ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Penn State Hockey got its first NCAA Tournament win since 2017 taking down Michigan Tech 8-0 in what was pure domination in the Allentown Regional Semifinal.
It was the largest shutout in NCAA history, as the Nittany Lions took control early and forced the Huskies to play their fast pace. Goalie Liam Souliere had an excellent game making key saves in the first two periods that allowed Penn State to slowly build its lead.
The excitement continues to build in Happy Valley as Penn State Hockey will have an opportunity to reach their first Frozen Four in program history.
Penn State improves to 22-15-1 on the season and will march on in the NCAA Tournament.
How Penn State Hockey Picked Up Round 1 Win
Penn State Hockey was the aggressor early and it paid off with a goal just 2:12 into the 1st period by Tyler Paquette.
Michigan Tech is not a team that plays fast so it was important for Penn State to set the tone early. They did just that by getting the game’s first 7 shots. Liam Souliere was the star of the 1st period making multiple crucial saves on Michigan Tech breakaways.
The Huskies withstood the early pressure from the Nittany Lions and took control of the pace for the 2nd half of the period but couldn’t cash in on any opportunities. The shots after one favored Penn State 10-7.
Penn State HOCKEY came out firing in the 2nd period and scored the opening goal of the period to take a 2-0 lead 4:34 into the period.
The Nittany Lions crashed the net early and often and defenseman Jarod Crespo slotted it home assisted by fellow defenseman Carter Schade. After the goal Michigan Tech had an increase in tempo and started putting a ton of pressure on Souliere who made multiple key saves as the period continued.
Penn State held off the push and were able to get a 2 on 1 breakaway in which Ashton Calder dangled the goalie to give the Nittany Lions a 3-0 lead! The pressure continued to mount, and the Nittany Lions were able to score a beautiful tic tac toe goal late in the period to push the lead to 4-0. Penn State once again led in shots with a 14-13 advantage in the period.
Like the 1st two frames the Nittany Lions scored quickly as Kevin Wall put a backhanded shot past the goaltender to give them a 5-0 lead with 16:59 remaining. Penn State really put the pressure on Michigan Tech as they scored another just 3 minutes later to push the lead to 6-0.
The offensive performance in this game is something we haven’t seen since the early part of the season. The onslaught continued as the Nittany Lions scored 2 goals a minute apart Penn State didn’t let up all the way to the end.
PSU finished the game with 8 goals on 39 shots.
If the Nittany Lions can score this efficiently there isn’t a reason they can’t win on Sunday.
What’s Next for Penn State Hockey
The expectations were low entering the season after consecutive losing campaigns for Guy Godowsky’s squad, but Penn State now sits with an opportunity to reach the programs first Frozen four in school history.
Just making the NCAA Tournament was already overachieving, but if the Nittany Lions can return to the form they had in the 1st half of the season there isn’t a reason they can’t make a postseason run.
This team is feeling good, and the offense is clicking. Penn State will get that opportunity on Sunday when they take on the winner of Michigan and Colgate. It is time to pack the PPL and give the Nittany Lions that true home ice environment!