Series Preview: Men’s Hockey vs. Michigan
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 email@example.com.
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Jacob Cheris is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism from Gaithersburg, Maryland. He is an aspiring sports play-by-play broadcaster or sports analyst. Jacob is a huge Washington Capitals fan and has a great passion for hockey. He played all throughout high school and still plays in the Student Hockey League. He is also a member of Penn State Sports Night, where he analyzes hockey and other sports on YouTube. His favorite play-by play-broadcasters are Mike “Doc” Emrick of NBC Sports and Joe Beninati of NBC Sports Washington. Jacob is looking to expand his love for hockey and use it across all sports.