; Nebraska
Friday @ 8:30 et/7:30 ct on CBSSN/NCHC Streaming
Saturday @ 8 et/7 ct on NET (Nebraska Public TV)/NCHC Streaming

UNO hits the road to face Colorado College this weekend. The Mavs were swept at home last weekend by Miami.  UNO has been playing well on the road while CC has beef really disappointing.  I think the Mavs bounce back with a much needed road sweep.   If they get swept again i promise I'll stop picking them to sweep!

My Pick: UNO 6 - 0 CC
KRACH: UNO 5.22 - 0.78 CC