The Nittany Lions scored the most goals since a 21-7 victory over Lafayette on March 26, 1994. The six goals by Sturgis were the most by a Penn State player since 2009 when Jack Forster notched the feat vs. St. John’s on April 11, 2009. The 15-goal margin was the largest since a 20-4 victory over Stony Brook on April 8, 1995.
Penn State (1-0) opened the game with a goal just six seconds after the opening faceoff as Sturgis put away a feed from face-off man Drake Kreinz (Delafield, Wis.). The Nittany Lions would out-score the Wolverines 6-0 in the first five minutes and 8-0 in the opening frame. Sanders opened up his 2014 account just a minute later off an assist from Kyle VanThof (Penfield, N.Y.).
Sturgis doubled his total at 12:14 before Kreinz won the ensuing faceoff and scored his first career goal with 12:08 left for a 4-0 Penn State lead. Kreinz finished with two points, a 15-7 record at the faceoff X and a game-high nine ground balls.
Kyle Baier (Auburn, N.Y.) scored with 11:14 left in the first period on a bounce shot for his second career goal and a 5-0 PSU lead. Baier would go on to register his first collegiate hat trick in the romp as Penn State improved to 3-0 all-time against the Wolverines (0-1).
Sanders scored back-to-back goals to push the lead to 7-0, one a left-handed rocket the other a roll out from behind the net. Sturgis made it 8-0 with 1:26 left in the period after a tremendous save by 2013 All-American Austin Kaut (Morton, Pa.) and a transition play pushed by Steven Bogert (Carlsbad, Calif.). Kaut made six saves in 39:45 of action and just three goals allowed, while Bogert tallied his first assist of the year on the play.
The second period started much like the first as Erik Myers (Del Mar, Calif.) tallied a right-handed goal for a 9-0 lead just 41 seconds in. Sturgis scored goal No. 4, assisted by Matt Sexton (Niskayuna, N.Y.) for the 10-0 lead with 12:09 remaining in the second.
Michigan’s Ian King stopped the run with a man-up goal at 9:42 left in the second before Sturgis capped his five-goal first half with a beautiful put-back goal off a Robbie Zonino (five saves) stop of VanThof.
Penn State’s third period more resembled the first frame as the Nittany Lions out-scored Michigan 7-3. King scored the first goal of the period, cutting the lead to 11-2 before PSU ran off six of the next seven goals for a 17-3 lead. During the scoring sprint, Baier and Sanders scored twice, while VanThof scored his first goal of the year before Sturgis made it 17-3 with five minutes left in the third.
Following a Mike Hernandez goal for Michigan, Brian Prestreau (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) scored his first collegiate goal to give PSU an 18-4 advantage entering the fourth period. Sexton notched his first collegiate goal on the man-up 90 seconds into the fourth for a 19-4 lead before Nick Mazza (Davidsonville, N.Y.) gave PSU 20.
Michigan scored back-to-back goals to cut the lead to 20-6 before freshmen Tyler Chambers (Media, Pa.) and Mike Sutton (Sewell, N.J.) scored for a 22-6 lead. Dan Craig (Shelburne, Ont.) notched his first collegiate point on an assist of Chambers’ goal. Michigan’s Thomas Paras capped the scoring with three seconds remaining in the game.
Penn State held decisive margins in shots (43-35), shots on goal (28-10), ground balls (29-23) and faceoff wins (20-12). In addition to Kreinz’s work at center, Cole Yeager (Radnor, Pa.) went 4-for-6 in his Nittany Lion debut, earning three ground balls.
Nearly all the suited Nittany Lions played on Saturday afternoon including redshirt-freshman goalkeeper Connor Darcey (Wellesley, Mass.) who made four saves and allowed four goals in 20:15.
Penn State returns to action next week when the Loyola Greyhounds visit Happy Valley. The game is slated for a 1 p.m. opening faceoff at Penn State Lacrosse Field.
--Penn State Athletic Communications
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