Men's hockey closes out home slate vs. Michigan

March 05, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A historic home slate for Penn State men's hockey comes to a close this weekend against the Big Ten's top team Michigan on Friday (7 p.m.) and Saturday (3 p.m.).

The Nittany Lions will host their annual Alumni Weekend, welcoming more than 40 former players and their families, as well as Senior Day prior to Saturday's contest. Senior Day activities celebrating the careers of Jacob Friedman, Max Gardiner, Taylor Holstrom, Nate Jensen, Patrick Koudys, PJ Musico and Peter Sweetland will take place shortly after 2:40 p.m. Fellow senior Tommy Olczyk is expected to return in 2015-16 to use his fourth year of NCAA eligibility.

Both games will stream on BTN Plus, a subscription service through the Big Ten Network's digital network.

A limited number of tickets remain on TicketMaster and the Penn State Ticket Exchange".

Parking for hockey games is $5 in the Jordan East and Stadium West Lots if you do not have a parking permit that came with your season tickets.

Fans attending Penn State men's hockey games at Pegula Ice Arena will have to comply with the updated Penn State University Bag Policy. Fans are advised that no backpacks or briefcases may be brought into the arena. For more information visit the Safety Policy SY44 Page or Penn State's Bag Policy Page.

The nation's highest scoring team (4.0 goals per game), Michigan (19-11-0, 11-5-0-0 Big Ten) is coming off a home sweep of Wisconsin after its split home and home weekend with Ohio State. The Wolverines (33 points) own a three-point lead on second-place Minnesota (30) and a five-point cushion over Michigan State (28). Penn State (25) is eight points behind U-M.

Michigan is led by conference-leading point scorers Zach Hyman (47 points) and Dylan Larkin (40). Hyman has a team-high 19 goals and trails only PSU's Casey Bailey for the Big Ten scoring lead. Hyman carries a plus-24 rating in his senior year, while Larkin, a freshman, is a plus-18. Both have 28 assists.

Michigan has two other double-digit scorers in Anadrew Copp with 13 and Alex Kile's 11. Copp has two short-handed goals to go along with five power-play tallies. Kile and Larkin lead the team with six power-play goals. The power play unit is one of the best in the country, clicking at 25.2 percent.

In net, the Wolverines have split time between Zach Nagelvoort (10-8-0, 2.65 GAA) and Steve Racine (9-3-0, 2.90 GAA). Both goalies have .908 save percentages.

All-Time Series: Penn State leads 4-3-0 Series at PSU: 1-1-0 Series at MICH: 2-2-0 Series at Neutral Sites: 1-0-0 PSU Streak: 1 loss First Meeting: 2/7/14, MICH 7-3 Last Meeting: 11/22/14, MICH 8-1 Last PSU Win: 11/21/14, 3-2 Last MICH Win: 11/22/14, MICH 8-1 Last Tie: n/a Largest PSU Win: 4-0, 2/8/14 Largest MICH Win: 8-1, 11/22/14

Penn State was swept in a second straight road trip, falling to Ohio State 5-3 on back-to-back nights. In both games, Penn State scored first, but was unable to hold on for the victory.

On Friday, Tommy Olczyk scored the fastest goal of the season just 31 seconds into the contest for an early 1-0 lead. OSU would score the next three goals for a two-goal cushion with 9:16 remaining in the second period before Dylan Richard scored his seventh of the season three minutes later.

Josh Healey and Luke Stork would make it 5-2 on back-to-back goals in 57 seconds in the third and Patrick Koudys would score with the extra attacker five minutes from the final horn for the final 5-3 score line.

On Saturday, Penn State's top line came out firing for a 2-0 lead in the first period. Casey Bailey scored his conference-leading 21st of the season from Taylor Holstrom and David Goodwin with 9:15 remaining. Bailey would return the favor five minutes later, feeding Holstrom's seventh goal of the season, while Goodwin picked up his second assist.

Two OSU goals evened the score early in the second period before Mike Williamson put Penn State out front once again with a rocket from the right point. Goodwin collected his third assist, while Holstrom's secondary assist proved to be his 100th career point.

