Penn State Hockey is just one win away from the program’s first berth in the Frozen Four.
After taking down Michigan Tech in Round 1 of the 2023 NCAA Tournament on Friday night in Allentown, the Nittany Lions locked in a Regional Championship appearance following a historic 8-0 shutout.
Here’s everything you need to know about Penn State Hockey vs. Michigan
What: NCAA Regional Championship
Where: PPL Center, Allentown, Pa.
When: Sunday, March 26, 2023
Time: 6:30 p.m.
TV Channel: ESPN2
How to Watch Online: FuboTV (FREE trial)
The Michigan Wolverines have a team littered with NHL talent, including forward Adam Fantilli, a freshman that should go 1B behind Connor Bedard in this upcoming draft.
In total this season he has 27 goals and 34 assists for 61 points on the year.
Kevin Wall resembles the Nittany Lions leading goal scorer with 16 goals, and 13 assists for 29 total points. One of the eight contributing goal scorers in tonight’s 8-0 win over the Huskies.
The Wolverines also have fourth overall (New Jersey Devils) draft pick Luke Hughes, a key offensive defenseman for them, compiling 9 goals and 33 assists for 42 points this season.
Penn State plays a more traditional defensive game, blocking as many shots as possible under the Guy Gadowsky system. Highlighted in this category are both D-man Christian Berger (68 blocked shots on the season) and Paul DeNaples (46 blocked shots). Important to note that tonight PSU’s defense helped drive offense all game long, putting up nine points among them.
When comparing both goaltenders, an argument can be made for a Penn State advantage, since Michigan’s Erik Portillo typically hides behind a loaded blue line.
Penn State tender Liam Souliere earned a .915 save percentage with 18 wins and 14 losses. Michigan’s goaltender Erik Portillo will likely get the start, this season he earned a .907 save percentage with 23 wins and 10 losses.
Penn State Hockey needs to stay disciplined just as they did against Michigan Tech.
The Wolverines have a 23% powerplay conversion rate, good for second in the big ten. Similar to Michigan, they also need to match the tempo their defenseman play with, continuing to jump in the play and drive offense.
For Penn State to take down big blue, expect a high-scoring affair with the Lions coming up just short of a win.