Penn State played a very solid game but was unable to get the win on the road in Ann Arbor. The scoring chances were there for each team but on this night it was the home team that got the finish.
Michigan got on the board first, taking a 1-0 lead in the opening period. The teams had many scoring chances during a scoreless second period. The final period belonged to Michigan, scoring three goals including and empty-netter.
The teams will play game two of the series on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on BTN-Plus.
The teams came out skating at a furious pace. With just four minutes off the clock Michigan went on the first power-play of the night when Alec Marsh was called for tripping. The penalty came and went without a score.
Through the first ten minutes of play the Lions held a 9-6 advantage in shots on goal and each team had a couple of quality scoring chances. Shortly after the midway point of the opening period, Penn State forward Nikita Pavlychev was sent to the penalty box and for the second time the Wolverines had an extra skater.
The advantage came and went without a shot on net for Michigan, but in the seconds following the penalty, with mixed lines on the ice for each team, the puck found the back of the net when Jack Becker got it past Peyton Jones off a tight deflection. The teams went to the locker room for the first intermission with Michigan leading 1-0.
James Robinson had a clean breakaway five minutes into the second period but was unable to beat Michigan goalie Hayden Lavigne. Nate Sucese noticed that Robinson was alone deep, and he motioned to him with his right hand just before he made the long pass that got him the chance.
At the time the Lions held a 19-11 advantage in shots on goal.
Robinson went to the penalty box a few minutes later when he was called for interference. Penn State was able to kill the penalty and with 6:45 left before the second intermission the teams were back to 5 on 5. A couple of minutes later Michigan was issued its first penalty and it was Guy Gadowsky’s squad with the extra skater, looking to tie the game before the final period. It didn’t work out and there was no scoring in the second period.
There wasn’t any scoring early in the final period either, but there was a great deal of action. Trevor Hamilton made a strong hit to make his presence known.
Michigan stretched the lead to 2-0 with just under ten minutes to play when Jack Becker scored his second goal of the game. Less than a minute later the Wolverines went on the power-play, threatening to put the game away with another goal. The Lions were able to kill the penalty and even had a few short-handed scoring chances.
Josh Norris all but iced the game a couple of minutes later with a sharp wrist shot that beat Peyton Jones with 5:31 left on the clock. Michigan added an empty-net goal in the final minutes for the 4-0 win.