The 3-2 lead ran into the third period when after 4:30, Holstrom went down with a game-ending injury. Less than five minutes later Nick Schilkey evened the score, Tanner Fritz put Ohio State ahead a minute later and Nicholas Jones finished Penn State off with his first career goal.

Penn State has used 42 different offensive line combinations through 32 games, and one line inparticular stood out: David Goodwin-Taylor Holstrom-Casey Bailey. Unfortunately, due to an injury suffered by Holstrom in Saturday's loss at Ohio State, the Nittany Lions will have to move on from of the nation's most productive lines.

The three have combined for 93 points (39 goals, 54 assists) and a plus-47 rating. Currently, the line is 14-10-4 this season.

The threesome have been together in 28 of 32 contests (only times not together were Oct. 17 at Alaska, Dec. 5-6 at Wisconsin and Dec. 30 vs. Western Michigan), accounting for 93 of Penn State's 277 points (33.6 percent).

Only the Richard-Conway-Scheid line (42 points) has more than nine points this season amongst the forwards. Those two lines are also the only ones to play more than nine games together this season.

With a secondary assist on Mike Williamson's goal, Taylor Holstrom earned his 100th career point. While not all 100 points were scored for the Blue & White, Holstrom nevertheless became the first Nittany Lion of any kind to reach the milestone.

Currently, Holstrom ranks 2nd all-time at Penn State with 67 points, trailing only line mate Casey Bailey (77) in the category. David Goodwin (47), Eric Scheid (45) and David Glen (43) round out Penn State's top six all-time scorers.

Behind a Big Ten-leading 21 goals, junior forward Casey Bailey has regained his scoring form from 2012-13 that saw him tally 14 goals during his freshman campaign. Last season, Bailey tallied nine goals in 32 games.

Entering this week, Bailey is one of nine players in the country, and the only one in the Big Ten, with 20+ goals. He is four goals behind Union's Daniel Ciampini (25).

Bailey ranks fifth nationally in goals per game (0.66) and tied-for-19th nationally in points per game (1.16)

Bailey is first on the team with 11 multi-point games this season and has 19 in his Penn State career. He has tallied a point in 22 of 32 games this year.

Penn State's most productive passer has been Taylor Holstrom with seven goals and 26 assists for 33 points, which matches his career-high set freshman year at Mercyhurst in 2010-11.

His 26 assists are the most in a Penn State uniform in a single season. Currently, Holstrom is seventh in the nation with 0.90 assists per game.

The forward tandem of Casey Bailey and Taylor Holstrom were nominated for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, as announced Wednesday, Jan. 7. Fan voting, which accounts for one percent of all voting, continues through March 8 before the 10 finalists are named.

Bailey leads the Big Ten in goals (21), while Holstrom is five assists off the Big Ten lead with 26. Fans can vote for the Hobey Baker Award by visiting this website.

Michigan and Penn State represent two of the top four home records in NCAA Division I men's hockey. The Wolverines have a 12-2-0 mark (.857), with one of those losses coming to Penn State on Nov. 20. Michigan looks to return the favor and hand Penn State just its third loss at home this season, with the Nittany Lions owning an 11-2-3 mark at Pegula Ice Arena, tied with Minnesota's 12-3-1 record on winning percentage (.781).

Penn State has played to a sellout crowd in 31-of-34 home games, including 15 of 16 this season. More than 6,000 fans have filed into the arena on 20 occasions with a season-high 6,203 see Penn State beat Northern Michigan, 5-4, on Friday, Jan. 23. That crowd was the fourth-best at PIA.

Currently, Penn State ranks seventh in average attendance (6,031) and leads the nation in building capacity percentage (104.3 percent). Only Quinnipiac (103.0) and can boast a capacity percentage of 100 or more.

This season, Penn State has a season-total of 96,497 fans that have been to Pegula Ice Arena. A pair of games with attendances over 6,000 would push PSU past last year's total.

Last season, 108,193 total fans packed Pegula Ice Arena during the facility's inaugural campaign, filling the 5,782-seat arena with an average of 6,011 fans per game.

Over the past 12 games, Penn State has received a crucial scoring and assist bump from an unfamiliar place: the defense.

In those last 12 games, the Nittany Lion defense has contributed eight goals and 19 assists for 27 points, which may not seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things, but that's 51 percent of the entire defense's point output for the year.

