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No. 18 Penn State Men’s Hockey Falls 6-4 To No. 12 Michigan

No. 18 Penn State men’s hockey (5-4-3, 0-2-3 Big Ten) was held off by No. 12 Michigan (5-5-2, 1-3-2 Big Ten) despite making a late push against the Wolverines.

Danny Dzhaniyev was absent from this week’s lineup, and the Nittany Lions struggled without him. Noah Grannan got the start between the pipes and was called on early and often as Penn State had trouble finding offensive rhythm.

The blue and white showed flashes of momentum but ultimately could never match the Wolverines’ answers during the first game of the weekend series.

How It Happened

Penn State had no offensive presence to start the game, and Michigan took advantage. Goaltender Noah Grannan made two athletic saves during the early Michigan onslaught, but the Nittany Lions couldn’t clear the puck, and the Wolverines eventually cashed in with less than three minutes gone in the game.

The bad start continued for the Nittany Lions as Jacques Bouquot was called for a trip and sent the Wolverines to an early power play. Michigan couldn’t keep the momentum rolling, and Penn State killed the penalty with only two shots from the Wolverines.

The Nittany Lions finally recorded a shot with just under 15 minutes left in the first period. The little victory was shortlived, though, and Michigan’s Gavin Brindley extended the Wolverines lead to 2-0 on a penalty shot after a Jarod Crespo holding call.

With eight minutes left in the first period, the Nittany Lions finally mounted an offensive charge but weren’t able to capitalize after a pad save by Michigan goaltender Jacob Barczewski.

Penn State began to feel more comfortable and establish offensive pressure, but Barczewski fended off the Nittany Lions. Michigan continued to get stuck on defense and, eventually, Matt DiMarsico took a pass from Aiden Fink in front of the net and got past Barczewski to get Penn State back within one. The last two minutes of the first period saw Penn State find its footing and keep Michigan out of its offensive zone to go to the locker room trailing 2-1.

Despite the lack of offense in the first period, Penn State started the second period with 15 shots, while Michigan began with 16. Penn State’s problems continued, though, and Michigan’s Frank Nazar III put back a rebound that got past Grannan to give the Wolverines a 3-1 lead.

Penn State was gifted a power play just a minute later after a Michigan interference call. The Nittany Lions couldn’t find anything on the power play and only registered five shots during the penalty. Penn State then put Michigan on a power play of its own as Crespo was called for his second penalty of the night. The Wolverines couldn’t capitalize on the man-advantage, and the Nittany Lions remained in a two-goal hole.

Neither team could find a consistent offensive attack before DiMarsico was called for a hook and the Wolverines went on another power play. Penn State’s penalty killers couldn’t keep the Wolverines at bay, and Jacob Truscott got past Grannan to push the Wolverines’ lead to 4-1.

Dane Dowiak recorded his first goal of the year three minutes after Michigan scored and brought the deficit down to 4-2. The Nittany Lions held onto the momentum as Michigan was called for a cross-check and went to the power play. DiMarsico sent a pass to Bouquot and put it back on net for the first power-play goal of the night to get the score to 4-3.

Michigan, however, answered right back and Grannan was beat again, this time by Dylan Duke, and the Nittany Lions went to the locker room trailing 5-3.

Penn State began the third period with a heavy offensive zone presence that couldn’t produce a shot opportunity. Grannan kept the Nittany Lions in the game with 15 minutes left as he made a two-on-one save to stop the Wolverines from going up by three. Michigan kept crashing the net throughout the middle of the third period but Grannan held strong and waited for Penn State’s offense to get back into form.

Chase McClane was given a five-minute major for contact to the head after officials reviewed the call and upgraded from a minor penalty. Michigan couldn’t get much going early and Penn State had the best chance of the major after a breakaway that was saved by Barczewski. The Nittany Lions’ penalty kill emerged victorious and held the Wolverines scoreless for five minutes.

After back-and-forth action, Penn State earned a five-minute major power play after a big hit was delivered by Josh Eernisse to Tyler Paquette with Grannan already on the bench. Guy Gadowsky elected to leave Grannan on the bench and Penn State skated 6-on-4 for the last two minutes of play.

Penn State struck quickly on the power play as Fink collected his fourth goal of the year to cut the deficit to 5-4 with less than two minutes left. Penn State held the puck in the offensive zone for over a minute and a half, but Garrett Schifsky ultimately ended the Nittany Lions’ hopes after an empty net goal made the score 6-4.


  • After being able to start fast throughout the first few games of the season, the Nittany Lions haven’t found their stride as early and didn’t look comfortable until the end of the first period against Michigan while already down 2-0.
  • Penn State had 13 penalty minutes Friday. Michigan has one of the best power-play units in the nation, but the Nittany Lions held the Wolverines to one power-play goal during the contest.
  • Noah Grannan got his fourth start in the net on Friday and faced near-constant pressure for the majority of the game. Grannan gave up five goals on 38 shots faced before being pulled.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will be back in action at 7 p.m. Saturday, November 18, in Ann Arbor. Folks can watch the game on BTN+.

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About the Author

CJ Doebler

CJ is a junior double majoring in broadcast journalism and finance. He is from Northumberland, Pa, just east of State College. CJ is an avid Pittsburgh sports fan, but chooses to ignore the Pirates' existence. For the occasional random retweet and/or bad take, follow @CDoebler on Twitter. All complaints can be sent to [email protected].

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