Penn State Hockey: Nittany Lions Beat Wolverines 2-1 In Double Overtime
How It Happened:
The game lasted over three hours and went almost 30 minutes into extra time before Zach Saar rifled a shot into the net from the face off circle to give Penn State a 2-1 double-overtime victory.
The win allows Penn State to move ahead in the Big Ten tournament.
Having faced the Wolverines four times already this season Penn State looked to take the season series. The teams split those earlier contests, two games apiece, each winning a game on the road. The first period saw plenty of back and forth action on Thursday afternoon but Penn State controlled much of the play and took a 13-11 shot advantage into the first intermission. The close action continued in the second period. Both goaltenders made huge saves to keep the game at a 0-0 tie. Taylor Holstrom got loose on a breakaway though and slipped one past Michigan netminder Zach Nagelvoort with 22 seconds remaining in the second frame.
Michigan didn't go down without a fight. With the Wolverines' NCAA tournament hopes hanging in the balance, Phil Di Giuseppe tied the game 11:06 into the third and final period following a Penn State turnover in the defensive zone. Both Nagelvoort and Penn State goalie Matthew Skoff made key saves down the stretch before the end of regulation and kept the game tied. Nagelvoort and Skoff would make 50 and 52 saves respectively by the end of the contest.
The first overtime period was more of the same and Penn State would kill a penalty midway through the period keeping the Nittany Lions' in contention. Penn State forward Eric Scheid made the play of the game though, kicking a bouncing puck off the goal line, saving the Nittany Lions from defeat.
Zach Saar ended the game following a faceoff win in the Michigan end as he wristed a shot through traffic and past Nagelvoort to give the Nittany Lions the victory and their third victory this season against the Wolverines.
Turning Point: Eric Scheid's kick save kept Penn State alive in the overtime period and would prove to be the bounce the Nittany Lions needed. Holstrom's breakaway goal was also a critical moment giving Penn State the lead rather than having to play from behind as they have so many times this season.
Player of the Game:
Matthew Skoff played his best game of the season letting in only one goal and making 52 saves on the night.
Stat of the Game:
Penn State and Michigan fired a total of 118 shots through 90 minutes of play. Penn State was credited with 65 of those attempts.
Penn State will face Wisconsin in the second round of the Big Ten tournament at 3 p.m.