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Face Off Tackle Empire // Weekend Preview & Open Thread Feb 25-27

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Three days of hockey this weekend as Minnesota hosts Michigan, Ohio State hosts Wisconsin, and Omaha hosts North Dakota.

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

(6) Michigan Wolverines at (20) Minnesota Golden Gophers

Mariucci Arena; Minneapolis, MN
Thursday @ 8:30 et/7:30 ct on BTN/BTN2Go
Friday @ 7 et/8 ct on BTN/BTN2Go

The Michigan Wolverines travel to Minneapolis for a series against the Minnesota Golden Gophers.  This series will have the biggest impact on who walks away witht he regular season crown.  The Gophers lead Michigan by a point and anything better than a split makes them the favorite.  If the Gophers want to earn an At-Large bid to the NCAA tournament, they likely need at least a win and a tie.  A sweep more or less clinches a third consecutive B1G Title.  Michigan needs to at least split to stay in the conference race, since Minnesota has the easier opponents remaining.  If Michigan can take 5 or more points, they will likely win their first ever B1G Championship  The teams split the series in Ann Arbor with Michigan winning a blowout and the Gophers winning a close game.  Michigan's offense has slown down over the last 3-4 weeks and the Gophers have the best home ice advantage in the B1G. I think these teams battle to a hard fought split.

My Pick: MI 3 - 3 MN
KRACH: OSU 3.95 - 2.05 MN

Wisconsin Badgers 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

The Buckeyes host the Badgers  this weekend.  Ohio State is coming off a strong road split with Penn State and have  achance to jump back into 4th place.  The Badgers are coming off a sweep at home by Michigan State and are trying to avoid a second consecutive 6th place finish.  The Badgers may have had the better of the play last weekend, but they could not capitalize and find themselves 8 points behind Ohio State.  The Buckeyes have ben playing strong hockey, even if the results haven't been in their favor. I think they defend home ice and sweep the Badgers.

My Pick: WI 0 - 6 OSU
KRACH: WI 2.66 - 3.44 OSU

(4) North Dakota Fighting Hawks at (13) Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks

Baxter Arena; Omaha, NE
Friday @ 8 et/7 ct on NCHC Stream
Saturday @ 8 et/7 ct on ASN/NCHC Stream

The Mavericks were swept at home by St. Cloud State last weekend.  They are still 11th in the Pairwise, avoiding the bubble but have a brutal schedule to close out the season.  UNO needs to take points this weekend to avoid slipping further down the Pairwise.  As of now, no team from the WCHA or Atlantic Hockey are in the top 16 of the Pairwise, meaning only the top 14 are safe.  UNO will need to stay above 12 in case teams on the outside from the other 4 conferences win their respective tournaments.  North Dakota is just as good as St. Cloud and will pose a big challenge the Mavericks.  I think UNO takes one game in their final home series of the regular season.

My Pick: UND 3 - 3 UNO
KRACH: UND 4.10 - 1.90 UNO