This one did not start off particularly well for Penn State, and in particular, sophomore goaltender Eamon McAdam. Just 15 seconds into the game, McAdam was bailed out by his defense after a puck snuck through the pads and perilously close to the goal line. Thirty one seconds later, Michigan capitalized on a juicy rebound to go up 1-0.
Just as it appeared Penn State had stopped the bleeding, they called on the Islanders' third round pick from the 2013 NHL Entry Draft to make as good a save as you'll see at any level of hockey. That save seemed to wake the Lions up.
PSU began taking the play to the Wolverines, leading to a power play at 13:44. Just 32 seconds into the man advantage, Casey Bailey would one time a Luke Juha pass on goal, deflecting in off of Max Gardiner's skate to even the score up. On the very next shift, Eric Scheid picked the pocket of a Michigan defenseman at the blue line, and was off to the races. He beat Wolverine goalie Zach Nagelfoort with a nifty forehand to backhand move, sliding the puck through the 5-hole. The offensive onslaught continued two minutes later, with Casey Bailey swiping the puck in the neutral zone, leading to a 2 on 1. Bailey toe-dragged the puck around a back checking defender, and beat Nagelvoort to the far post. That third goal would prove to be the difference.
GIF: Penn State's Casey Bailey makes it 3-1 on a slick toe drag and snipe pic.twitter.com/NmoyM8PlX4— Ben Jones (@Ben_Jones88) November 22, 2014
Michigan appeared to pull back within 1 just over halfway through the second period. A harmless shot from the point found its way behind McAdam. Upon further review, however, it was clear the puck was deflected in by a high stick, negating what would have been a key goal for the hosts.
The Wolverines did get a second early in the third, aspounced on a loose puck, and squeezed the shot through McAdam. There were several nervy moments down the stretch, perhaps none moreso than a scramble just outside of the Lions' goal crease, leading to a huge save with just 7 seconds left to preserve the win.
PSU moves to 7-2-2 on the season, and 1-0-0 in the Big 10 with their sixth win in the last seven games. Michigan falls to 4-6-0, and 0-0-1 in the conference. The Lions will go for the series sweep tomorrow night at 7:30.