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Penn State Hockey: Nittany Lions Can't Match Offense As Michigan Wins 7-4

by on January 28, 2016 11:00 PM
University Park, PA

The fact that Penn State and Michigan combined for 99 shots on goal and 11 in the net was hardly a surprise on Thursday as two of the nation's most explosive teams took the ice.

But for the over 6,100 in attendance at a packed standing room only crowd inside Pegula Ice Arena, it was a difficult stat to swallow as the Nittany Lions fell 7-4 to No. 6 Michigan.

For 20 minutes it was everything that a hockey fan could hope for. Back and forth action, four total goals and plenty of hits to rattle the glass. Tyler Motte made it 1-0 Michigan 8:55 into the contest on one of many goals and points for the Wolverine's top line.

Chase Berger picked up his 11th of the season just a few minutes later sending Pegula Ice Arena into a frenzy as the crowd roared with approval. Berger took a feed from Connor Varley in front of goal and batted the puck into the net, tying the contest at 1-1.

Niko Porikos didn't let the celebration last long as just 47 seconds later he slapped home a shot to make it 2-1 and silence the crowd. Porikos' shot beat Skoff off the faceoff as the puck found its way through traffic.

Like all high scoring games, sometimes it just takes a friendly bounce and Vince Pedrie received just such bounce as he fired a shot from the blue line into the zone, hitting Steve Racine's glove and bouncing into the net. With just over a minute remaining in the period it turned the momentum into the Nittany Lions' favor after 20 minutes.

From there though it was all Michigan as crisp puck play and three goals in the opening 13 minutes of play turned the tied quickly as Penn State fell down 5-2. Kyle Connoer, JT Compher and Conner again registered the tallies.

Tommy Olczyk made things interesting with just under five minutes to go in the frame as Penn State trailed by two goals. The Nittany Lions had a few good chances in the closing minutes to make it a one goal affair but the shots didn't find the net as the buzzer sounded.

Alex Kile's power play tally on a 5-on-3 made it 6-3 with 7:33 gone by in the final frame and Tyler Motte added another before Luke Juha gave Penn State a fourth and final goal with just under nine minutes to play.

Skoff made 41 saves in goal while Racine picked up 46 stops on the night.

Both teams will meet again this Saturday at 7 p.m. inside Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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