For Penn State, the production has been widespread with every defenseman that's skated in more than one game tallying at least two points. Luke Juha leads Penn State's defensemen with 14 points on two goals and 12 assists.

Freshman forward Scott Conway has upped his scoring production over the past seven weeks to become the second-leading scorer in the Big Ten among newcomers.

Conway has 23 points off eight goals and 15 assists, which puts him second to only Dylan Larkin of Michigan.

Since Jan. 9, Conway is the fourth-leading scorer per game among freshmen in NCAA Division I (1.07 ppg) behind only Larkin. the nation's overall leading scorer, Jack Eichel of BU, and Denver's Danton Heinen.

Penn State's juniors have been the most productive scoring class this year with 50 goals and 64 assists for 114 points, which is good for 41.2 percent of the team's total point production.

As for goals, the juniors have tallied 47.1 percent of the tallies led by leading scorers Casey Bailey (21) and Eric Scheid (13).

The three other classes combined have totaled 56 goals and 107 assists for 163 points.

Penn State has 106 goals through 32 games, an average of 3.31 goals as opposed to last year's 2.22 average (80 goals in 36 games).

Eight Nittany Lions have tallied 10 or more points so far this season: Casey Bailey (37), Taylor Holstrom (33), David Goodwin (29), Eric Scheid (25), Scott Conway (23), Dylan Richard (19), Curtis Loik (17) and Luke Juha (14). Last season 12 Lions garnered at least 10 points or more in 36 contests.

Moreover, 20 different Nittany Lions have registered a goal this season with a total of 22 Lions recording a point. In 2013-14 alone, 16 Lions scored goals with 21 total earning points.

Penn State likes to shoot the puck. A lot. The Nittany Lions lead NCAA Division I men's hockey with 40.53 shots per game, which is 4.47 shots per game better than secon- best Boston University (40.53).

The Nittany Lions have fired 50 or more shots on six occasions this season, going 4-0-2. Moreover, PSU has attempted 40 or more shots 16 times, going 9-5-2 in those games.

The Nittany Lions have out-shot their opponents in 24 of 32 games this year. going 12-8-4 in those instances.

Contributing to the staggering shot totals is Casey Bailey who leads the nation in shots on goal (186), averaging a nation-high 5.81 shots a game. Bailey has three games of 10 shots or more this season.

Penn State ranks second nationally in shots on goal margin per game (+8.56), while Michigan ranks 16th of 59 teams at +4.13.

Michigan ranks sixth nationally in shots per game with 33.97, while ranking 30th in shots allowed per game (29.83). PSU is 44th in that category (31.97).

In games where PSU fails to shoot at least 30 times Penn State is 1-2-1 with a tie vs. Alaska Anchorage, a win at Michigan and losses at Michigan State and Ohio State.

Penn State's second line of Eric Scheid, Dylan Richard and Scott Conway has provided an extra scoring boost to the Nittany Lions.

The trio has now appeared in 16 games this season (8-4-2), tallying 16 goals and 26 assists for 42 points. Each of those numbers are second best on the team.

Forward Eric Scheid missed six games and returned to the ice in impressive fashion, tallying four multi-point games and a pair of two-goal performances to pace the Penn State offense since Jan. 9.

Scheid has tallied a point in 10 of 15 games since his return. Scheid is second on the team with 13 goals. The Nittany Lions went 2-4-0 in during his absence, which puts PSU at 14-8-4 when Scheid is in the lineup.

The Penn State penalty kill has fallen victim to goals in its past five outings. The Nittany Lions rank 42nd in the country, killing off at an 80.2 percent rate.

Penn State faces the third-ranked power play in the country as Michigan scores 25.2 percent of the time. The Big Ten is home to three of the top eight power plays with Minnesota (30.1) ranking first and Penn State (21.9) coming in eighth.

Penn State heads to Minnesota for a two-game series to conclude the regular series on Friday and Saturday. Both games will take place at 8 p.m. ET.

The Big Ten Tournament commences the following week, Thursday-Saturday (March 19-21) at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena. The opening day features the lower four seeds vying for spots in the Big Ten semifinals. 



Last Updated March 05, 2015