The first Big Ten win was special, with the memories augmented by getting to celebrate in front of the home crowd.
But the Penn State men’s hockey team may have landed an even bigger win Friday night.
The sight of David Goodwin breaking down the ice to score the game-winner in overtime is going to stick in their memories a long time.
Twice rallying from two goals down, and again trailing in the final two minutes, Casey Bailey forced overtime with four seconds left and Goodwin netted the winner in extra time as Penn State stunned No. 10 Michigan for a second time in 14 days 5-4 Friday night at Yost Ice Arena.
“The first one, 4-0 at Pegula, that was very, very special,” Goodwin said. “As a team, we’re a little more fired up about this one because it was back-and-forth, up-and-down. We had a lot more adversity that we had to battle through. … A little different type of game but just as exciting.”
Bailey and Goodwin each scored twice, giving seven goals on the season for both of them, with Dylan Richard adding the other goal in the program’s first Big Ten road win, as well as the first overtime win of the season and just the second in program history.
“I felt more confident than we ever have,” Bailey said. “I think we had the momentum, besides the goal that they got late, but I thought we were outplaying them. I thought it was a great play by (Mike) Williamson to throw that over right away, immediately. He knew the clock was running low. We had a lot of guys in front of the net. That was a big reason why it went in.”
Cristoval Nieves, Phil DeGiuseppe, Tyler Motte and Alex Guptill all found the net for the Wolverines, who are smarting after their fourth straight loss.
“For us to give up a 3-1 lead at home is tough to swallow,” Michigan coach Red Barenson said. “And then a late lead in the last minute, that shorthanded goal was a back-breaker against our power play, and then to that last-minute goal to tie the game, it’s a tough pill to swallow.”
Michigan seized the lead with just 2:02 left, when JT Compher fed the puck from the corner to Guptill, and most of the building thought that wrapped it up.
But with goalie Matthew Skoff pulled for an extra attacker, the Nittany Lions kept up the pressure and finally beat goalie Zach Nagelvoort with just 4.6 seconds left, when Mike Williamson fed the puck across to Bailey, and the sophomore fired the puck through heavy traffic to force the extra period.
“Honestly I was trying to get it off as quickly as possible,” said Bailey, admitting he couldn’t see the net when he took the shot. “I was just as surprised as anybody it went in.”
The play immediately silenced the crowd of 5,800, stunned to see the lead vanish with so little time left.
“I really give the guys credit,” coach Guy Gadowsky said. “They battled back twice from down two (goals), and then here we let a goal in late. … For us to score with four seconds left showed a lot of guts by these guys.”
Michigan was working the puck around the Penn State zone in the final minute of overtime when Luke Moffatt’s pass back to Mac Bennett hopped over his stick, and Goodwin seized the opportunity. Flying down the ice with Zach Saar to his left and a defenseman in between, the freshman had his opportunity to be the hero.
“I briefly thought about passing it over to Saar,” Goodwin said. “The (defenseman) was really playing him, giving me the shot, so I just kind of closed my eyes and let one rip. Thankfully it went in.”
He was immediately mobbed by his teammates in the historic win.
“I knew I wanted to go far side in case there was a rebound so it would pop out to Saar,” Goodwin said. “But as I was going down a lot of snow was building up on my stick so it was just (shooting) far side anywhere, to be honest.”
Michigan struck quickly for its first two scores, first with the Wolverines pouncing on a Penn State giveaway, with Derek DeBlois from behind the net feeding Nieves alone in front to beat Skoff. The score came at the end of a 4-on-4 situation before the Wolverines went on a power play.
Just 59 seconds later, right before that ensuing power play ended, DiGiuseppe broke in on Skoff, rang a shot off the post and then corralled his own rebound for the score.
The Nittany Lions were not down for long, answering 25 seconds later when Goodwin took a feed from behind the net from Taylor Holstrom, sprawling over Nagelvoort as he put the puck into the net.
“That was absolutely huge for our demeanor, just our belief that, hey, we stopped the snowball,” Gadowsky said. “That was big.”
With 4:23 left in the first, Andrew Copp broke in on the right side but was tied up by the Penn State defense and unable to get off a shot, but he passed the puck between several legs to Motte, who beat Skoff.
The sophomore goalie finished with 32 saves.
After so much scoring in the first, Bailey had the only goal of the second, taking a feed from Richard across the zone and blasting a one-timer on a power play.
“To get that bounce, to get that to go in,” Bailey said, “it was definitely huge for us.”
Richard tied it on a breakaway 3:17 into the third. The freshman poked the puck away from Guptill in the neutral zone to Tommy Olczyk, and the captain sent the puck up the ice to Richard for his fourth goal of the season.
“That was the big turning point,” Gadowsky said. “That’s a power play. They score there, they could get the snowball rolling again. Instead we even it up. I was looking for a great kill, I thought that would give us momentum. Instead we got, not only a shorty, but a tremendous shorty. Talk about giving the team belief, I thought that score by Rocket (Richard) really did.”
Getting a win over a ranked team made a little history, but to spoil the party of a ranked team on its home ice, it was a night for the Nittany Lions to celebrate.
“We came back twice from down two,” Gadowsky said. “It gave us a lot of confidence that we can get it done.”