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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The 15th-ranked Penn State University men’s ice hockey team dropped a 5-2 decision to the Michigan Wolverines as the two teams split their Big Ten conference weekend series this evening from Pegula Ice Arena.
Penn State falls to 4-4-0 on the year and 2-2-0-0 in conference play while Michigan improves to 4-2-0 overall and 1-1-0-0 in the Big Ten.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Michigan opened the scoring for the second straight night as they won a puck battle in the offensive zone along the boards and Tony Calderone found himself all alone in front of the net and he followed his own shot and punched in the rebound for the 1-0 lead at 4:10 of the first period.
- Calderone extended the lead for the visitors with a power-play tally in the second period as he picked the right corner from the right slot over the glove of sophomore goaltender Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.) for the 2-0 edge at 14:48.
- Just nine seconds later Brendan Warren flicked a wrister off a clean faceoff win by Adam Winborg for the 3-0 lead at 14:57 of the second period.
- Penn State cut into the deficit with just over a minute remaining in the period as sophomore Nate Sucese (Fairport, N.Y.) tipped a shot by senior Trevor Hamilton (Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.) over the right shoulder of Wolverine net-minder Hayden Lavigne for the 3-1 score at 18:52 of the middle frame.
- The visitors extended their lead early in the third period as Dexter Dancs spun in the slot and fired off the post and in for the 4-1 lead at 4:18.
- Nick Pastujov then squeaked one over the goal line on a wraparound from the right side of the net pushing it past the pad of Jones for the 5-1 lead at 5:32 of the third period.
- Sophomore Nikita Pavlychev (Yaroslavl, Russia) gave the Lions life midway through the final period as he banged home a rebound off senior James Robinson’s (Cochrane, Alb.) initial bid from just outside the crease for the 5-2 score at 9:27 of the third.
- Jones was dealt the loss falling to 4-3-0 on the year after stopping 20 shots over the first 45:32 of the game before being relieved by junior Chris Funkey (Orland Park, Ill.) who made five saves during 9:16 of game action.
- Penn State opted for the empty net for 5:12 of game action in the final period of play including the final three minutes and change.
- Lavigne earned the victory for Michigan to improve to 2-1-0 on the season after a 42 save performance.
- Penn State held Michigan to just four shots on goal in the first period and led the game 44-30, but went 0-for-6 on the power-play while Michigan went 1-for-2.
- The Nittany Lions were 0-for-9 overall on the man-advantage this weekend.
- Michigan killed off a five minute major boarding penalty in the first period allowing just five shots.
- Junior Chase Berger (St. Louis, Mo.) moves past Taylor Holstrom ’15 and into solo seventh on the Penn State all-time points list with 68 after collecting the secondary assist on Sucese’s goal.
- Sucese now extends his point-streak to five games with his second period goal while freshman Cole Hults (Stoughton, Wis.) extends his career-best point-streak to six games with a third period assist.
- Sophomore Denis Smirnov (Moscow, Russia) and senior Erik Autio (Espoo, Finland) see their point-streaks come to an end at six and five games, respectively.
Penn State concludes its three week, six game, homestand as they welcome Mercyhurst to Pegula Ice Arena for a pair of 7 p.m. affairs next Friday and Saturday evening.