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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Junior Trevor Hamilton (Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.) scored the eventual game-winning goal to help lift No. 7 Penn State to a B1G Conference sweep of No. 20 Michigan with a 5-1 victory this evening from Pegula Ice Arena.
The Nittany Lions have now swept five straight series and move to 13-1-1 overall and 2-0-0-0 in conference action while the Wolverines fall to 6-7-1 on the year and 0-2-0-0 in B1G play.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Penn State again opened the scoring early after senior Dylan Richard (Sherwood Park, Alberta) rang the pipe just 15 seconds into the contest, the Nittany Lions would cash in at 3:49 of the opening frame as junior James Robinson (Cochrane, Alb.) banged in a rebound off senior Zach Saar's (Richland, Mich.) initial bid for his second of the season and the 1-0 lead.
- Michigan answered just 61 seconds later as Cutler Martin found the back of the net for the 1-1 tie.
- PSU then scored twice in a span of 1:17 as they used the man-advantage to their benefit for the third time in the series for the 2-1 lead. Hamilton fired a quick wrist shot from the slot that beat Wolverine freshman Jack LaFontaine on the blocker side at 17:03.
- Freshman Denis Smirnov (Moscow, Russia) then used a beautiful flip pass over the defense by sophomore Derian Hamilton (Port McNeill, B.C.) to sneak behind the defense and he was able to dangle and beat LaFontaine five-hole for the 3-1 score at 18:20.
- Penn State then took advantage of some undisciplined Michigan players, who committed four roughing penalties in a 41 second span near the end of the second period giving the Nittany Lions a lengthy 5-on-3 chance.
- Sophomore Andrew Sturtz (Buffalo, N.Y.) took full advantage as he was able to tip home a blast by classmate Vince Pedrie (Rochester, Minn.) just 24 seconds into the final frame for the 4-1 lead.
- Freshman Brandon Biro (Sherwood Park, Alb.) then extended the margin to 5-1 as he fired home his third of the campaign beating the glove of LaFontaine at 4:39 of the third period for the final score.
Freshman Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.) stopped 22-of-23 shots to improve to 11-0-1 on the season while LaFontaine took the loss to fall to 1-4-1 after making 53 saves.
- Penn State went 4-for-8 against the nation's top PK unit (entering the weekend) and by going 6-for-6 on the kill themselves, the Nittany Lions now lead the nation with a .925 penalty kill percentage (62-for-67).
- The Nittany Lions outscored Michigan 11-2 over the weekend and more than doubled them in shots on goal, 106-52.
- PSU improves on the nation's best unbeaten streak extending it to 13 games (12-0-1) and they will carry an 11-game winning streak into the second semester of play.
- Smirnov is now tied with both Casey Bailey and Andrew Sturtz for the Penn State single-season record for freshman scoring with his 27 points. With his 17 assists he is now the all-time leader for single-season freshman assists and his current point streak now stands at four games.
- Smirnov has registered at least one point in 14-of-15 games this season and has nine multi-point efforts to his credit. The rookie is currently second in the nation in total points and tied for first in assists while leading all freshman in each category.
- Sturtz has scored at least one goal in six of his last seven games played and his 13 goals trails just the 15 of Union's Mike Vecchione for the top spot in the nation.
- Jones drops his goals against average down below two at 1.97 good for tenth in the country while he improves his save percentage to .920 which places him 17th.
Penn State won't play again until the calendar switches over to 2017 as they have more than a month off for semester break before returning to action with a trip to Columbus to battle No. 10 Ohio State on January 6-7.