MSU hockey swept by Penn State, still winless in Big Ten play
After a weekend sweep
The Spartans are still winless in Big Ten play after faltering 5-2 in the opener and then a 5-3 loss to wrap up the series. MSU, though, started the weekend off strong.
After Penn State's forward Dylan Richard was called for hooking in game one, sophomore defenseman Zach Osburn capitalized on the man-advantage 55 seconds into the power play.
A cross-ice pass by sophomore forward Mason Appleton found the stick of Osburn, and his wrist shot from the right circle cruised over Penn State goaltender Peyton Jones’s left shoulder, giving MSU a 1-0 lead.
The Nittany Lions soon responded to the Spartans’ opening period goal. At 5:53 into the first
With 3:18 left in the first period, Penn State took its first lead of the game.
Penn State forward Vince
After heading into the locker room with a 2-1 lead and outshooting MSU 16-7 in shots after the first period, the Nittany Lions found the back of the net 3:30 into the second frame.
A feed from forward Brett Murray to forward Liam Folkes led to another Penn State goal and further extended the Spartan deficit to two.
Fortunately for MSU, senior forward Joe Cox responded 6:28 later in the second period to cut the Nittany Lions’ lead.
Cox, on a breakaway
After the score, however, the Nittany Lions found ways to respond. Forward Andrew Sturtz at 4:22 into the final period found the back of the net moments after a power play, and the goal gave Penn State a 4-2 lead.
With 6:12 remaining in the game, David Goodwin’s goal extended the Spartans’ deficit to three goals. The Spartans couldn’t find a way to mount a late comeback and fell 5-2 in the first game of the weekend series. MSU was outshot 46-26 in the loss.
“(We) battled hard (on Friday),” head coach Tom Anastos said after the 5-2 loss. "(It was a) good college game. We just couldn’t execute in certain situations to get that tying goal … but our penalty kill did a nice job (on Friday).
Despite Friday’s loss, Minney had a career night. The 6-foot-5 goaltender recorded 41 saves, which is the most in his MSU career. His previous high was set against Minnesota on Dec. 9, when he registered 40 saves in a 4-2 loss to the Gophers.
The very next day, it was once again the Spartans who struck first.
After a pass from Appleton above the left circle to freshman forward Taro Hirose, his slapshot was close to the blue line and was blocked by Jones. Hirose kept the play alive by picking up the rebound after Cox failed to gain control of the puck close to the net. After a spin move from Hirose, a wrist shot from the freshman forward in the right circle went by Jones to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead with 6:48 left in the first period.
The Nittany Lions went into the locker room at the conclusion of the first period trailing
After redshirt-senior defenseman Rhett Holland was called for tripping 13 seconds into the second frame, Penn State’s Berger took advantage of the power play with a deflection 15 seconds later that resulted in a goal. His goal, 29 seconds into the second period, tied the game at 1-1.
With 5:28 remaining in the second period, the Spartans took back the lead after a power play goal from Appleton.
Appleton passed to Osburn who then fed Hirose, and his slap shot from the left point was tipped by Appleton. The tip got by Jones and the Spartans recorded a 2-1 lead.
Going into the intermission, the Spartans had the lead and kept it for nearly half the third period. However, Penn State tied the game, 2-2, after a Spartan turnover led to a Penn State rush that resulted in a goal from Ricky DeRosa with 10:29 left in the game.
The Spartans had the lead with an upset in mind, but the Nittany Lions had other plans.
Two goals within nine seconds with just less than five minutes left in the game gave the Nittany Lions a 4-2 lead, which all but crushed the Spartans’ hopes at an upset.
But it didn’t stop there.
With 2:10 left in the game, Denis Smirnov recorded a goal, giving Penn State a 5-2 lead.
The Spartans ended their weekend sweep with a late-game goal as freshman defenseman Damian
“I liked how hard our team played,” Anastos said in a press release following the second game. “I didn’t think we played smart enough for long enough. We made
A day removed from breaking his career-high saves in a game with 41, Minney broke that record again on Saturday as the goaltender registered 46 saves in the loss.
The Spartans will now face University of Michigan in a two-game home-and-home series next weekend. Friday’s game will be held at the Yost Ice Arena before the teams come back to East Lansing for the second game of the series. Both games can be viewed on the Big Ten Network.