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February 7, 2014

Michigan scores first ever win over Penn State

The Michigan hockey team tied a season high in goals in earning its first ever victory over Penn State with a 7-3 win Friday night in State College.

"This game, the score at the end was 7-3, this wasn't a 7-3 game," said head coach Red Berenson, who moved into sole possession of fourth place in wins with 784. "It was a whole different game at ice level. The game could have gone either way. Our goalie had to make some huge saves. I just thought they were a lot better than their record and I didn't think we played the kind of game we need to play to be a better team on the road. You can't give up three goals and expect to win."

The Wolverines led 2-0 after one period of play after rookie J.T. Compher netted his 10th goal of the season and junior Alex Guptil his eighth. Guptill's marker was significant as it ended Michigan's 0 for 18 skid on the power play.

Penn State tied the score at two with a pair of tallies 1:01 apart early in the second period, but the Maize and Blue bounced back quickly, reasserting their lead at 5:52 (1:52 after PSU had knotted it up at 2-2) when Andrew Copp scored his team-leading 11th goal this season.

Junior centerman Zach Hyman then boosted U-M's lead to two at 6:42 of the second as the sellout crowd of 6,118 were treated to four total goals in less than four minutes.

"I thought that next goal was huge," Berenson said. "Copp has been a key player for us. I think he just sensed that we needed to push back. I think it was a good shot, maybe a bad goal and then they changed their goalie. But I thought that was a turning point and then our team started to get a little more momentum after that."

Freshman defenseman Michael Downing provided a comfortable three-goal lead at 7:03 of the third, and then after the Nittany Lions scored, Michigan finished them off with Hyman's empty-net goal - the first two-goal game of his career - and Copp's second marker of the night.

"There's a lot of things we did well in the first period. After the second period, we needed to shore up our defensive zone a little bit and we knew if we could do that we'd be all set," Copp said. "I think you saw that throughout the rest of the game. It got a little bit better. We still gave up too many chances but we were able to finish tonight, which is a good sign for our team."

Freshman goalie Zach Nagelvoort, making his seventh straight start in net, recorded 33 saves on 36 shots to improve to 10-5-2 on the year, while the Wolverines are now 4-0-1 in their last five.

"We can still be better," senior captain Mac Bennett said. "We scored a lot more goals than we usually have. Our defensive zone was sloppy. We've got to be better, including myself in our defensive zone. There's no limit to what we can do."

The two teams will square off again Saturday at 5:00 p.m. on ESPNU.

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