NCAA Men’s Hockey Tournament: Allentown Recap
Four teams entered, but only one team punched its ticket to the Frozen Four. Now that every matchup is in the books, here’s a look back at all the action the Allentown region brought.
Penn State heard all week that Michigan Tech was a strong defensive team that was at the top of the league in a lot of defensive categories. The Nittany Lions put up eight goals before the final horn sounded.
After the first period, it was only 1-0 in favor of Penn State, but in the next two periods, the Nittany Lions would score in bunches.
15 different players for Penn State registered at least one point and Liam Souliere had a great night between the pipes stopping 24 of 24 shots en route to an 8-0 win.
The zambonis cleaned up the ice and the next game between the Colgate Raiders and Michigan Wolverines was set to begin. Colgate was coming off its second ECAC title and looked to carry that moment into the NCAA tournament.
The Wolverines were also coming off their Big Ten championship, and coming ready to play is an understatement.
Michigan ended up putting up 11 goals, seven coming in the second period. Rutger McGroarty scored a hat trick and Luke Hughes tallied five points.
The Wolverines flexed their offensive muscles and broke the goal horn with an 11-1 win.
With that, the regional final was decided between Penn State and Michigan, two programs that know each other very well. This was the fifth meeting between the two teams, and with a trip to Tampa Bay on the line, the rivalry was ready to elevate to new heights.
Michigan’s quick and skilled offense came out firing. Liam Souliere faced 14 shots in the first period and saw quite a few high-danger chances early.
Penn State stood strong after a huge penalty kill and the score would remain 0-0 after one.
A lot of back-and-forth action would be seen in the second period as well until suddenly a hooking penalty was called on Michigan’s Jackson Hallum. Penn State struggled on the powerplay all year, but it would finally break through with a powerplay goal from Connor MacEachern.
The goal caused the PPL Center to erupt and now Penn State was only 20 minutes away from going to its first Frozen Four appearance in program history.
The Wolverines are hard to contain when they’re desperate and halfway through the third period Adam Fantilli picked up and roofed a rebound on the powerplay to even it up.
Penn State’s undisciplined game finally came back to bite them.
The intensity was higher than ever but this game would need overtime to decide a winner.
The climax was reached as overtime started. Michigan gained possession and skated up the ice. Seamus Casey passed it to Dylan Duke who gave it to Mackie Samoskevich. Samoskevich sliced through the zone and ripped a shot to beat Souliere.
Michigan punched its ticket to the Frozen Four and now has a date with the Quinnipiac Bobcats in Tampa.
Anthony Desher is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.