Penn State entered its series against Michigan with the hope that this weekend would be different, that it would finally beat the Wolverines in Ann Arbor.
Instead, it was more of the same.
A night after falling 4-0 to Michigan, Penn State came back Saturday to lose 3-2 — with two PSU goals in the final two minutes, making the contest seem closer than it was. The Nittany Lions have now lost their last seven contests in Ann Arbor, Mich., and they had gone for a stretch of 165:10 without scoring at the historic Yost Ice Arena.
Trailing 3-0, Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky decided to pull his goalie and then watched the move pay off almost immediately. Liam Folkes scored at the 18:03 mark of the final period, while Kris Myllari found the back of the net just 63 seconds later. The Nittany Lions had four shot attempts after that goal, but three were blocked and one sailed wide.
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With the loss, Penn State falls to 13-10-3 overall and 6-8-3-2 in the Big Ten. Michigan is 12-10-2 and 7-7-2-1.
Player of the game
Michigan goalie Hayden Lavigne: Penn State nearly outshot Michigan by a 2-to-1 margin (45 to 25), but Lavigne was solid between the pipes. He made 43 saves, allowing his only two goals when the Nittany Lions boasted an extra attacker. That’s good for a save percentage of .956. No U-M player had multiple goals or assists Saturday.
Michigan didn’t take long. Just 26 seconds into Saturday’s game, Josh Norris scored on an assist by Brendan Warren. About nine minutes later, at the 9:47 mark of the first period, Dexter Dancs scored on a power play, with an assist by Joseph Cecconi and Quinn Hughes. The next score didn’t come until the final period, when Dakota Raabe scored to make it 3-0. It was four minutes after that when Penn State had its two-goal flurry.
Penn State at No. 18 Wisconsin, 9 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday: The Nittany Lions have one more series on the road before returning home to face Notre Dame on Feb. 2-3.