Michigan Hockey Splits Penn State

Tyler Motte

Michigan dropped the Friday game against Penn State, but came back with the series-splitting win on Saturday. Penn State now has two wins in the Big Ten...both of them against the Wolverines.

Friday, Penn State 5 - Michigan 3

Michigan was without Andrew Sinelli and Michael Downing due to infractions against the Gophers last weekend, but the team started out just fine without them. The key: started just fine. Finishing? Well, that's another matter.

Boo Nieves got the scoring going for Michigan at 5:40 in the 1st period and with 18 seconds to go on a 4-on-4. Penn State's Eric Scheid bounced a pass off the back of the goal and into the boards, where Derek DeBlois got the rebound and fed it to Boo for the score. Sixty-one seconds later, Phil DiGiuseppe got his sixth goal of the season after his initial shot rebounded off the post and got back to him. With Matthew Skoff at the top of the crease, it was an easy opportunity for DiGiuseppe to get the puck past Skoff's glove.

It was a matter of another another 25 seconds after DiGiuseppe's goal that Penn State put the difference at 2-1 after David Goodwin scored off the assist by Taylor Holmstrom, who was still able to pass off the forecheck, and get the puck between Alex Guptill's legs as Guptill was trying to deflect. Goodwin was then able to shoot the puck through the 5-hole to bring Penn State within one point of Michigan.

The Wolverines were able to increase the lead to 3-1 when Andrew Copp performed a sweet backhand assist through traffic and to a trailing Tyler Motte with 4:23 to go in the second frame.

Period 2 was quiet until Casey Bailey's power play goal with just 34 seconds to go in the period got past Zach Nagelvoort's skate and found the back of the net. Instead of Michigan being up a commanding 3-1 at the second intermission, they held a slim 3-2 margin, with the momentum going Penn State's way.

Penn State then tied the game at 3-all when Michigan's Alex Guptill lost his handle on the puck and Dylan Richard was able to drive a backhander past Nagelvoort. To make matters worse for Michigan, this goal came on their own power play.

With 2:02 in the game, it looked like Michigan would avoid another loss to Penn State when Alex Guptill scored on a shot from center, but the Wolverines can't have nice things and gave up yet another goal, this time after Guy Gadowski pulled Matthew Skoff for the extra attacker. Casey Bailey was the hero with four seconds to go, sending the game to OT.

In the overtime session (and on yet another Michigan turnover), on an attempted pass by Luke Moffat to the trailing Mac Bennett, Penn State's David Goodwin took the pass intended for Bennett and got the goal for the 5-4 win with only 42 seconds to go in OT. Let's move on.

Saturday, Michigan 5 - Penn State 2

I was unable to watch or listen to Saturday's game, but I'll give this rundown a go anyway.

Michigan scored the first four goals of the game, the first one coming off the stick of Tyler Motte at 7:48 of the first, followed by Alex Kile at 6:58 in the second period. Phil DiGiuseppe finished out the period with a goal of his own with just over two minutes to go.

Derek DeBlois assisted on yet another Alex Kile goal, this one in the third period. Penn State, after attempting only 20 shots (instead of seemingly 100 per game), scored the next two goals by way of Curtis Loik and Taylor Holmstrom. Matthew Skoff was in net for the Lions, but was pulled for PJ Musico, who was then pulled himself for a sixth skater. The result was not what Penn State had hoped for; instead of scoring themselves, Phil DiGiuseppe lit l the lamp one more time for Michigan as an insurance goal for the 5-2 win.

Steve Racine started in net in place of Zach Nagelvoort, and made 18 saves on the night. Racine has now played in 10 games and has a save % of .914 and a record of 5-3-1. Prior to Saturday, Alex Kile had tallied only one goal in 24 games played. DiGiuseppe is now in fourth place on the team in scoring (8) and assists (9).

Michigan will next face Ohio State (15-10-3; 5-6-3 Big Ten) at Yost on Saturday 2/28 at 6:30 on BTN and on Sunday 3/2 in Columbus at 1:00 on Fox Sports Detroit.

The Nittany Lions are 6-20-2 (2-11-1 B1G) and will have a weekend series against Minnesota (21-4-5; 10-2-2) in Minneapolis.

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