Despite having conceded in the opening minute of the contest, a devastating three-goal burst in the latter stages of the first period and continued standout play between the pipes lifted the surging PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS to a deserved 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the MICHIGAN WOLVERINES in the 2014/15 Big Ten Conference season-opener for both teams.
Considered by many to be the second-best team in the Big Ten Conference going into the season, the Wolverines (4-6-0) have made a rather slow start this fall but required only 46 seconds to jump on top of the visiting Nittany Lions as left wing Max Shuart, 20-year-old homegrown sophomore from Northville who went pointless in eleven games as a freshman last term, pounced on a loose puck to score his third goal in Michigan’s last four games.
Penn State (7-2-2) needed just over fourteen minutes to get the first puck past Wolverines goaltender Zach Nagelvoort, the 20-year-old homegrown sophomore from Holland who was tabbed by the Edmonton Oilers in the fourth round (# 111 overall) of the 2014 National Hockey League Draft this past summer. With the Nittany Lions operating on the power play, a one-time shot from red-hot right wing Casey Bailey from the top of the left faceoff circle deflected off the skate of center Max Gardiner, the 22-year-old redshirt senior from Deephaven, Minnesota, who was the third round choice (# 74 overall) of the St. Louis Blues at the 2010 NHL Draft, standing in front. It was the second goal of this season for Gardiner, the transfer from the University of Minnesota who went goal-less in 22 games for Penn State last season.
Michigan Wolverines captain Andrew Copp, the 20-year-old homegrown junior from Ann Arbor who was plucked in the fourth round (# 104 overall) of the 2013 National Hockey League Draft by the Winnipeg Jets and represented the United States at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships last winter, is confronted along the wall by Penn State goal-scorer Max Gardiner (27) as well as Nittany Lions defenseman Erik Autio (20), the 19-year-old freshman from Finland.
The Nittany Lions grabbed the lead less than twenty seconds after equalizing when right wing Eric Scheid stole the puck from near the blue line in his own defensive zone and then split a pair of Michigan defenders before racing the length of the ice. The 22-year-old redshirt junior from Blaine, Minnesota, who transferred from the University of Alaska – Anchorage then beat Nagelvoort on the backhand to notch his seventh goal of this season. Scheid has now scored 18 goals in 47 NCAA games since first donning the sweater for Penn State.
Bailey struck for the Nittany Lions’ third goal in under three minutes after easily picking the pocket of careless Wolverines defenseman Kevin Lohan, the undrafted 21-year-old sophomore from Cold Spring Harbor, New York, at the left point in Michigan’s offensive zone. The 22-year-old junior from Anchorage, Alaska, who now counts 32 goals in 70 career NCAA games for Penn State, skated all the way down the right side before using a slick toe-drag move to cut in between the faceoff circles and snap the puck past the shell-shocked Nagelvoort. Bailey’s ninth goal of this season gave the surging Nittany Lions a 3-1 lead it would never relinquish.
This because Penn State netminder Eamon McAdam, the 20-year-old homegrown sophomore from Perkasie who struggled through a difficult freshman campaign last season, continued to display the kind of form that made the New York Islanders want to choose the youngster in the third round (# 70 overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft in the first place. Michigan defenseman Michael Downing, the 20-year-old sophomore whom the Florida Panthers plucked in the fourth round (# 97 overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft, pulled a goal back for the Wolverines early in the third period but it made little difference. Since coming off the bench against the highly ranked UMass/Lowell River Hawks in the first of last weekend’s two-game set, the recalled McAdam has stopped 79 of 83 shots faced for a remarkable .952 save percentage in three appearances this season.
Michigan Wolverines right wing Cristobal Nieves (12), the 20-year-old junior from Baldwinsville, New York, who was the second round selection (# 59 overall) of the New York Rangers at the 2012 NHL Draft, is prevented from scoring at point-blank range by Penn State goaltender Eamon McAdam as Nittany Lions defenseman Patrick Koudys (3), the 21-year-old redshirt senior who was the fifth round choice (# 147 overall) of the Washington Capitals at the 2011 NHL Draft, during the Big Ten Conference season-opener at the Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor.
November 21, 2014
Yost Ice Arena – Ann Arbor, Michigan
Attendance : 5,414
PENN STATE 3 – MICHIGAN 2
00:46 … MICH – Shuart (Lohan, Nieves)
14:06 … PSU – Gardiner (Bailey, Juha) – ppg
14:28 … PSU – Scheid (unassisted)
16:58 … PSU – Bailey (unassisted)
43:07 … MICH – Downing (Copp)
shots-on-goal : MICH 40 ( 14 + 18 + 8 ) – PSU 28 ( 15 + 7 + 6 )
penalty minutes : PSU 10 – MICH 6
power plays : PSU 1/2 – MICH 0/4
MICHIGAN : Nagelvoort – Downing, Serville ; Werenski, Lohan ; Martin, Chiasson – Motte, Copp, Sinelli ; Shuart, Compher, Nieves ; Kile, Larkin, Hyman ; Dancs, Lynch, Calderone
PENN STATE : McAdam – Koudys, Thompson ; Juha, Autio ; Williamson, Sweetland – Goodwin, Holstrom, Bailey ; Robinson, Conway, Scheid ; Loik, Brooks, Olczyk ; DeRosa, Gardiner, Friedman