Penn State Has Epic Defensive Collapse in Ann Arbor, Loses to Michigan 5-1

By Sam Watson on January 25, 2019 at 9:47 am
Penn State hockey fell 5-1 to Michigan on Thursday, Jan. 24 at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor.

Linsey Fagan - Roar Lions Roar

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The defense was terrible. What else is new.

Bad. Not good. Terrible. Embarrassing. These are all words that one could use to describe the defensive effort Penn State put out Thursday night, and all of them would be accurate. If you we hoping for some sort of turn around after last weekend, you might as well stop reading here, because it's the same story just on a different day. 

Box Score
  First Second Third Final
Michigan 0 4 1 5
Penn State 0 0 1 1

Penn State played a solid first period. They created more chances than Michigan and were able to keep Oskar Autio from facing any truly dangerous shots. Despite controlling most of the period Penn State could not solve Hayden Lavinge and Michigan's defense, and the first period ended without either team scoring. Penn State took a 15-7 lead in shots into the locker room, although that would end up being the only good to come from the rest of the game. 

The wheels came off in the second period, then proceeded to burst into flames. Michigan opened up the scoring three minutes into the period after a bad change left Kevin Kerr as the lone man back. Dakota Raabe was able to lose Kerr and beat Autio one-on-one.

Michigan kept the pressure on, and boy did it pay off in a big way. With just over six minutes to go in period, the Wolverines scored three goals in 52 seconds. The first goal was on the power play after a Cole Hults interference call. On the Wolverine power play, Kevin Kerr got caught with his feet flat, and Jake Slaker was left all alone at point blank range. 

Credit to Penn State for not rolling over completely during the third period. Ludvig Larsson was able to get a goal back halfway through the final period, but the damage had already been done. Michigan would go on to score another goal after Oskar Autio was pulled on a Penn State power play in an attempt to claw back into the game. The final score was 5-1. Penn State's losing streak now sits at four. 

The two teams will meet on Saturday evening in New York City at Madison Square Garden.

Notes

  • I feel so bad for Autio. He deserved so much better from the team during his first start in blue and white and he got hung out to dry. 
  • I've run out of things to say about this defense besides that is maybe the worst in college hockey, so we'll just leave it at that. 
  • Penn State is running out of time to claw back into an automatic bid position for the NCAA tournament, and if you were of a betting disposition, it wouldn't be a bad idea to bet against the Nittany Lions. It's looking more and more like Penn State will need to win the Big Ten Tournament in March, and even that seems far fetched at best right now. 
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