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No. 6 Penn State Men’s Hockey Suffers Humiliating 5-4 Loss Against No. 7 Michigan

No. 6 Penn State men’s hockey (18-9-1 overall, 8-9-1 Big Ten) lost 5-4 to No. 7 Michigan (16-9-1 overall, 8-8-0 Big Ten) Saturday night in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Despite being up 3-0 and eventually 4-2, the Nittany Lions conceded three unanswered goals in the third period to fall 5-4, suffering their first official series loss of the 2022-23 season.

How It Happened

Head coach Guy Gadowsky spiced things up a bit, starting Danny Dzhaniyev, Ture Linden, and Ashton Calder on the first shift. Meanwhile, Paul DeNaples and Christian Berger were the first defensive pairing, while Liam Souliere got the nod in net.

Fired up after Friday night’s brutal defeat, Penn State wasted no time getting on the board. At 38 seconds into the game, Tyler Gratton finished a one-timer from the opposite face-off circle to make it 1-0 Nittany Lions.

In a contrasting sequence of events for Penn State from game one, the Nittany Lions scored again. Six seconds later at 44 seconds into the first period, Xander Lamppa scored his third goal of the series to make it 2-0 Penn State.

The Nittany Lions had two shots on goal, both of which being goals. Gadowsky’s team continued playing well, applying pressure on the Wolverines.

Michigan had a few good looks in front of the net, but Souliere and Penn State’s defense kept the Wolverines at bay. The Nittany Lions came up with more than one turnover, ending impressive Michigan shifts.

After both sides traded brief penalties to no avail, the first period ended with the Nittany Lions 2-0.

Both sides played back-and-forth hockey. Each team had good scoring chances through the first eight minutes of the period.

At 7:05 in the second period, Adam Fantilli cut Penn State’s lead in half to make it 2-1. Gadowsky challenged the play, citing a hit to the head on Jarod Crespo from Ethan Edwards. After a lengthy review, it was determined that Edwards was guilty. The goal was called off and Edwards served five minutes in the penalty box. After all that, Penn State still led 2-0.

Capitalizing on the one-man advantage, Penn State set up a 2-on-1 situation. At nine minutes in the second period, Danny Dzhaniyev scored with ease to give the Nittany Lions a 3-0 lead.

Michigan didn’t allow any more goals on the five-minute major, and the Wolverines regained even strength. Besides a dangerous Michigan chance, Penn State was dominant on the power play.

Then, at 14:32 in the second period, Luke Hughes broke the ice for Michigan. There was no review this time, and Penn State’s lead was cut to 3-1.

Michigan’s strong momentum didn’t waver, as the Wolverines went on the power play with roughly two minutes remaining in the period. Hughes wasted no time capitalizing, scoring for the second time in the game to make it 3-2 at 18:43 in the second period.

The period ended with Penn State leading 3-2.

The Nittany Lions spent little time before scoring an insurance goal to start the third period. At 3:05 in the period, Ture Linden put the puck in the back of the net to make it 4-2. After Michigan challenged for goaltender interference, the call stood.

Unfortunately for Penn State, Michigan wasted no time responding. Hughes completed his first collegiate hat trick at 5:06 in the third period.

Michigan continued playing well, with momentum clearly in its favor. Then, at 7:58 in the third period, the Wolverines tied it 4-4. After being down by two, the Wolverines completed the comeback.

It was all Michigan, all the time. Right after tying the game, the Wolverines took a 5-4 lead at 9:15 in the third period to complete an embarrassing collapse for the Nittany Lions. And of course, Hughes scored the goal to make it his fourth of the evening.

Michigan, in a complete momentum change, controlled the rest of the period. The Wolverines took shot after shot, not even allowing time for Souliere to make it to the bench in favor of an extra skater. Penn State ultimately lost 5-4 in humiliating fashion, suffering its first pair of consecutive losses of the season.

Takeaways

  • Two goals just six seconds apart from each other in the first minute of the game is the perfect way to send a message after game one’s 7-3 blowout loss.
  • The Nittany Lions looked very good on their five-minute major. A goal and constant control throughout the sequence is a promising look for a team that has struggled with power play lately.
  • Penn State’s third period was completely unacceptable. Similarly to Michigan State two weeks ago, the Nittany Lions had a big lead, got too comfortable, and blew it. Play with fire and you’ll get burned.

What’s Next

Penn State heads to Columbus for a two-game series against Ohio State on February 3 and 4. The puck drops at 7 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., respectively.

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About the Author

Nolan Wick

Nolan is a third-year journalism major from Silver Spring, Maryland, which means he's an avid fan of all D.C. sports teams. If Nolan isn't writing about or watching sports, you can probably find him listening to all sorts of music or traveling. To keep up with Nolan, you can follow him on Twitter @nolan_wick or email him at [email protected].

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