Series Preview: Men’s Hockey vs. Michigan

Audio/Story posted December 6, 2019 in CommRadio, Sports by Jacob Cheris

Host Jeremy Ganes and analysts Jordan Hession and Jacob Cheris take an inside look at Penn State's road series against the Michigan Wolverines.

The No. 7 Penn State Nittany Lions take on the Michigan Wolverines for the first time this season. Penn State is coming off a surprising overtime loss to the No. 17 UMass Lowell River Hawks, while Michigan continues to struggle at 5-9-2. The Wolverines are coming off of a series split against the Wisconsin Badgers, but they 1-6-1 in conference play, sitting at dead last in the Big Ten.

The Wolverines have struggled offensively, averaging only 2.1 goals per game. They have also struggled to generate quality scoring opportunities despite their heavy forecheck game. Their defense has been decent, allowing only 2.16 goals per game, which places them at 14th in the NCAA. Goaltender Strauss Mann has played relatively well despite the lack of success of the team. He had a career high 36 saves in a 4-0 win against Western Michigan, and before that, he recorded his first career shutout against Lake Superior State. Mann currently has a .927 save percentage and a 2.13 goals against average. Freshman forward Johnny Beecher leads the team with just eight points (four goals, four assists), but he’s going to need more support from his other forwards.

Burn the tape! After dominating the Merrimack Warriors 7-0, the Nittany Lions fell to UMass Lowell 3-2 in overtime. Penn State lost due to a questionable penalty by defenseman Clayton Phillips and the team failing to generate much offense. Penn State is now looking to get back in the win column and stay at the top of the Big Ten. One player that hasn’t been recognized enough this season is junior forward Sam Sternschein. He has been on a roll with nine goals, which leads the team, and 13 points. He has been all over the ice, creating a lot of scoring opportunities. He and the rest of the Nittany Lions need to take advantage of a struggling Michigan team.

This matchup is going to come down to scoring first. The team that scores first is also the one that sets the tone and puts the other team, or the crowd, on its heels. Penn State needs to take the crowd out of the game early and play smart. Michigan needs to play more of a defensive style of hockey. Penn State has one of the best offenses in the country, and if the Wolverines can limit the Nittany Lions’ chances, they might come up with the upset. But that’s easier said than done. When it’s all over, the superior team should come out on top with a series sweep, and that’s Penn State.

Prediction: Penn State sweeps Michigan 2-0

Game 1: Penn State 5, Michigan 2

Game 2: Penn State 4, Michigan 1


Jacob Cheris is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email

About the Contributors

Jeremy Ganes's photo

Jeremy Ganes

Senior / Journalism

Jeremy Ganes is an aspiring sports broadcaster and journalist at Penn State. He writes articles, produces broadcasts, and announces games for the CommRadio sports department. He also co-hosts an NFL-focused talk show called 4th & Long that airs live on CommRadio, alongside DJ Bauer. In addition to CommRadio content, Jeremy also assists in production and serves as an on-air personality to the PSNtv show Penn State Sports Night, where he covers sports such as baseball and football. He is also a reporter and producer for the Centre County Report. He can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Jordan Hession's photo

Jordan Hession

Junior / Broadcast Journalism

Jordan Hession is a junior from Annapolis, Maryland majoring in broadcast journalism. Jordan is the co-host of CommRadio’s longest running live radio show The Sin Bin with Kyle Cannillo. In the summer of 2020, Jordan interned at SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio as a sports programmer. When Jordan is not discussing sports, he is writing various articles for collegiate and professional sports leagues and teams. Jordan has a love for all sports but has a genuine passion to spread ice hockey and baseball globally. Away from broadcast journalism, Jordan enjoys lifting weights and cooking. Jordan’s role models in the broadcast journalism industry include Doc Emrick, Gary Thorne and Mike Lange. In the future, Jordan sees himself working as a producer or host in sports talk radio and potentially television. To contact Jordan, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Jacob Cheris's photo

Jacob Cheris

Fourth-Year / Broadcast Journalism

Jacob Cheris is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism from Gaithersburg, Maryland. He is an aspiring sports writer. Jacob is a huge Washington Capitals fan and has a great passion for hockey. He played all throughout high school. He is also a member of Penn State Sports Night, where he analyzes hockey and other sports on YouTube. Jacob also covers Penn State Men’s hockey as the lead editorial writer for Penn State Rivals, giving in depth analysis on the team, and feature stories on specific players.  Jacob is also the host of CommRadio’s hockey talk show “The Sin Bin”. Jacob is looking to expand his love for hockey and use it across all sports.