No. 7 Penn State Blows The Doors Off No. 20 Michigan 6-1
No. 7 Penn State (12-1-1, 1-0-0 Big Ten) welcomed its bitter rival in No. 20 Michigan to Pegula Thursday night to open conference play.
Guy Gadowsky’s Nittany Lions got the best of Red Berenson’s Wolverines in a 6-1 blowout on ESPNU. Even John Buccigross was in the house to witness the total domination.
How It Happened
Sophomore forward Chase Berger nearly gave the nation’s top total offense an immediate spark, but his backhanded goal less than a minute into the contest was called off cause the Michigan net had already been knocked loose.
Then, with 12:04 left in the first period, classmate Andrew Sturtz tallied his team-high 11th goal of the season. There was absolute pandemonium in front of senior goaltender Zach Nagelvoort, but Sturtz navigated the fray and punched home a beauty to give Penn State a 1-0 lead. The referees went to the replay feed, but the Buffalo native’s effort was upheld — much to the delight of a White Out Roar Zone.
Around the four-minute mark, Penn State unleashed a barrage of shots on Nagelvoort. Michigan’s Kevin Lohan, who is in fact related to Lindsay, clanked one off the post and out shortly after to preserve the Nittany Lions’ advantage — one they would hang on to heading into the first intermission.
Freshman netminder Peyton Jones started the second period with an immaculate stick save four minutes in, allowing forward Liam Folkes to score the second goal of his career moments later. With a 2-0 lead in the Nittany Lions’ back pocket, junior defenseman Trevor Hamilton lit up James Sanchez, prompting quite a roar from the Pegula faithful.
Though the best two penalty killing units in college hockey took center stage Thursday, Penn State emerged with the upper hand thanks to a powerplay goal from Hamilton with 4:42 to play in the second frame. Coincidentally, Folkes’ tally came 4:42 into the period. Senior alternate captain Ricky DeRosa joined the fun three minutes later, making it 4-0 Penn State just before the break.
Sturtz broke the third-period scoring drought on his second goal of the game with 7:54 left, but Michigan’s Tony Calderone would deny Jones’ shutout bid :30 seconds later to cut the lead to 5-1. He finished with 29 saves in the victory. Junior defenseman Erik Autio netted his first goal of the season with exactly four minutes on the clock to close things out. In only their fifth season of Division I hockey, the Nittany Lions improved their unbeaten streak to 12 straight games (one tie).
Player Of The Game
Andrew Sturtz | Sophomore | Right winger
Despite missing the Alaska Anchorage series due to injury, Sturtz is on absolute tear this season. He now has 12 goals in 12 games.
The Nittany Lions will be back in Pegula Friday at 7:00 p.m. against Michigan. They’ll have a chance to even the all-time series at 8-8 with another win after losing five in a row to the Wolverines last season.