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Big Ten Hockey Tournament Thursday Preview & Open Thread

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We have two games on tap today. Penn State hosts Wisconsin at 5 et/4 ct and Ohio State hosts Michigan State at 8:30 et/7:30 ct. All games on BTN and BTN2Go.

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Game 1
(6) Wisconsin Badgers at (3) Penn State Nittany Lions

Xcel Energy Center; St. Paul, MN
Thursday @ 5 et/4 ct on BTN/BTN2Go

Penn State won three of four over Wisconsin this season.  Two of those wins were by 1 goal, one of which came in overtime.  The other win was by 3 with 2 of the goals coming late in the third.  Wisconsin's win was by 1 goal after nearly blowing a 3 goal, third period lead.  These teams played each other close, with Wisconsin probably deserving at least one more win.  The Badgers and Nittany Lions met once before in the BTHT with Wisconsin winning 2-1.  These teams split in Madison two weekends ago and I expect either a Penn State blowout win or a close Wisconsin upset.  Both teams need to win 3 games in 3 days to make the NCAA tournament.  The winner faces Michigan int he early game on Friday.

My Pick: WI 2 - 5 Penn State
KRACH: WI 30.96% - 69.04% PSU

Game 2
(5) Michigan State Spartans at (4) Ohio State Buckeyes

Xcel Energy Center; St. Paul, MN
Thursday @ 8:30 et/7:30 ct on BTN/BTN2Go

Ohio State went 2-1-1-0 against Michigan State this year, taking 7 of 12 points. These teams played each other very close all year.  Michigan State's win was by two, but was helped with an empty net goal.  Ohio State won by one twice, once in OT.  MSU forced overtime with an extra attacker goal last Friday, but couldn't stop Matthew Weis from winning it for the Buckeyes.  The game last Saturday also finished in a tie, with MSU taking the shootout point.  The Buckeyes and Spartans met in the first round of the BTHT in 2014 and OSU won 2-1 in OT.  I think this game goes to at least 1 OT.

My Pick: MSU 2 - 3 OSU (2OT)
KRACH: MSU 39.82% - 60.18% OSU