11/5/2022 | 7:30 pm
November 05 (Sat) / 7:30 PM
History UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The 13th-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions shut out the nation’s No. 1 team, the Michigan Wolverines, from a packed crowd in Big Ten Conference action at Pegula Ice Arena Friday night.
The win was the first for the Nittany Lions against a No. 1 ranked team in program history as they improved to 9-0-0 to start the year and 3-0-0 in conference action with the win as the Wolverines fall back to 7 -2-0 overall and 0-1-0 in Big Ten play.
HOW IT HAPPENED
After a scoreless first period, Penn State opened the scoring when junior Jimmy Dowd Jr. (Point Pleasant Beach, NJ) sent a beautiful backdoor feed through traffic to senior Ture Linden (Great Falls, Virginia) and he didn’t miss the yawn. just before the 1-0 edge at 7:18 of the middle frame. The Nittany Lions doubled their lead just over five minutes later when another fine passing display from senior classmates Connor McMenamin (Collegeville, Pennsylvania) and Connor MacEachern (Brooklin, Ontario) left senior Ashton Calder (Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan) wide open. on the nearest post and he tapped it in for the 2-0 advantage at 12:38 of the second period. Junior Xander Lamppa (Rochester, Minn.) drove the final nail into an empty net at 17:11 of the third period to make the final 3-0. GOALTENDING Junior Liam Souliere (Brampton, Ontario) registered his second consecutive shutout and improved to 7-0-0 on the year after stopping all 17 shots he faced. Souliere did not allow a goal in the final 176:19 of game action, marking the longest shutout streak in Penn State history, taking the 167:09 achieved by Oskar Autio ’22 during the 2019-20 season. was surpassed. Michigan net-less Noah West was high with 46 saves, but falls to 0-1-0 on the year in defeat. COMMENTS Friday night’s 6,445 turnout is the second largest crowd in the history of the Pegula Ice Arena. Penn State’s scoreless first spell marks the first time this season that the Nittany Lions have failed to score a goal in the first 20 minutes of play. The back-to-back shutouts for Penn State mark the first time in program history that the Nittany Lions have had two consecutive shutouts. Penn State held the impressive 49-17 lead in shots on target, including a 16-4 margin in the first period and a 15-3 lead in the third period. Penn State was 0-for-4 on the man advantage, but was a perfect 2-for-2 on the penalty kill and has now killed 10-straight opponent power plays. The 9-0-0 start for the Nittany Lions extends the best start to a season in the history of the program. With his empty goal, Lamppa extends his best points run of his career to three games. POSTGAME QUOTABLES
Q: How does it feel to beat No. 1 Michigan? A: I think you asked a question earlier this week about how we rate our start to the season. We’re looking at the tangible, quantitative things you mentioned, so we’ll still be looking at the game from that perspective and I’m sure there will be things we want to do better. I thought the team was consistent tonight.
Q: Coach, the Michigan head coach really emphasized that you guys have won several times, and mentioned races and battles tonight. Do you think that was something that played a big part in your win? A: I think that’s always the case with hockey. Not sure if you can contribute that every day. They want to lock themselves up with a very fast team. Great, timely goaltending. When we needed him, he was fantastic, and that definitely helps. I thought Souliere, and our D in particular, managed the momentum well. Races and battles are part of that, but I think timely goaltending helped us win.
Q: You talked a little bit about the decision behind starting Lamppa’s line against Michigan and just a little bit about how Xander Lamppa and that line can play so well. A: As a rule, they were our best. I think Ashton Calder was probably our best player, but as a line they were our best line and created the most chances as a line. Xander is a smart boy, he is a smart hockey player. He’s hard to play against and we thought his traits, and I think the line has the same traits, and I thought they were a good match. I thought they played well.
Q: Back to Calder, you had two transfers that scored goals tonight. How would you say these transfers affect the team so far? A: The reason we specifically got them is that we wouldn’t do it unless they meet both criteria to help us with our culture off the ice, then fit into certain roles on the ice. Based on what you’ve seen on the ice, I think they’ve been consistent with what they’re bringing, but I can tell you that their impact on the team definitely triggered the attack you saw on the ice. It’s not just the goals. I think number one is a good fit for Penn State, and that’s probably the main reason.
Q: I don’t see him on the ice every day, but Liam Souliere has only gotten better and better as the season has gone on. How do you talk about that maturity he’s going through, being a better hockey player? A: I think keepers really ride on that. Especially if you make a big jump from junior hockey to Big Ten, that’s a huge leap. I think goalkeepers really enjoy and enjoy every experience they get. Souliere, through no fault of his own, had limited experience for a few years due to playing behind veterans, etc. What happened at the end of last season, when he won the job, you saw him getting better and better. I think it’s obvious, right? The more you do something, the more comfortable you become. I think that’s exactly what you’re seeing now. He doesn’t really behave any different whether we win or lose, and I think because of that he is able to use his experiences in starting and building each one. That’s what we saw last year, that’s what we’re seeing now.
NEXT UP The two teams will return to the Pegula Ice Arena tomorrow night to conclude the weekend series with a game at 7:30 PM.
For more information about the 2022-23 season presented by the Penn State Bookstore: Official Bookstore of Penn State Athletics, visit the men’s hockey page at GoPSUsports.com or call 1-800-NITTANY Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm