Men’s hockey resumes B1G Play against Michigan State this weekend
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pennsylvania – The Penn State Nittany Lions return home after a four-game, six-night trip to the Twin Cities as they resume the Big Ten game against the Michigan State Spartans on Friday and Saturday night inside the Pegula Ice Arena.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Appointment: Friday December 3 | Saturday 4 December
Place: Pegula Ice Rink | University Park, Pennsylvania.
Time: Fri: 19:00 | Sat: 5:00 p.m.
Tickets: Friday | Saturday
Streaming video: Friday | Saturday
Listen: Friday | Saturday
Live Statistics: Live statistics
Play Notes: Penn State | Michigan State
MATCHUP THIS WEEK
- This weekend marks the 35th and 36th meetings between the two teams, with Penn State holding the 18-12-4 advantage, including a 5-3-0 mark in the past two seasons. Penn State won the season series last year scoring 8 of 12 points with a 3-1-0 record over MSU with two regulation wins and an overtime victory. Penn State is an all-time 10-3-3 record against Michigan State at Pegula Ice Arena, including a 9-2-1 record since the start of the 2015-16 season.
- Senior Clayton phillips leads all current Nittany Lions with five points on two goals and three assists in 13 career games against the Spartans as a junior Connor MacEachern has four points (1G, 3A) in eight career games against Sparty.
- Senior goalkeeper Oskar Auto was the most successful of his career against Michigan State, going 3-0-0 in four appearances with three starts recording a .953 save percentage and a 1.15 goals-against average. Autio recorded one of his four career shutouts last season at Michigan State in a 1-0 victory, the only Penn State Hockey game in 10 seasons the Nittany Lions have won by that score. Autio has allowed just four goals in over 200 ice time minutes in his career against the Spartans.
MICHIGAN STATE SCOUTING
- Michigan State (8-5-1) has already won more games this season in just 14 games than in 2020-21 when they finished the year 7-18-2.
- After losing four of five games in late October and early November, MSU has claimed four straight wins with series sweeps against Ferris State and Wisconsin and enters the weekend after a week off last week.
- The Spartans are bringing back seven of their top 10 scorers from a season ago, including each of their top three in Mitchell Lewandowski, Dennis Cesana and Josh Nodler.
- Michigan State is also sacking the two goaltenders who played in 2020-21 under All-Big Ten Honorable Mention goalie Drew DeRidder. DeRidder has started 10 of 14 games so far this season, posting a 6-3-1 record with a .943 save percentage and 2.08 goals-against average to tie for first and for third in the Big Ten, respectively, and tied for fourth and 14th nationally in each category.
- Lewandowski leads the team with 13 points on five goals and eight assists in just nine games played this season. Lewandowski’s 13 points are good for 13th place in the Big Ten.
- Sophomore Jeremy Davidson leads the Spartans with seven goals this year to tie for seventh in the Big Ten.
- The Spartans both score 2.50 goals per game while allowing 2.50 goals per game. Their offense ranks only above Wisconsin in the Big Ten while their defense is fourth in the Big Ten and tied for 17th nationally.
- Michigan State converts 25 percent (11 for 44) of its power play chances to place third in the Big Ten and tied for 12th in the nation. The Spartan PK was also strong at 81.1% (43 for 53) to place third in the Big Ten.
- More than half of Michigan State’s 35 goals this season came in the third period as the Spartans outscored their opponents 18-9 in the final 20 minutes of games.
SECOND STROKE SURGE
- Directed by Tyler Paquette, the sophomore class at the Nittany Lion scored six of 16 goals Penn State scored on his last four-game road trip. The sophomores also added six assists and have now registered 34 points (14G, 20A) in 15 games this season, just three points below their total of 37 points (12G, 25A) in 22 games. last season.
- Paquette scored three goals in a series of sweeps against St. Thomas last week, including his second multi-goal game of the season on Tuesday and his first career game-winning goal on Wednesday.
- Paquette was named the Big Ten Second Star of the Week on Wednesday a week after her second-year classmate Jimmy Dowd Jr. won the third star.
- Last week marked the first time in his career, Paquette has scored points in back-to-back games while his five goals this season are good for third on the team and tied for 13th in the Big Ten. The sophomore registered just one assist in six games in the freshman.
- Dowd Jr.’s nine points are only one point away from the 10 points he scored as a rookie in 2020-21 and is good for the Big Ten’s seventh place among defensemen.
GET UP, STAY UP
- Penn State has scored the game’s first goal in 11 of 15 games so far this season and is 8-3-0. Over the past five seasons, the Nittany Lions are now 75-20-9 when they scored first.
- The five-member Penn State freshman has scored eight goals this season and the Nittany Lions are a perfect 7-0-0 when a rookie is the lamp.
- The Head Coach Guy Gadowsky made a line exchange five games ago moving freshman Ryan kirwan on the front line with seniors Ben copeland and junior Kevin Mur, and it pays off in spades.
- Each player has been riding a streak of points throughout their career, from the trade with Kirwan and Wall at five games apiece and Copeland at six games.
- The trio have seven goals and 13 assists for 20 points and have a cumulative plus-7 in five games. Copeland also leads Penn State with six power play points (2G, 4A) while Wall has five (2G, 3A).
- Wall follows Penn State with a career-high 10 goals, which is tied for second in the Big Ten and eighth in the nation, while his 16 points are tied for seventh in the conference and 29th nationally.
- Copeland leads the Nittany Lions with 10 assists to place sixth in the Big Ten while his 14 points are good for 12th in the conference. The senior has scored all of his 14 points in the last 11 games, registering at least one point in 10 of those 11 games.
- Copeland’s 1.08 points per game this season is seventh in the Big Ten while Wall’s 1.07 is good for eighth.
KECKS GON ‘GIVE IT TO YA
- Junior Connor MacEachern had a point in three of four game-winning games on the Minnesota road trip. Penn State is now 7-2-0 this year when MacEachern is on the stats sheet.
- MacEachern’s eight goals are a new career record and nearly double the five he had in his first and second seasons combined. The junior’s eight goals are tied for fifth in the Big Ten and for 21st nationally.
LION NITTANY SPECIAL
- Penn State has scored at least one power-play goal in all but six games this season, including three of four on the road trip to Minnesota, and currently ranks fourth in the Big Ten and 17th nationally at 24.1% (13 against 54). The Nittany Lions are 8-1-0 when they score a power play goal.
- Conversely, Penn State has struggled with the penalty lately allowing at least one power-play goal in six straight games and eight of nine in total after allowing just one goal in 28 occasions during of the first six games to open the season. Six of the last nine goals given by the Nittany Lions have been on the power play.
- Senior goalkeeper Oskar Auto was the victim of 11 power play goals out of his 25 conceded goals this season. Factoring in the man advantage, Autio has a .931 even force save percentage.
DRIVE FOR FIVE
- Penn State hit their magical five-goal count twice during their four-game road trip, rising to 88-1-2 all-time scoring five or more goals. Penn State was 4-0-0 in such games in 2020-21 after going 11-0-0 scoring five or more goals in 2019-20.
- The Nittany Lions have now won 30 straight games scoring five or more goals, including all six so far this season, with the last and only loss coming to Wisconsin on December 1, 2018, an 8-5 loss.
- Penn State hits the road to wrap up this semester with a Big Ten streak in Wisconsin next Friday and Saturday.
For more information on the 2021-22 season presented by the Penn State Bookstore: The Official Bookstore of Penn State Athletics, visit the Men’s Hockey page on GoPSUsports.com or call 1-800-NITTANY Monday through Friday 8 a.m. at 17 o’clock.