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Face Off Tackle Empire // Weekend Preview and Open Thread February 12th & 13th

We have a full slate of games for Valentine's Day Weekend. Penn State heads to Michigan State, Minnesota heads to Ohio State, Michigan travels to Wisconsin, and UNO hosts Western Michigan.

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

(16) Penn State Nittany Lions at Michigan State Spartans

Munn Ice Arena; East Lansing, MI
Friday @ 7 et/6 ct on BTN Plus
Saturday @ 7 et/6 ct on BTN Plus

Penn State and Michigan State are both coming off splits.  Penn State split at Mariucci, earning their first win against the Gophers in the state of Minnesota.  Michigan State split with Michigan, taking the Iron D trophy after winning last Friday in Detroit.  Penn State is 2-2-0 on the road in conference play while MSU is 1-3-0 at home in conference play.  MSU has been playing better lately, splitting their last two series and I think they will be up to the task of stealing a game this weekend.

My Pick: PSU 3 - 3 MSU
KRACH: PSU 4.63 - 1.37 MSU

Minnesota Golden Gophers at Ohio State Buckeyes

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

Minnesota is coming off a disappointing split at home with Penn State while Ohio State is coming off a bye.  Minnesota swept OSU earlier this year in Mariucci but needed overtime both nights to do so.  OSU lead for most of the Friday game but couldn't hold on while the Gophers couldn't maintain a lead on Saturday and survived in OT.  OSU is not an easy out, but split with a bad MSU team in it's last series.  The Gophers need a sweep to stay in the NCAA At-Large conversation and I think they find a way to pull it off this weekend.

My Pick: MN 6 - 0 OSU
KRACH: MN 4.12 - 1.88 OSU

(6) Michigan Wolverines at Wisconsin Badgers

Kohl Center; Madison, WI
Friday @ 7 et/6 ct on Wisconsin Public TV/BTN2Go
Saturday @ 7 et/6 ct on Wisconsin Public TV/BTN2Go

Michigan is also coming off of a disappointing sweep to in-state rival Michigan State.  The Badgers were off last weekend.  Michigan took 5 of 6 points from Wisconsin at home back in December.  Wisconsin held multiple goal leads in both games multiple times but the Wolverines' offense was too potent to be held back.  If Wisconsin can find that offense again, they have a chance to steal points.  I think Michigan will bounce back strongly from last weekend and sweep the Badgers.

My Pick: MI 6 - 0 WI
KRACH: MI 5.02 - 0.98 WI

Western Michigan Broncos at (12) Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks

Baxter Arena; Omaha, NE
Friday @ 7:30 et/6:30 ct on CBSSN/NCHC Stream
Saturday @ 8 et/7 ct on NCHC Stream

UNO was off last weekend and it couldn't have come at a better time.  The Mavericks were 2-6-0 in their last 8, going 0-4-0 at home during that stretch.  UNO is 6th in the NCHC standing but has the 3rd best overall record in the group of 8.  Western Michigan was also off last weekend and is 0-6-2 in their last 8 games.  Hopefully, the time off has been good for the Mavericks and they can regain their form from earlier in the season.  Mavericks sweep.  If they get swept at home again, I promise I will never pick them to sweep in the future.

My Pick: WMU 0 - 6 UNO
KRACH: WMU 1.70 - 4.30 MN