Ice Tuddies are good.
Penn State came out of the gates absolutely flying. After a Quinn Hughes penalty just one minute into the game, Evan Barratt scored the game’s opening goal. Alex Stevens picked up the puck in his own defensive zone and stretched it to Liam Folkes who gained the zone and found Barratt on the opposite faceoff dot. Aarne Talvitie followed up with a goal of his own two minutes later on a wrist shot that NHL goalies wouldn’t have stopped. Just one minute later in a frentic opening period, Evan Barratt put the visitors on the power play. They weren’t able to score on the power play, but were able to settle in. After at least two calls that could have but didn’t put Penn State on the power play, Michigan scored their first of the game halfway through the period. A shot towards the net was knocked down before it got to Peyton Jones, and Nick Pastujov was able to find the puck and knock it behind the Penn State netminder. Michigan found a tying goal just five minutes later. Will Lockwood shot a puck of the stick of Cole Hults and the puck slowly flipped over Jones’s shoulder and into the net. Plenty of action, four goals, and a tie score after one.
Evan Barratt (7)
Aarne Talvitie (3)
Nick Pastujov (6)
Will Lockwood (4)
Evan Barratt (8)
Evan Barratt (9)
Dakota Raabe (2)
Nate Sucese (6)
Nick Pastujov (7)
Brandon Biro (4)
Garrett Van Wyle (1)
Will Lockwood (5)
The star of the first ten minutes of the second period was definitely the officials. Kevin Kerr was called for another embellishment after he was clearly tripped. When something like that happens, a team could get down and let the momentum shift. But not Penn State. Barratt scored his second goal of the game halfway through the period on assists from Biro and Hamilton. Four minutes later, he completed his hat trick with Pegula reaching the loudest was all weekend. Penn State continued to pressure Michigan towards the end of the period, and was able to draw a hooking penalty on a breakaway, but the Lions were unable to get a big fifth goal. Like Friday, the second period ended with Penn State ahead 4-2.
Also like Friday, Michigan would make things interesting in the third period. Dakota Rabbe cut Penn State’s lead back down to a single goal just three minutes into the period. Thoughts of “here we go again” were creeping into the building. And then Nate Sucese undressed a proud Michigan man.
There’s a word for this goal, and that word is tremendous. But Michigan again would cut the lead in half on Pastujov’s second goal of the game, deflecting a shot past Jones. The game, with its optional defense, continued to be back and forth. Penn State had the answer with Brandon Biro scoring his fourth goal of the season with eight minutes to go in the game. But once again, Michigan just would not go away. Garrett Van Wyhe made it 6-5 with just over three minutes left, before Will Lookwood’s second of the night tied things with the Michignan net empty. 60 minutes was not enough to decide the game.
Thankfully, Nikita Pavylchev and Sam Sternschein happened six seconds into overtime to seal it.
Game over. Michigan still sucks.
- This was vintage Big Ten Hockey. Because Penn State won, I can say that it’s a blast to watch. Goals are always plentiful, and defense is, for the most part, optional.
- What I’m about to say is a complement. Evan Barratt is a dick, and I love him so much for it. But seriously he plays his best hockey when the game is ugly and chippy, and when he can get under the other team’s skin. The chip on his shoulder is incredible, but most importantly, it translates into goals and performances that completely take over games. It also has the benefit of being so much fun to watch.
- Kevin Kerr got called for two embellishment penalties this weekend, and both times he was DEFINITELY tripped. I don’t know what it is about some of the Big Ten’s refs, but the line between what is a penalty and what isn’t is never consistent and might as well be arbitrary. Do better Jim Delany.
- The defense tonight was a lot more unlucky than it was Friday. At least two of the goals were just freak plays that probably won’t happen again, But when you give up six goals, there’s always going to be room for improvement.
- The evolution of Nikita Pavylchev into a player that’s skillful and absolutely massive has been one of this season’s biggest story lines. His play at the start of overtime was his season so far in a nutshell. Win a faceoff, push through multiple players to win the puck, and get a tough shot on net. That is his game in a nutshell. Sam Sternschein deserves all the credit in the world for follow up the play to win the game.
- Some perspective is always good. Michigan was a Frozen Four team last year and remains one of the most talented squads in the nation. Getting points out of a series with them is a success in my book.