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Michigan Dominates Penn State, 6-0

The Nittany Lions resumed Big Ten play by being shut out at home for the third time this season.

Heather Weikel | Black Shoe Diaries

Goals By Period

Team 1st 2nd 3rd OT Final
Team 1st 2nd 3rd OT Final
Notre Dame 2 0 2 x 4
Penn State 0 1 1 x 2

Guy Gadowsky may not be ready to hit the panic button yet, but his hand seems to be firmly hovering over it as alarms sound around him.

Penn State resumed Big Ten play by getting shut out at home for the third time this season, this time a 6-0 drubbing at the hands of Michigan.

While the Wolverines didn’t pull away until the third period, the sense that it was their night was apparent to Gadowsky virtually from the opening puck drop.

“We felt that on the bench right away,” he said, “but sometimes those things happen and you just shake your head and you get right back on the horse and you go, and you can change it and we never did.”

Gadowsky boiled his team’s performance down to the understanding that the Wolverines were simply more prepared to compete than the Nittany Lions. That was certainly apparent in the opening frame as the Wolverines pumped quality chances at Peyton Jones while the Nittany Lions settled for on-net dump ins from the neutral zone at Strauss Mann.

Gadowsky shouldered the blame for that drastic mismatch in work ethic.

“Obviously, when you’re talking about being prepared, that’s the coach’s job, right?” he said. “So this is embarrassing for me personally.”

Perhaps the only Nittany Lion who was prepared from the first drop of the puck was Jones. Though his stat line will show six goals against, he finished the night with 41 saves and was the reason the Nittany Lions remained within striking distance through the first two periods.

“That’s another aspect of this that we’re pretty disappointed in because we got out of the first period only down one. It could have easily been four or five. And he was exceptional,” Gadowsky said.

Jones could only do so much to keep the Nittany Lions in the game, though. When the flood gates finally did open early in the third period, it seemed inevitable.

“To be honest, it was almost a matter of time before it happened,” defenseman Kris Myllari said. “We got outworked from the jump today. I think Peyton held up for as long as he could.”

How It Happened

The Wolverines poured the pressure on the Nittany Lions throughout the first period, finally breaking through on their 17th shot of the opening frame. As Jake Slaker broke down the left wing on a partial breakaway, he beat Peyton Jones short side with a quick wrist shot.

Midway through the second period, Nick Pastujov doubled the Wolverines lead. After brother Michael Pastujov weaved his way around Evan Bell, he fed Nick in the high slot. Nick walked in a fired a wrist shot over Jones’ glove.

Early in the third period, Johnny Beecher extended the Wolverines lead as he blasted a one timer from the high slot past Jones’ pad. Just 59 seconds later, Slaker netted his second of the evening.

Barely more than a minute later, Michael Pastujov found the back of the net with a long-range wrist shot for the Wolverines’ third goal in 2:02 of game time.

A couple minutes later, Beecher netted his second of the period on a 5-on-3. Beecher carried the puck down the left wing and fired a wrist shot short side over Jones’ shoulder.