Cam York had crouched and thrown a fist bump, leaping into the air. He had jumped into the arms of his teammates. He had gone over to receive congratulations from each of his teammates on the bench.

But he wasn’t done. As he skated into the empty defensive zone, about to set up for the faceoff at center ice, he let out one last scream.


It was the relief, excitement and adrenaline that followed scoring a power play goal against No. 6 Penn State that put the game realistically out of reach, as Michigan would eventually win, 4-1. It was a reaction and reception warranted by the fact that, after the Michigan hockey team had struggled to score all year, taking until last weekend to get its first Big Ten win, it had just played the most complete game offensively of the season.

And it was in all three phases of the game — the penalty kill, even strength and power play.

Once sophomore forward Nolan Moyle hooked a player to give the Nittany Lions the man advantage in the first period, the first penalty kill unit, including sophomore forward Garrett Van Wyhe, rolled onto the ice. The game was scoreless, and the power play threatened to allow the high-octane offense of Penn State to catch steam.  

Instead, Van Wyhe poked the puck loose against the boards, and it rolled into the offensive zone, followed closely by redshirt junior Luke Morgan. Morgan shot the puck on the odd-man rush, with Van Wyhe crashing the crease for the rebound. But there was no need. The rebound bounced back to Morgan after it had been initially blocked by a defender, and he tapped it back in to break open the scoring and give the Wolverines the lead.

“It’s huge, especially getting us going early for a game like that against a team that’s one of the top scoring offenses,” said freshman forward Johnny Beecher. “It was massive to kind of suck the energy out of them a little bit and got us going, so that was a huge goal for us and kind of led to the rest of the game.”

It was an early display of the dominant grasp Michigan had on the game.

Even with the man-disadvantage, it was able to score. And the ability to continued with when full strength returned. 

Into the second period, Beecher had a breakaway, after being fed the puck by Eric Ciccolini after the puck was stolen by Dakota Raabe. He skated down center before cutting right, right as he reached the crease. He shot the puck and it crept through the goaltender’s legs.

“I think we played a really, well, 200-foot game tonight,” Beecher said. “I think in the past we’ve kind of been uncomfortable with the lead and we’ve kind of stepped off the gas. I think, at the end of the night, we battled hard all 60 minutes and we took care of our end. Every goal was hard work, and it was just great to come away with a victory.”

To cap off the commanding win, the Wolverines converted a power play, something they have only managed to do 17 percent of the time on the season.

It came from a rebound after the York had gotten the puck from the left faceoff point. He skated into hard ice and finished the job, going top shelf.

And as he left off one final victory scream, the display of a full-60-minute game became clear.

“That’s probably our most complete game in a lot of different phases,” said Michigan coach Mel Pearson. “Power play had some good looks early. That was a huge goal at that time of the game.”

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