By Maria Canales,
GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Teddy bears flew through the air during the second intermission of No. 7 Penn State's (13-1-1, 2-0-0-0 Big Ten) Friday night victory against No. 20 Michigan (6-7-1, 0-2-0-0 Big Ten).
It was Penn State's THON game and hundreds of plush animals of all kinds were thrown on the ice, as part of the teddy bear toss tradition. Bears, turtles, rabbits, and stuffed elephants landed on the smooth surface after the fans in attendance were encouraged to throw them over the boards.
That same intermission, the Nittany Lions headed into the locker room up 3-1. Goals from junior forward James Robinson, junior defenseman Trevor Hamilton, and freshman forward Denis Smirnov in the first period, gave Penn State the edge.
"The Denis Smirnov goal, a great block by Dylan Richard, and then an unbelievable pass by Derian Hamilton to send to [Smirnov] on the breakaway," head coach Guy Gadowsky said. "That was a big, big goal and a big difference heading into the locker room up two instead of one."
The Nittany Lions defeated the Wolverines, 5-1. Sophomore forward Andrew Sturtz and freshman forward Brandon Biro rounded out the goals for the Nittany Lions.
"We've got to go and get even hungrier," sophomore defenseman Kevin Kerr said. "We have a couple weeks off here so we'll practice hard and get prepared for the second half of the season."
The Nittany Lions don't play again until the New Year, when they travel to Ohio State January 6 and 7, 2017.
After the game, to continue with the THON game festivities, senior defenseman David Thompson cut his long hair to donate it to help make a wig for a child with cancer. The event, which many fans stuck around after the victory to witness, took only seconds, but the impact of such a donation will last a lifetime.
Thompson's hair was tied into a ponytail with zip ties and cut with scissors, before Thompson got the rest of his hair buzzed off in the locker room.
The Nittany Lions' THON child, Colton Buckley, was also in attendance for Friday night's festivities. Prior to Thompson's haircut, the Buckley's announced they donated $2,000 to THON, in the name of the Penn State Student Athlete Advisory Board.
Thompson said before he lost his locks, that it was an honor to donate his hair in the name of THON, and felt truly humbled by the experience.