Yesterday was a lot of fun, well fun for two teams anyway... agonizing for the other two, as the first B1G hockey tournament kicked off.
Here's a quick review of how things shaped up yesterday in the two first round games.
Game #1: #6 Penn State v #3 Michigan.
Penn State looked ready to go from the drop of the puck. They looked like an underdog that ignored their ranking and came to play. They worked hard, hustled and won the puck battles early, and at the end of the 1st, it paid off with Taylor Holstrom flying up the middle, controlling a stretch pass and putting a great shot low blocker by Michigan goalie Zach Nagelvoort.
Michigan responded in the middle of the third period with a steal of an errant PSU pass behind their net, by Christoval Nieves. Nieves found Phil Di Giuseppe in front of the net, and it was all tied up.
The first OT solved nothing, Michigan had a great chance, but PSU's Eric Sheid helped out his goalie and kicked the puck off the goal-line to save the day.
Then with 7:13 left in the 2nd OT period, off a won draw, Zach Saar zipped a quick shot past Nagelvoort. He never saw it until it was too late, and PSU took the upset win in dramatic fashion.
Both goalies played awesome. Despite facing a lot of rubber, they were the reasons why it was a low scoring game, Nagelvoort stopped 63 of 65 shots, and Skoff in PSU's goal stopped 51 of 52, two really great performances.
Game #2 : #5 MSU v #4 OSU
The second game started much like the first with the underdog Spartans coming out of the gate strong and had a distinct edge in play early. It paid off too. About 4 minuted in MSU captain Greg Wolfe found the net on a nice roof shot from close in to give MSU the lead.
The MSU goal was just what OSU needed to wake themselves up, and from that point on you could sense OSU slowly but surely taking back the momentum. It was just a matter of time before they tied things up. Near the end of the 2nd that is exactly what OSU did, when Tanner Fritz scored on a great hustle play, and like game 1, game 2 was tied in a tight checking low scoring affair.
MSU held on in the third, and again we found ourselves going to over time again, you have to love bonus hockey.
It didn't take long in the extra frame for OSU's Drew Brevig to snap a nice shot to end it................Or so we thought, but after a quick review to see if MSU's goalie Hildebrand was interfered with, the goal was called good, and you could hear the roar from the elated OSU bench.
I thought it was a pretty fantastic day of hockey, two close games, both going to OT, you can't ask for more than that.
Join us here as always for today's semi-finals.
Semi #1: #6 PSU v #2 Wisconsin 2:00pm ct : TV : BTN
Semi #2: #4 OSU v #1 Minnesota 7:00pm ct : TV : BTN