Penn State 4 – Michigan 0


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Three goals within a span of less than eight minutes in the middle part of the first period was more than enough to put the home side in complete control while sending a hungering school well on its way to a historic triumph as the decided underdog PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS shutout the # 10 ranked MICHIGAN WOLVERINES 4-0 and successfully concluded its very first Big Ten Conference series with the nine-time NCAA champion in dramatic fashion.

Less than twenty-four hours after not looking so sharp in a 7-3 loss to these very same Wolverines, the re-energized Nittany Lions stormed to the lead when Michigan native ZACH SAAR ( netted his second goal of the weekend. The always important first strike was a direct product of heavy forechecking pressure in the offensive zone by the massive (6’4″ 236 lbs) freshman left wing and his two linemates, experienced center TAYLOR HOLSTROM (24 ga, 4 go, 11 pts), the 23-year-old redshirt junior from Yorba Linda, California, and right wing DAVID GOODWIN (22 ga, 5 go, 12 pts), the 21-year-old freshman from Des Peres, Missouri. Saar took his shot from a tight angle on the right but Michigan starting goaltender ZACH NAGELVOORT, somehow, conspired to let the puck slip through.

It was, very much, a harbinger of things to come.

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Penn State doubled its advantage when Canadian legionnaire DAVID GLEN (20 ga, 3 go, 6 pts), the soon to be 23-year-old sophomore from Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, who led the fledgling Nittany Lions with 16 goals in 27 NCAA games last season, quicky exchanged passes with sophomore right wing KENNY BROOKS (24 ga, 2 go, 6 pts) immeadiately following a face-off in the offensive zone. Glen, a left-handed shot working down deep on the left side of ice surface, carried to a point that was actually beyond the goal line before sending the puck straight at the Michigan netminder. Once again, however, Nagelvoort made a complete mess of the situation at hand.

Significantly, surging Penn State continued to place a tremendous amount of pressure on Wolverines in their own defensive zone and were duly rewarded right away when in-form CASEY BAILEY (20 ga, 5 go, 7 pts), the 21-year-old sophomore from Anchorage, Alaska, who led the rookie Nittany Lions with 27 points (14 goals) in 27 NCAA games last term, put the puck in the net for the third time in as many games.

Three goals inside of the first thirteen and a half minutes against the # 10 ranked team in all of college hockey was a bit eye-opening to say the least — particularly considering the fact that Penn State had only scored four or more goals in just three of its first twenty-three NCAA games this season coming into the Saturday night tilt with visiting Michigan.

Of course, less than twenty-four hours earlier it had been the Nittany Lions who had decided to unceremoniously yank their own starting goaltender from the contest at the Pegula Ice Arena. Now, it was the turn of respected Wolverines bench boss RED BERENSON to be displeased with the performance of his netminder standing between the pipes. And so, within short order, the suddenly out-of-form Nagelvoort (19 ga, 2.12 avg, .930 svpct) was soon riding the pine.

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Again, to its full credit, Penn State did simply fall back into an ultra-defensive mode specifically designed to preserve what had already been accomplished. Rather, the Nittany Lions continued to skate and generate a good amount of chances in the offensive end of the rink. Indeed, Penn State fired twenty-six shots on target over the course of the final forty-six minutes of Saturday night’s contest with the Wolverines and would have had at least a few more goals, as well, were it not for the standout play of Michigan replacement STEVE RACINE (7 ga, 2.63 avg, .930 svpct), the 22-year-old sophomore from Williamsville, New York, who easily led the Wolverines with 22 starts as a rookie last term.

Racine finished with 30 saves although the hosts (and the sellout crowd of 6,170 spectators) had one more chance to celebrate a goal after left wing RICKY DEROSA (22 ga, 4 go, 11 pts), the surprising homegrown freshman from Aston who has seen his ice time steadily increase all season long, redirected a blue line blast from Penn State defenseman DAVID THOMPSON (22 ga, 0 go, 3 pts, -7 def rat), the homegrown freshman from Glen Mills who has also impressed while winning a steady place in the line-up his first year on campus, with a little less than four minutes remaining.

At the other end, Nittany Lions netminder MATTHEW SKOFF was simply flawless in turning aside all 32 Michigan shots faced to deservedly earn the third shutout of his NCAA career. It was, of course, the 22-year-old homegrown sophomore from McKees Rock who had to endure lopsided losses to both Wisconsin (7-1) and Boston College (8-2) earlier this winter. This on top of the obvious fact that a considerable amount of attention all season, perhaps not surprisingly, has been focused on incoming Penn State freshman goaltender EAMON MCADAM, a third round draft pick of the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders, as well.

Come what may, Skoff (14 ga, 3.19 avg, .899 svpct) has, indeed, lived long enough to stop pucks another day.

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Penn State defenseman DAVID THOMPSON is the picture of determination personified while carrying the puck into the offensive zone against his opposite number, the blue-shirted Michigan rearguard ANDREW SINELLI, during the history-making Big Ten Conference clash that was watched by yet another overflow crowd at the Pegula Ice Arena in State College, Pennsylvania.
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February 8, 2014
Pegula Ice Arena – State College, Pennsylvania
Attendance – 6,170

PENN STATE 4 – MICHIGAN 0

05:31 … PSU – Saar (Holstrom, Goodwin)
11:24 … PSU – Glen (Brooks)
13:17 … PSU – Bailey (Scheid, DeRosa)
56:09 … PSU – DeRosa (Thompson, Scheid)

shots-on-goal : Penn State 38 (14 + 12 + 14) – Michigan 32 (12 + 10 + 10)

penalty minutes : Michigan 6 – Penn State 2

PENN STATE : Skoff – Juha, Thompson ; Koudys, Jensen ; Williamson, Varley – DeRosa, Scheid, Bailey ; Saar, Holstrom, Goodwin ; Richard, Glen, Brooks ; Olczyk, Gardiner, Friedman

MICHIGAN : Nagelvoort (Racine 13:18) – Downing, Bennett ; De Jong, Serville ; Clare, Sinelli – Guptill, Compher, DeBlois ; Nieves, Copp, Di Giuseppe ; Motte, Hyman, Moffatt ; Kile, Lynch, Selman

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It is Penn State sophomore MATTHEW SKOFF (31) who goes into the history books as the very first Nittany Lions goaltender to record a shutout on the ice surface at the Pegula Ice Arena … Penn State had three shutouts altogether in 27 NCAA games last season with Skoff registering the last two against Fredonia State, a Division III school, and the University of Alabama – Huntsville, respectively. It was Nittany Lions third-string shot-stopper P.J. Musico who claimed the very first NCAA shutout in Penn State men’s ice hockey history last term against Army.

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