No. 13 M. Hockey (21-11-2, 10-9-1) dropped its final series of the regular season to Michigan this past weekend in Ann Arbor.
Despite beating and shutting out Michigan early on in the regular season, this is a cautionary tale that the most unexpected teams can creep up on even the top-ranked teams in the country.
Friday evening’s game was a low-scoring, high-intensity competition that saw the Wolverines barely skate by with a 3-2 edge over the Nittany Lions.
The first period saw both teams trying to find a rhythm, and it was Penn Stater Kris Myllari (Kanata, Ontario) who found the twine with just four seconds to go to give PSU the 1-0 edge heading into the second.
Michigan returned the favor in the first three minutes of the second with a powerful wrist shot.
David Thompson (Glen Mills, Pa.) kept Penn State in the game with a wrist shot of his own that returned the lead to Penn State with five minutes left before second intermission.
Michigan came out firing on all cylinders in the third, and their two goals before the halfway mark are what ultimately sealed the fate of Penn State.
Goalie Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.) made 14 saves for the Lions, who outshot Michigan 37-17.
Despite rallying to overtake Michigan at Saturday night’s competition, the Blue and White were shut out by the Wolverines, 4-0.
The majority of the action occurred in the third period, but the first period saw Michigan notch one goal and Penn State take multiple penalties that prohibited the team from finding their groove.
Three goals spread out through the third period are what put the period at the end of a tough sentence for Penn State.
Jones made 20 saves for Penn State, and Penn State trounced Michigan when it came to shots, outshooting the Wolverines 46-23.
Penn State has a single game left in the regular season. This Thursday is the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament, and as it is only fitting, the Blue and White will face Michigan at a neutral site in Detroit, time and media coverage TBA.