No. 7 Men’s Hockey Trounces No. 20 Michigan in B1G Ten Opening Series
On Thursday, it was clear from the get-go that Penn State would benefit from home ice advantage as Andrew Sturtz (Buffalo, N.Y.) snuck a loose puck into the goal just seven minutes into the first period.
The second period showed continued expertise as freshman Liam Folkes (Scarborough, Ont.) beat out two Wolverine defenders with swift stick skills to lock in a 2-0 lead.
Trevor Hamilton (Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.) scored a stunning power-play goal hammered in the third Nittany Lion goal of the evening that was followed up at the 18-minute mark with Ricky DeRosa (Aston, Pa.) receiving a great pass from Zach Saar (Richland, Mich.) and sinking one into the net, sending Penn State to the locker room up 4-0.
Sturtz came out on fire yet again in the third period, adding another notch to the Lions’ belts as he received a rebound off of a faceoff win for Penn State and a rebounded shot by Denis Smirnov (Moscow, Russia).
Michigan scored its solo goal of the evening, but it was clear the Wolverine morale was low.
It was Erik Autio (Espoo, Finland) who sealed the deal for the Nittany Lions as he sank a final shot at the 16-minute mark to give Penn State the series momentum with a final score of 6-1.
Goaltender Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.) continued to impress as he played the entire game, recording 28 saves.
Many fans were worried that perhaps the Lions had gone out too hard and fast on Thursday, and simply would not be able to deliver a similar performance on Friday to round out the series.
The fears were unwarranted, as Penn State quickly asserted itself yet again on the ice and crushed Michigan 5-1.
The opening goal was scored by junior James Robinson (Cochrane, Alb.) as he craftily took a Saar rebound and hammered the puck into the back of the net just three minutes into play.
Michigan yet again secured their only goal of the evening at the four minute mark in the first.
Penn State did not let the 1-1 get to them, as Hamilton used a power-play to his advantage and brought the Lions up, 2-1.
Smirnov rounded out the first period with a goal assisted by Derian Hamilton (Port McNeill, B.C.) to put the Lions up 3-1.
The second period showed no goals for either team, but did show that tensions were high between the rivals with numerous fights and chippy plays.
Penn State used this fire to their advantage, with Sturtz scoring a power play goal 24 seconds into the third period that was followed by the final goal of the evening, secured by Brandon Biro (Sherwood Park, Alb.).
Friday’s game was also the annual THON game, at which fans are encouraged to bring a new stuffed animal to throw onto the ice between the second and third periods.
The stuffed animals are then donated to children battling cancer. THON will be held February 17-19, 2017.
After a streak of home games, Penn State hits the road this coming weekend to face No. 10 Ohio State in Columbus on Friday and Saturday at 7 and 8 p.m., respectively.