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Penn State Hockey: Wild Second Period Highlights Nittany Lions Loss to Michigan

by on February 07, 2014 10:02 PM

Penn State's men's hockey team came roaring back from a 2-0 hole but couldn't overcome a wild scoring spree in the second period.

The Nittany Lions fell to Michigan 7-3 on Friday night at the Pegula Ice Arena in a game that was much closer than the score indicated.

How It Happened: Michigan opened the scoring 6:05 into the first period thanks to a bouncing puck that was poked past Nittany Lion goaltender Eamon McAdam as he attempted to clear the crease. Alex Guptill would add another Wolverine goal on the power play only three minutes later to give Michigan a 2-0 lead. Penn State had its fair share of chances but failed to convert in the game's opening 20 minutes.

The second period opened with a scoring blitz. Penn State found the back of the net twice over a 1:01 span in the opening minutes of the second stanza. Casey Bailey batted in a bouncing puck for his fourth on the year and Eric Scheid would score in an identical situation just over a minute later. The goals tied the game and sent the Pegula Ice Arena into a frenzy. Penn State seemingly took the lead less than two minutes after tying the game but the goal was reviewed and ruled to have never crossed the line. Michigan would take advantage, scoring the third goal in the opening six minutes of the second period to take a 3-2 lead.

At this point, head coach Guy Gadowsky opted to pull McAdam in favor of netminder PJ Musico. Musico would let in a goal on a partial breakaway only minutes after hitting the ice. The tally was the fourth in the opening 6:42 of play in the second period. Both teams stayed strong in the defensive end as both teams killed off a man advantage and ripped 23 shots on net.

Needing another burst of offense, Penn State came out of the second intermission looking to make it a one goal game but failed to do so in time as Michael Downing scored 7:03 into the final frame to make it a 5-2 game. Zach Hyman would score an empty net tally and Andrew Copp would register his second of the night in the final two minutes of regulation to complete the 7-3 victory.

Despite the scoring by Michigan, Penn State generated multiple odd-man chances and outshot the Wolverines 36-28 by the end of the game.

Turning Point: A Penn State goal was waved off and Michigan would make it 3-2 only minutes later. After scoring two goals in just over a minute, Penn State lost momentum and Michigan made sure not to give up the lead again.

Player of the Game: Michigan had the offensive firepower, but several key saves by Zach Nagelvoort kept Michigan in the lead even though Penn State threw 36 shots on net.

Stat of the Game: Penn State outshot its opponent for the fourth straight game but still lost all four contests.

What It Means: The Nittany Lions are still on the hunt for a first conference victory and will have another chance on Saturday evening at 5 p.m. at the Pegula Ice Arena.

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