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Penn State’s Comeback Bid Falls Short Against Michigan

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The Nittany Lions third period rally fell a goal short against the Wolverines.

Heather Weikel | Black Shoe Diaries

With the opening period winding down, Ben Schoen fell forward onto an already fallen Wolverine. After a rather brief review, Schoen was issued a five-minute major for head contact.

It was the second penalty of such length in the game, after Michigan’s Nolan Moyle was ejected for a hit from behind on Kevin Wall. That’s where the similarities begin and end for the two power play units.

Though Penn State had a couple quality looks on the man advantage, the Nittany Lions squandered what was a golden opportunity to put the No. 4 team in the nation on the ropes.

The Wolverines, meanwhile, took advantage of their opportunity to deliver an early knockdown punch to the Nittany Lions. Though the Nittany Lions rallied in the third period, those power play tallies were the difference as the Wolverines defeated the Nittany Lions 3-2.

Goals By Period

Team 1st 2nd 3rd OT Final
Team 1st 2nd 3rd OT Final
Penn State 0 0 2 x 2
Michigan 3 0 0 x 3

Those power play goals gave the Wolverines (17-6-1, 8-5-0 Big Ten) a three-goal lead heading into the first intermission, and it sure seemed they were poised to run away with the game.

But after allowing three goals on nine shots in the first period, Oskar Autio stood on his head for the Nittany Lions (12-11-0, 3-10-0), finishing the game with 38 saves on 41 shots.

How It Happened

In a fast-paced opening few minutes, the Wolverines opened the scoring on their first shot of the game. Though the Nittany Lions had numbers defending a Wolverines rush, Luke Hughes slipped past the defense, beating Oskar Autio with a quick wrister.

Late in the first, the Wolverines went to their first power play of the game after Ben Schoen was issued a five-minute major for head contact. Just seven seconds into the man advantage, Matty Beniers collected a loose puck in the slot and beat Autio.

The Wolverines added another before the first period was over, as Kent Johnson collected his own rebound and tucked a shot past Autio’s pad.

After a scoreless second period, the Nittany Lions finally got on the board early in the third period. After forcing a turnover in the attacking zone, Tyler Paquette picked the corner past Erik Portillo’s glove from the slot.

A few minutes later, Kevin Wall made it a one-goal game as he finished off a 2-on-1 rush, once again beating Portillo on the glove side.