UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – No. 13 Penn State erased a three-goal third period deficit late in the game as the Nittany Lions scored three goals in 3:59 to pull even with No. 1 Michigan and force overtime. The Wolverines, however, needed just 24 seconds of the extra frame to tally the game-winning goal for the 4-3 victory in Big Ten Conference action on Saturday night at Pegula Ice Arena.
Penn State earned a point in the Big Ten standings by forcing overtime, but the Nittany Lions fall to 9-1-0 on the year and 3-1-0 in conference action with the OT loss. Penn State currently leads the Big Ten with 10 points, a single point ahead of both Ohio State and Minnesota. Michigan runs its record to 8-2-0 overall and 1-1-0 in Big Ten play with the victory.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Michigan opened the scoring with a powerplay tally snapping a streak of 10-straight kills for the Nittany Lions as Mackie Samoskevich snapped one home from the left circle for the 1-0 edge at 8:36 of the first period.
- The Wolverines doubled their lead as T.J. Hughes was left alone by the near post and he dangled before roofing the puck over the glove of Penn State junior net-minder Liam Souliere (Brampton, Ontario) for the 2-0 advantage at the 12:21 mark of the opening frame.
- Michigan pushed its lead to 3-0 late in the second period as a strong forecheck by Adam Fantilli caused a turnover behind the Nittany Lion net and he found Samoskevich alone in front for the score at the 17:45 mark.
- Trailing 3-0 with under 10 minutes remaining in the third period, Penn State captured lightning in a bottle scoring three times in just 3:59 to pull even with Michigan and force overtime.
- Junior Tyler Paquette (Collegeville, Pa.) sent the puck into a yawning net on the rebound after classmate Xander Lamppa’s (Rochester, Minn.) initial shot was turned aside for the 3-1 score at 11:52 of the final stanza.
- Senior Kevin Wall (Penfield, N.Y.) cut the deficit to a single goal with his wraparound effort at the near post just 65 ticks later before Lamppa one-timed a beautiful pass from junior Christian Sarlo (Lynbrook, N.Y.) past the glove of Wolverine net-minder Noah West for the 3-3 score at 15:51 of the third period.
- Adam Fantilli sent the visitors home happy just 24 seconds into the extra session as he snuck a shot through Souliere’s legs for the 4-3 final as Michigan secured the extra point in the Big Ten standings with the overtime win.
- Souliere falls to 7-1-0 on the year after making 21 saves in the loss while West earns his first win as a Wolverine following a 32-save performance in the victory.
- The Nittany Lions held the 35-25 edge in shots on goal including a commanding 14-3 mark in the third period, however, Penn State was unable to convert on each of its four powerplay chances including an extended 5-on-3 opportunity. Michigan went 1-for-2 with the man-advantage.
- Lamppa and Paquette each tallied one goal and one assist in the game to register their second and first multi-point games of the season. For Lamppa it marks the third of his career and for Paquette his fourth.
- Lamppa extends his career-long point streak to four games, and he now has a career-best three-game goal scoring streak.
- Penn State was held scoreless in the first period for the second-straight night marking just the second time this season the Nittany Lions have failed to score a goal over the opening 20 minutes of play.
- With Michigan opening the scoring it marks just the second time in the first 10 games of the season that Penn State has failed to draw first blood.
- Samoskevich’s powerplay tally ended Souliere’s program record scoreless streak at 184:55.
- Saturday’s attendance of 6,361 marks the fifth largest crowd in Pegula Ice Arena history.
Happy with the comeback, but a little disappointed that it took us that long to start to play like Penn State. The crowd sure helped, and we rode it and that’s a big, big point we were able to earn. Xander Lamppa’s line was excellent. I think they fed off of the crowd and that’s what happened, but a little disappointed.
Q: What do you think was the biggest difference between your play tonight versus last night?
A: That’s a good question. I thought we were cute, to be honest with you. The first two and a half periods, I thought we just went from a Penn State hockey team, hardworking and gritty, to a cute hockey team. We are not real good at cute.
Q: I asked you on Monday what you thought success would be against this Michigan team. Do you think you had a successful weekend?
A: Yes, because I think we learned a lot. Last night, and the last half of the third period tonight, we learned how to be really good. We also learned that when we don’t focus on the right things, we are not very good. I think, in that sense, it’s a very successful weekend because I thought it was pretty well defined in the information on what we do well and what we don’t.
Q: Going into Minnesota, they bounced you out of the Big Ten Tournament last year. The guys in the locker room are sure to be extra motivated for that series. Does a loss like this add even more emotion to that game?
A: I hope not. I hope we approach every game the same, regardless of what happens to us five days earlier. I hope not. I think we all remember our last game of the season (Minnesota), but I don’t think we need any additional motivation going to Mariucci or any other building in the Big Ten.
Q: You mentioned that line with Xander Lamppa earlier. He and Tyler Paquette both had two of the goals in the third period. What was working so well for that line, both in that third period and just across the last few games?
A: All three of them worked extremely hard and they were simple, not cute. I think [Christian] Sarlo was a big part of every one of those, too, and made an unbelievable pass to Lamppa on his goal, so Sarlo deserves as much credit as any of them do. But the thing is, you had three guys really working hard and not being cute. I loved how they played. They’ve been playing really well for a number of games now and they do it, at least what our team would define as, the right way.
Penn State has a short week as the Nittany Lions travel to Minnesota to battle the third-ranked Golden Gophers on Thursday and Friday evening at 3M Arena.
For more information on the 2022-23 season presented by the Penn State Bookstore: Official Bookstore of Penn State Athletics, visit the men’s hockey page at GoPSUsports.com or call 1-800-NITTANY Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.