Series Preview: Men’s Hockey vs. Michigan
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 email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Junior / Broadcast Journalism
Senior / Broadcast journalism
Third-Year / Broadcast Journalism
Jacob Cheris is a third-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 Roar Lions Roar, 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.
Senior / Broadcast Journalism
Jordan Mansberger is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in marketing and sports studies.