The opening game of the Big Ten Hockey Tournament pitted Michigan against Penn State, and Zach Nagelvoort versus Matt Skoff in the nets.
There were no shots fired on goal in the game’s first minute officially, but the puck was “ponging” from end to end, meaning each team had offensive possession. The first few minutes in the game were used for each team as they got skating legs under them and figured out the opponent.
At 6:25, Penn State’s David Thompson was assessed the game’s first minor penalty for tripping. It gave Michigan’s power play the first chance to go to work. The power play came up empty for the Wolverines, and the game was scoreless as ten minutes were played.
At 13:54, Michigan’s first penalty went against JT Compher for holding, and Penn State’s power play couldn’t get any decent chance and would go up in smoke like the Wolverine power play from earlier in the frame.
At 18:08, Penn State’s Connor Varley was assessed a holding penalty, giving Michigan its second power play. While all of eight seconds would transfer into the second period for the maize and blue, shots at period’s end were 13-11 in PSU’s favor.
The second period began with a flurry of saves on different length shots from Michigan’s Zach Nagelvoort, who was the unsung hero of the first moments of the middle frame. Shots were 18-15 in Penn State’s favor through 26:00.
At 7:15 of period two, Penn State’s David Glen took a cross checking minor, giving Michigan its third power play of the day. The Nittany Lion penalty kill got one substantial breakaway chance on their kill that was foiled by Nagelvoort and the game was scoreless through its halfway point.
After the game had passed its halfway point, Michigan and Penn State were both without a goal but there were a combined forty-two chances on the board. As the period ticked down towards its conclusion, low scoring was the consensus on press row.
Penn State’s Taylor Holstrom got the game’s first goal at 19:37, with Luke Juha assisting as well as David Goodwin. As forty minutes elapsed, shots on goal favored Penn State 29-22.
The third period started with Michigan needing to find a way to get on the board. Through six minutes, the men in the maize sweaters were held without a shot on goal. Mac Bennett took a tripping minor at 7:31, giving PSU their second power play of the game. Michigan was allowed back to full strength without giving up a goal, which was good in terms of the Wolverine mindset.
Michigan would tie the game on even strength at 11:06, as Phil Di Giuseppe pocketed one past Skoff. Cristoval Nieves would get the single assist.
As the game went to sixty minutes played, the score was 1-1. Shots favored PSU 44-30.
In the overtime, it was Penn State's Mike Williamson who was called for interference at 15:40. The ensuing Michigan power play was their fourth and it went up in smoke like the three that came before it.
At the end of the first overtime shots on goal favored Penn State 57-45. The thing was that the game was still tied. The game winning goal was scored at 12:47 of the second overtime by Penn State's Zach Saar. Dylan Richard had the assist.
Final shots had PSU outshooting Michigan 65-53. Michigan was 0-4 on power plays while Penn State was only 0-2.
A complete wrap up is available in the box score here.
The second quarterfinal between Ohio State and Michigan State is at 7pm on BTN and BTN2Go.com.
Geoff Discher is Examiner.com's National College Hockey Examiner as well as the Minnesota Golden Gophers Hockey Examiner. Leave a comment below, or feel free to reach him at Disch61@hotmail.com with comments, story ideas, or any general talk surrounding college hockey. You can find him on Facebook as well by clicking here and here, joining the conversation from the social media side as well. He's always chock full of fact and opinion.
Until next time, I’ll see you at the rink!