Penn State Men’s Hockey Steamrolled By Michigan 7-1
With one final series remaining in the regular season, only three points separate Michigan and Penn State in the Big Ten Standings. In what was supposed to be one of the most anticipated matchups of the regular season, the Lions simply fell flat. Instead of tying Michigan for second place in the Big Ten, Penn State heads back to the drawing board after a demoralizing 7-1 defeat on the road.
How It Happened
At the time of the puck drop, it seemed as though the Nittany Lions would bring their usual brand of physical hockey to the table in what should’ve been a tight contest. Unfortunately for Penn State fans, the early minutes of the first period would be nothing more than a facade. Andrew Sturtz got the Lions on the board first with No. 18 of the season, but his goal would prove to be his team’s only one of the night. The Penn State penalty kill unit flashed its muscle in the early going by staving off two consecutive Michigan power plays. The team’s good fortune would soon run out, however, after Wolverine’s freshman Kyle Connor netted the equalizer with 4:46 remaining in the first period.
Michigan forward Tony Calderone kicked off the second period scoring with a breakaway goal to end the stalemate, which lasted the duration of the period. Michigan and Penn State battled throughout, but neither team could outlast the other.
Michigan came out firing to start the third period, getting things going with a goal one minute in to make it 3-1. The Wolverines opened up the floodgates in the third, outmatching the Nittany Lions as they abused the porous Penn State defense throughout the remainder of the game. Justin Selman made it 4-1 three minutes later. The Wolverines tacked on a fifth shortly after, and the sixth that followed proved to be McAdam’s curtain call. The netminder was replaced by Chris Funkey, who was tasked with stopping the bleeding as the team faced a 6-1 deficit.
A seventh goal late in the third sealed the team’s fate, sending the Nittany Lions back to the drawing board as they attempt to rebound from the 7-1 decimation.
Player Of The Game
Andrew Sturtz | F | Freshman
There weren’t many bright spots for Penn State, but if there was one, it was Andrew Sturtz. The freshman played a scrappy game and never quit despite such a staggering deficit. He was the first and only man to score for the Nittany Lions, and with such a rough overall performance from the team, that’s something to be commended.
The Nittany Lions will again face Michigan for the second leg of the series on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.