Series Preview: Men’s Hockey vs. Michigan

Audio/Story posted January 16, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Zech Lambert

Host Jacob Cheris and analysts Jordan Hession and Jordan Mansberger preview Penn State Men’s Hockey second Big Ten matchup against Michigan this season.

The red-hot Michigan Wolverines are coming to Pegula Ice Arena to take on the sixth ranked Penn State Nittany Lions this weekend.

After getting off to a slow start this season, Michigan has found its footing and has won three of its last four games, including a sweep of Notre Dame last weekend. Goaltender Strauss Mann saved 57 of 58 shots during those two wins, which earned him the NCAA first star of the week.

Penn State has been hot as of late too. Winners of three straight and five of their last six, the Nittany Lions have been playing their best hockey of the season lately.

This is a big series for both teams’ Big Ten ranking. Michigan is currently in sixth place with 13 points, and Penn State sits atop the conference with 24 points. With Ohio State right on its heels (and playing Notre Dame this weekend), securing points is critical for the Nittany Lions to maintain that top spot. However, the Wolverines need wins to try and gain some ground in the Big Ten standings if they don’t want to play a powerhouse in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.

Coming into the season, many people would have thought the offenses would be dominating the headlines for this series. However, the headline of the series is the goaltending matchup. Mann is coming off one of, if not, the best weekend of his career, while Penn State goaltender Peyton Jones is a nominee for the Hobey Baker award.

Mann has compiled an astounding .935 save percentage this season, while Jones has posted a .926 save percentage.

Taking the lead early will be important this weekend. Playing from behind will be a struggle for both teams due to the dominance of each net minder.

The Nittany Lion’s largest advantage in this series is their offense. Penn State is one of the top goal scoring teams in the country, having netted 88 goals, and averaging four per game. Conversely, Michigan has only scored 51 and averages 2.3 per game.

Based on how hot Mann has been, on top of Jones’ success and Michigan’s underperforming offense, this series could be low scoring. Knowing Penn State though, its offense will find a way to break through in at least one of the games.

Prediction: 1-1 split

Game 1: Michigan 2, Penn State 1

Game 2: Penn State 4, Michigan 3

 

Zech Lambert is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email zbl5146@psu.edu.

About the Contributors

Jordan Hession's photo

Jordan Hession

Junior / Broadcast Journalism Minoring in History

Jordan Hession is a transfer junior from Annapolis, Maryland majoring in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in History. As a member of the sports staff on PSU Comm Radio, Jordan has written articles highlighting PSU Athletic teams, has been featured on several talk shows covering sporting contests and has broadcasted play by play State College High School sports. Jordan is the creator, producer, and host of the NHL preview podcast alongside Grant Commerer and Jacob Cheris. Jordan has a love for all sports, especially baseball and ice hockey. He hopes to help expand the interest of ice hockey globally. Jordan is interested in becoming a sports talk radio personality, a sports anchor, or a play by play broadcaster/ public address announcer for a minor or professional team. To contact Jordan email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Zech Lambert's photo

Zech Lambert

Sophomore / Broadcast Journalism

Zech is a sophomore from Northampton, Pennsylvania. He currently produces weekly content for CommRadio in the form of articles and podcasts. He is also a co-host on the weekly talk show Ducks on the Pond. Over the summer, Zech will be covering the State College Spikes for TheCardinalNation.com. To contact him, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). You can also tweet him @Zech_Lambert with any random thoughts or just to have some sport banter.

Jacob Cheris's photo

Jacob Cheris

Sophomore / Broadcast Journalism

Jacob is a freshman 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. 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.

Jordan Mansberger's photo

Jordan Mansberger

Sophomore / Broadcast Journalism

Jordan Mansberger is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in marketing.