Hockey’s Season Ends In 7-2 Big Ten Semifinal Loss To Michigan
Penn State’s record-breaking (21-13-4) season ended in a 7-2 loss to Michigan in the Big Ten Semifinals on Friday. Throughout the 2015-16 season, the team climbed to No. 14 in national rankings, broke its regular season win record, and made it further than ever in the road to a tournament run.
How It Happened
Although play wasn’t exactly dominant from either side early on, Michigan took off when Max Shuart found the back of Eamon McAdam’s net with 9:25 left in the first. Quick to capitalize on a Chase Berger hooking penalty, the Wolverines increased momentum with a goal just 17 seconds into their power play for a 2-0 lead with 3:05 left in the period. Hope stayed alive through a Penn State power play to close out the period, but it was fruitless.
During intermission the referee suffered a shoulder injury and a replacement ref took over, but unfortunately this didn’t help Penn State’s fate as much as some fans thought it might.
Michigan kicked off the second period with an early goal, widening its lead to 3-0. Shortly after, Ricky DeRosa posted one of the best Penn State chances of the game but couldn’t slide it past Steve Racine. The Nittany Lions managed to kill off a Glen penalty but immediately sustained another for too many men. This time, the Wolverines were up to task and a powerplay goal made it a disheartening 4-0 with 14:32 left in the second. At this point, Guy Gadowsky replaced McAdam with Matt Skoff in net. This didn’t impede Kyle Connor’s road to a hat trick and he netted his third of the game and 33rd of the season just as Skoff settled in. It was 5-0 with 10:52 left in the second, and Michigan did not still suck.
Defenseman Kevin Kerr finally put Penn State on the board and with 8:15 in the second and the Roar Zone revived all the way from downtown Champs. The Nittany lions kept a steady edge in shots, but the Wolverines have a knack for capitalizing on the ones that count.
The start of the third was more eventful than the end of the second. A Michigan goal and an immediate response from Luke Juha made for a 6-2 score and a record-breaking David Goodwin assist (his 27th of the season). The excitement ended as Zach Saar headed to the box for a head contact five minute game misconduct with 9:17 left to play. Connor shuffled his fourth of the game past Skoff for a 7-2 late-game finalizer.
Player Of The Game
David Goodwin’s assists showcased his for-the-team nature and gave him Penn State’s single season assist record.
Probably nothing :/. Thanks, men’s hockey, for a great season, for being one of the quickest-rising NCAA division I programs in the nation, and a high timber count.