The Michigan hockey team’s had a rough schedule to start off 2020, but they’re winning games nonetheless. First, Michigan swept No. 14 Notre Dame on the road last weekend, and this weekend they fared well on the road again against No. 6 Penn State.
The first game of the series was all Michigan. The Wolverines mixed great defense and goalie play with an offensive onslaught to stunt the Nittany Lions and their fans. Goalie Strauss Man stopped 31 shots on the night, Michigan rattled off 47 shots, and Michigan took a 2-0 lead into the 3rd period before scoring another 4 goals in the final frame and winning 6-0.
Johnny Beecher and Jake Slaker had two goals a piece in this route of PSU. The two goals were even more special than usual, as Beecher had more than a dozen family and friends in attendance.
The second game against PSU looked promising for the Wolverines and it seemed as if they’d extend their winning streak to four, but a late rally from Penn State stopped the from happening.
Michigan trailed for much of the game until a late rally netted them a lead. The Wolverines turned a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 lead.
Granowicz for the lead! Lockwood and York with s pic.twitter.com/Cm7BtGDZSr— Michigan Hockey (@umichhockey) January 19, 2020
With 1:22 left in the game and Penn State with an extra attacker with the goalie out of the game, they were able to capitalize and tie the game up at 4-4. In overtime things remained all knotted up and the game ended in a tie. However, for the extra Big Ten point, the teams played on in a second overtime where Garrett Van Whye gave Michigan the ‘win’.
Michigan’s record now sits at (10-11-3, 5-7-2-1 B1G) and they continue to rise up the all important Pairwise Rankings. Michigan’s now ranked No. 24 in the Pairwise.
Next up for Michigan is an exhibition game at home against United States National Team Development Program’s Under-18 team on Saturday before closing out the month on January at home against Ohio State the following weekend. Michigan is now in a position to where they can realistically make the NCAA Tournament if they stay hot. If the team climbs ten more spots in the Pairwise, they’ll be in great shape. It’s a hard road ahead, though.