UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Michigan scored four times during a 3:54 span in the third period to ice the game as No. 6 Penn State dropped a 6-0 decision to the Wolverines in Big Ten Conference action on Friday night at Pegula Ice Arena.
The Nittany Lions fall to 16-7-0 overall and 8-5-0-0 in conference play with the setback while Michigan improves to 10-11-2 on the year and 5-7-1-0 in Big Ten action.
HOW IT HAPPENED
* The Wolverines controlled the pace early in the game and eventually opened the scoring late in the first period as an attacking zone turnover by the Nittany Lions sprung Jake Slaker on a partial breakaway and he skated through the slot firing a shot short-side beating PSU senior net-minder Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.) past the blocker for the 1-0 lead at the 16:14 mark.
* Michigan extended the lead to 2-0 in the second period as Michael Pastujov dropped the puck off to his brother Nick in the slot and he beats Jones past the glove at 7:17 of the middle frame.
* The Wolverines doubled their lead to 4-0 with a pair of goals in less than a minute early in the third period as Johnny Beecher one-timed a feed from Lockwood at 6:00 and Slaker finished off a pass from Jimmy Lambert at 6:59 of the final frame.
* Just over a minute later Michael Pastujov laced a shot into the back of the net off a clean faceoff win from his brother Nick for the 5-0 margin at 8:02 and Beecher finished the scoring with his second of the game during a 5-on-3 power-play at 9:54.
Jones falls to 14-6-0 on the year after stopping 41 shots, his fourth 40+ save game of the season and second-straight while his counterpart, Strauss Mann, improves to 10-10-2 overall following the 31-save shutout.
Q: Does that sense come early in the game where you feel like the other team is just more prepared for you and ready to go to battle? And how do you address that?
Yeah, it’s certainly Yes. We felt that on the bench right away, but sometimes little things happen and you just you shake your head and you, get right back on the horse and you go, and you can change it and we never did. You know, obviously, when you talk about being prepared to compete, that’s the coach’s job, right. So, this is this is absolutely embarrassing, for me personally. We weren’t able to turn it around. Sometimes it happens, but you are able to turn it around. We weren’t ready from the start and we didn’t have the ability to turn it around.
Q: Do you think you miss Brandon [Biro] on a night like this in more ways than just scoring?
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think part of what makes Brandon exceptional is his determination, his compete level. I mean, if you compare the two team’s determination and compete level, one team had it at a very high level in one day, but it’s not the absence of one player that should eliminate that from a from a group.
Q: Peyton [Jones] kept you guys in there in the first two periods. Can you just touch on his performance tonight?
Yeah, that’s another aspect of this that I thought we were pretty disappointed about because we got out of the first period, only down one. It could have easily been four or five. And he was exceptional. And that’s what makes this loss even harder is because it wasn’t because we had some goals just slip through. In fact, we had several great saves probably many that you shouldn’t save and I feel bad about our overall performance. I thought he had an excellent performance. I feel bad that we wasted it. The other performances like that in the first period where you get out competed, out shot, out chanced, out odd man rushed, everything and come away down just one and couldn’t turn it around it’s disappointing for us. I feel bad for him.
* Michigan held the commanding 47-31 edge in shots while going 1-for-4 on the power-play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill. Beecher’s third period power-play tally snapped a streak of 18-straight successful penalty kill by the Nittany Lions.
* Junior Cole Hults (Stoughton, Wis.) hasn’t missed a game since stepping foot on campus and appeared in his 100th career game on Friday night.
* With an attendance of 6,294 tonight it marks the second largest crowd in Pegula Ice Arena history.
* Junior Alex Limoges (Winchester, Va.) saw his career-high 10-game point streak snapped in the defeat.
* Penn State falls to 3-6-0 on the year when the opponent scores first.
The two teams return to Pegula Ice Arena tomorrow night to conclude the season series with a 6 p.m. puck drop.