What a difference a game makes. For what felt like the first time all season, the puck found the back of the net with ease for the Lions, as the boys jumped all over #10 Michigan in the first period, 3-0. Finally.
Since December, Penn State has fought, and ground, and generally played well enough to win more often than not, despite playing a murderers' row of opponents. They dramatically reduced penalties from early in the year. They started to build some cohesion on offense. They were reducing turnovers, controlling the puck, and even out-chancing some very good teams. They had earned some great wins.
But until last Saturday, they'd received none. Then, the hockey gods guided 3 pucks past Michigan goalie Zach Nagelvoort. The Lions weren't satisfied. They kept up the pressure on Michigan the entire game, and with 4 minutes to play in the 3rd period, Ricky DeRosa fired an absolute blast from the top of the circle for the victory celebration goal, number four. A 4-0 shutout of #10 Michigan, who had been creeping up behind Minnesota in the Big Ten standings.
Wolverine tears may be the sweetest of all Big Ten foes.
Next Up: vs. Michigan State
When: Friday the 14th at 6:30pmET, and Saturday the 15th at 3:30pmET
Video: YES! Both times! Friday night we're on BTN, and Saturday afternoon we're on ESPNews. And actually, last Saturday's win over Michigan on ESPNU began a streak of 7 straight games being televised. So how 'bout that shit.
The Lowdown: Four weeks ago PSU traveled to Spartyland. As told above, they skated well enough to win both games. They won neither. They outshot Sparty 48 to 29 in the first game....and lost 3-0. The next night they were skating tied, 2-2, in the third period. They fell behind 3-2 off a lucky redirect, and then they took a major penalty, and spent the last 5 minutes of the contest on penalty kill, instead of trying to net the equalizer.
Let's not talk anymore about that stuff. We're past that now.
The star of Sparty's squad? That's sophomore goalie Jake Hildebrand - a Butler, PA native. That right there is all the reason you should need to hate the Sparty. But wait - there's more. Sparty also has not one, but two Chelios-es on its roster. Dean Chelios is a senior forward, and Jake Chelios is a senior defenseman. I think the video below is appropriate at this time:
So is this one. "Avant le match". There's a good shot of father Chris Chelios' most punchable face around the 2:50 mark.
HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE