Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State Men's Hockey: 2-1 Upset of No. 3 Michigan in Big Ten Quarterfinal


Eric Scheid’s skate extended No. 6 Penn State’s season and Zach Saar’s stick ended No. 3 Michigan’s as the Nittany Lions (7-25-2) upset the Wolverines (18-12-4) in double overtime of the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament, 2-1. Penn State put up 65 shots, their highest shot total of the season, on Michigan goaltender Zach Nagelvoort and put in two as the team advanced to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament with the win Thursday evening.

In the first overtime after a tying 1-1 Michigan score by Wolverine Phil Di Giuseppe in the second half of the third period, forward Scheid made the biggest save of the game by far in what was considered a goaltenders duel.  With Michigan pressing in the Penn State zone, a shot by Big Ten Freshman of the Year JT Compher pinged off the post behind Penn State starting goaltender Matt Skoff and spun right on the goal line, before Scheid kicked the puck away from the for-sure game winner for the Wolverines.

One overtime could not settle the score so a second overtime was needed and Penn State did not waste their chance. Right off an offensive zone face-off, Saar took the puck and wristed a quick puck from right next to the dot between the small opening of blocker side of Nagelvoort and the post for his fifth of the season and arguably his biggest with the 2-1 winning tally at 12:47 of the frame.

The game went scoreless through almost the first two periods in the afternoon matchup, but Taylor Holstrom pocketed a breakaway goal with 22 seconds left in the middle frame. Defenseman Luke Juha broke Holstrom on the breakaway with a sharp pass in the defensive zone and the forward took the feed and went five-hole before Nagelvoort could drop the pads to put Penn State ahead 1-0 heading into the third period.

A misfired pass behind the Penn State cage led to the tying Michigan goal by Di Giuseppe with 8:54 to play in the third. Cristoval Nieves took the errant pass and passed a quick puck to teammate Di Giuseppe who was uncovered in front of the net and he stashed the puck high glove side on Skoff for the 1-1 tying tally.

That was all Michigan would get as Skoff closed the doors through the remainder of the game and saved 52 of 53 shots through the 92 minute long match.

With the loss, Michigan is eliminated from the Big Ten Tournament and its NCAA berth remains in jeopardy. Meanwhile, Penn State will play the No. 2 Wisconsin Badgers Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network. Penn State is 0-4 against the Badgers this season.

Tags: Hockey Penn State