From staff reports
ANN ARBOR-Forwards Taylor Holstrom and Curtis Loik both reached the back of the net, but the Penn State men's hockey team fell to No. 10 Michigan, 5-2, at Yost Ice Arena Saturday night. Despite the loss, Penn State (6-20-2, 2-11-1-0 Big Ten) secured a season split with the Wolverines (15-10-3, 7-6-1-1 Big Ten) at 2-2-0.
After Michigan took a 4-0 lead at 8:23 of the third period, Loik netted his fourth of season before Holstrom, who recorded his fifth point (1g, 4a) in the last six games, added his fifth to make it a two-goal game. With Penn State netminder PJ Musico pulled for an extra skater, the Wolverines notched an empty-net tally for the 5-2 final.
Michigan out shot the Nittany Lions, who went 0-for-3 on the man advantage, by a 39-20 margin. Sophomore goaltender Matthew Skoff, who surrendered four goals, made several highlight-reel stops among his 29 saves, while Musico turned aside five shots in relief. Michigan netminder Steve Racine made 18 saves.
With 12:12 left in the first period, Tyler Motte skated the Wolverines to a 1-0 lead. Zach Hyman carried the puck down the left-wing boards before sending a pass from behind the goal line to Motte all alone in front of the net.
Michigan, which went 1-for-4 on the power play, added a pair of markers in the second period for the three-goal advantage. At 6:58, Alex Kile scored after finding a loose puck in a scramble, while Phil Di Giuseppe's power-play, one-timer from the right circle with 6:53 left in the frame extended the lead.
In the third period, the Wolverines went up, 4-0, with 11:37 left in the game. After Skoff made two straight saves, Kile netted his second of the game.
Penn State cracked the scoreboard at 12:24 of the stanza. Loik started the play for the Nittany Lions, chipping the puck between a Michigan defenseman's skates to Olczyk streaking through the neutral zone. The Long Grove, Ill., native gained the blue line before sending a backhanded pass to Loik, who moved the puck from backhand to forehand before scoring high.
With 1:45 remaining in the game, Holstrom turned a fortuitous bounce into a goal, bringing the Nittany Lions to within a pair. Freshman David Goodwin knocked the puck to the corner, where Holstrom wristed it toward the cage. The shot appeared to hit Racine's stick before going up and over the goaltender.
After Musico came to the bench for a sixth skater, Di Giuseppe netted his second of the night to seal the win.
The Nittany Lions will return to action next weekend when they visit No. 2 Minnesota for their final road trip of the regular season Feb. 28-March 1.