Entering the game, the Wolverines had not been swept at home since 2012. That streak will continue as Penn State let a 2-1 lead slip away in the final period.
Kris Myllari scored with one second left in the first period to give the Lions a 1-0 lead. Early in the second period Michigan tied the game but David Thompson got the Lions a 2-1 lead just a few minutes later with a seeing-eye wrist shot from the point. On a night where the puck bounced in strange ways, the first few bounces were in Penn State’s favor.
In the third period the bounces went in favor of the Wolverines. Tony Calderone, Michigan’s leading scorer, got his second goal of the day to tie the game early in the third period 2-2. Brendan Warren got a breakaway goal five minutes into the final period, and the Lions found themselves trailing 3-2.
That is how the game ended. The teams will play game two on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The Lions have maintained the No. 9 position in the PairWise Rankings overnight due to the results in other games around the country. It is possible that Penn State has already done enough to secure an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, but one more win will make it official.
There seemed to be an issue with the pucks, as there were many times where it bounced along the ice instead of settling down as usual. The ice surface was reportedly in good condition, but for the entire night the puck took unpredictable hops and made it hard for all of the players to execute.
Penn State was able to kill an early penalty just three minutes into the game. Zach Saar was called for a careless infraction but the Wolverines were only able to record one shot with the extra skater.
The teams skated evenly for the next ten minutes until the Lions went on the power play. PSU had an 8-3 edge in shots on goal heading into the two-minute advantage but were unable to get a shot on net, instead giving Michigan two different short-handed scoring chances.
With 2:01 remaining in the first period Guy Gadowsky’s team had another chance with an extra skater. The team was not able to score during the power play, but with one second remaining in the period, Kris Myllari got the first goal for Penn State.
Three minutes into the second period, Tony Calderon tied the game for Michigan with a shot over the glove of Peyton Jones. Minutes later the Wolverines had a chance to take a lead when Nikita Pavlchev was sent to the sin bin, giving the home team its second power play of the night. PSU was able to kill the penalty, its 13th consecutive penalty kill as a team.
David Thompson scored to get the Lions back in the lead with a solid wrist-shot from deep, just inside the blue-line along the boards. The shot seemed to surprise Michigan goalie Hayden Lavigne as though he was screened or simply didn’t turn his eyes toward Thompson soon enough to pick up the puck.
With 47 seconds left in the second period the Lions faced a draw in their own zone following an icing call. A tired team on the ice, Guy Gadowsky called timeout to get his players some time to regroup in hopes of preserving the lead heading into the second intermission. The move worked out as the teams went to the locker rooms with PSU in the lead 2-1.
Tony Calderone scored for the second time on a 2 on 1 break with a hard shot over Jones’ glove to tie the game. Minutes later the Wolverines took a lead with another odd-man break that left Jones exposed on a 2-0 rush. Brendan Warren took a crossing pass from James Sanchez for the goal.
Penn State pulled its goalie and for the final minute the Lions had chances to tie the game but were unable get one to the back of the net.
Stars of the Game
First Star- Tony Calderone, Michigan. 2 goals.
Second Star- Hayden Lavigne, Michigan. Win, 35 saves.
Third Star- Chase Berger, Penn State. 1 assist, 15 of 22 face-offs.