Opening Big Ten as the underdog on the road the Wolverines needed a great start to have a chance in this game. Instead, it went about as bad as it could have gone from the start of the opening puck drop.
The Nittany Lions set the tone early by getting a puck to the net and driving the blue paint just a few seconds into the game. The goal would be disallowed when the net came off its moorings but Penn State made it very clear in the opening shift that they were going to make it a point to be aggressive on the forecheck and dominate the Wolverines in front of Zach Nagelvoort.
Penn State would get on the board seven minutes into the first scoring a similar goal to the one that had been called off by getting a puck to the net and banging away at the rebound.
The energy in the building and a persistent forecheck seemed to engulf the Wolverines and Penn State took full advantage pelting Zach Nagelvoort with rubber from quality scoring areas. Zach played a great game but there is only so much a goalie can do and as the shot total increased Nagelvoort could no longer stand on his head.
The Penn State forwards seemed to become more relentless as their lead widened and the Michigan blueline crumbled against a heavy forecheck. The Nittany Lions bulldozed their way through the slot area coming and going as they pleased until they had pushed the shot total to 48 pucks on net and had tallied three second period goals and two third period goals to cap off a decisive win at Pegula.
This game was a disaster in every phase of the game. Offensively the Wolverines were a complete non-factor for the entire game because they couldn’t get out of their zone. Defensively the centers were mashed all night and the defensemen could not clear the front of their net. The one bright spot was Nagelvoort. That was it. This is not how they wanted to start conference play.