Michigan Series ends in New York City with ‘Super Saturday’

Michigan Series ends in New York City with ‘Super Saturday’

After a disappointing 7-4 rout of No. 16 Penn State (16-7-3, 6-4-0) by No. 6 Michigan (16-3-4, 7-1-2-1) on Thursday at home at Pegula Ice Arena, players and fans alike eagerly awaited the much anticipated Big Ten “Super Saturday,” at Madison Square Garden in New York City, which featured Penn State vs. Michigan in both a men’s basketball game and the second game of the men’s ice hockey series.

With an attendance of a whopping 13,479 fans dressed in varying shades of blue and white, and with distinctly less maize and navy intermixed, Madison Square Garden was alight with passion for the puck on Saturday evening.

The Nittany Lions started junior Eamon McAdam (Perkasie, Pa.) in goal this weekend. McAdam would make a grand total of 43 stellar saves for Penn State before the evening was over.

From the minute the puck was dropped, Penn State was on fire. Despite being smaller in stature, the Nittany Lions dealt out superior hits and had crisper stick work for most of the game.

In the fourteenth minute of the first period, Michigan got the break they needed and snagged a goal. Within five minutes, however, David Goodwin (Des Peres, Mo.) rocketed one into the back of Michigan’s net thanks to assists from Vince Pedrie (Rochester, Minn.) and Erik Autio (Espoo, Finland).

The second period was an exciting one for Penn State. Although Michigan took a brief lead after the puck drop, Andrew Sturtz (Buffalo, N.Y.) and Ricky DeRosa (Aston, Pa.) each notched a goal less than three minutes apart, giving Penn State the lead at 3-2.

The intensity seemed to climb ever upward as Penn State continued to stave off Michigan’s attempts to put one past McAdam. Some missed opportunities led to drama on the ice as Michigan and Penn State engaged in a few thrown fists and shoves that were quickly calmed by the referees.

“I think we played our game pretty consistently for the first two periods,” noted head coach Guy Gadowsky.

Fans’ adrenaline levels were at an all-time high at the start of the third period. The Penn State student section remained standing and the S-Zone was one of the most prominent features of audience at Madison Square Garden.

Unfortunately for Penn State, their intimidation factor petered out in the third period as Michigan went on a dismal scoring spree beginning in the third minute. Within fifteen minutes, Michigan had notched four goals, one of them being an empty net. At the final buzzer, the score registered 6-3, a win for the Wolverines.

Despite the difficult series loss for Penn State, the experience and atmosphere at Madison Square Garden was fantastic. Even Gadowsky commented on the special environment this weekend.

“I thought it was a tremendous event,” said Gadowsky. “I think Penn Staters had a tremendous time.”

When asked what he thought of the fact that over 500 Penn State students traveled to see the Nittany Lions face Michigan, Gadowsky simply said, “They continue to surprise us…They are the best.”

Win or lose, all in attendance will agree that seeing our Nittany Lions on ice at Madison Square Garden was nothing short of a magical and once-in-a-lifetime experience that will be treasured by all for a very long time.

Penn State’s next two series will be away, at Minnesota this weekend and at Michigan State the next. However, the Nittany Lions will be back at Pegula on THON weekend to take on the always-exciting Ohio State.