ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The No. 20 University of Michigan ice hockey team defeated No. 12-ranked Penn State, 3-2, Saturday night (Jan. 20) at Red Berenson Rink at Yost Ice Arena. The victory was the Wolverines’ fourth straight win this season, and earned them their first back-to-back sweeps since the 2014-15 season.
The Wolverines seized control of the game early, scoring just 26 seconds into the first period. The goal came off junior Brendan Warren’s quick skate down the left side of the rink. He passed behind to freshman Josh Norris, whose powerful shot slid by the goalie’s left pad, marking his eighth goal of the season and his third consecutive game with at least a point.
After an interference penalty was called against Penn State, Michigan continued to increase the pressure. Freshman Quinn Hughes sent a quick pass to junior Joseph Cecconi in the left corner, and Cecconi skated behind the net and dropped a pass to senior Dexter Dancs, who put the puck into the net. The goal doubled Michigan’s lead and gave Dancs his first career power-play goal.
Penn State opened the second period with a strong start, but could not get a shot past sophomore goaltender Hayden Lavigne. The Nittany Lions’ best chance came after an early Michigan penalty (5:51). PSU won the faceoff and got off a quick shot, but Lavigne dove and made a glove save to keep the opposition off the scoreboard. Lavigne continued to stand on his head throughout the period and entered the locker room during the second intermission with 17 saves, tied for the most in a period for Michigan this season.
The Maize and Blue struggled offensively in the second period, as they put only eight shots on net over the second 20 minutes.
The Wolverines started the third period with energy, but were unable to find the back of the net until freshman Dakota Raabe scored his career first on a breakaway during a four-on-four at 14:23.
With the game nearing the end of regulation, the Nittany Lions refused to give up and scored quick back-to-back goals over a span of 1:03 (18:03,19:06). Michigan was able to hold off Penn State to secure the victory.
Lavigne stopped 75 of the 77 shots he faced (.974 save percentage) against Penn State, including a 34-save shutout on Friday night. His 43 saves Saturday night marked his career high.
The victory is the Wolverines’ seventh straight against Penn State on home ice, which is tied for the longest active home win streak against an opponent (St. Lawrence University).
The Maize and Blue will hit the road next weekend for a series against rival Ohio State (Jan. 26-27). Michigan is 0-2 against the Buckeyes this season, but still holds an 81-40-13 all-time record in the series.