Penn State secures first winning season with sweep of No. 16 Michigan
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Pegula Ice Arena was a palace of celebration on Saturday as Penn State honored its seven graduating seniors before completing its sweep of first-place No. 16 Michigan 4-3 in front of 6,026 fans. Penn State's victory guaranteed its first winning season as a Division I program.
"This is something that we won't forget," Penn State head coach Guy Gadowsky said. "I mean, anytime that you're able to sweep Michigan is huge. It feels great. I think it is something to look back on down the road and gain a lot of confidence from this. The fact that it happened on senior night, and at a time that we're in the conversation, it becomes an important time for both teams. It feels really good. I feel really good about what the guys were able to accomplish in very meaningful games."
Just as they started during Friday's 6-4 win, the Nittany Lions (18-12-4, 10-7-1-0 Big Ten) scored the game's first goal as David Goodwin scored only 3:38 into action. Goodwin also added three assists, tallying four points and having a hand in every Penn State goal.
The opening goal was set up by a Patrick Koudys rocket from the point that was saved, hit the post and landed to Goodwin near the crease. Goodwin sent it home for the early 1-0 lead as linemate Casey Bailey picked up the first of his two assists after sending the initial pass to Koudys.
Penn State would relinquish the lead for the first time all weekend as Michigan (19-13-0, 11-7-0-0 Big Ten) evened the score on the first of JT Compher's three goals with 5:50 remaining. The even-strength goal was assisted by Travis Lynch and Nolan De Jong.
The Lions responded with a tally 99 seconds later as Goodwin fed Conway from right to left for a 2-1 lead. Goodwin carried the puck into the neutral zone and slashed through the defense for his 17th assist of the year.
Compher again scored, this time a short-handed tally, as he put away an Andrew Copp 2-on-1 opportunity with 1:18 left as the teams went into the locker room even.
The second period was evenly played, but Michigan posted a 12-8 advantage in shots. Nevertheless, Penn State would out-score the Wolverines 2-0 on a strike by Erik Autio and Tommy Olczyk. Autio fired from the high slot, while Olczyk put away a Bailey rebound. The two goals came with 6:41 and 2:39 left, respectively.
Michigan would make it interesting late in the third as Compher completed the hat trick with the extra attacker on the ice. A wild scramble late in the game saw PJ Musico sprawl for three heroic saves, eventually covering up before a Michigan player knocked him and the puck into the net with six seconds remaining. The referees blew the play dead and waved off any goal scoring opportunity.