After not scoring for five games, freshman forward Mitchell Lewandowski gave a one time shot down the middle to give the Spartans their 3-1 lead towards the end of the second period only six seconds into their third power play of the night.
The Spartans defeated the Nittany Lions, 4-2, in their third match of the season to make their record 11-18-2 and their first home victory in 2018.
“I thought our guys were ready right from the get go,” head coach Danton Cole said. “I thought they played great the rest of the way and it was a great battle.”
On the first shot of the game for MSU, freshman Brody Stevens took his shot from the boards that made the puck go between the legs of Penn State’s sophomore goaltender Peyton Jones to give the Spartans the lead a little over two minutes into the first. This would also make it his first goal of his collegiate career.
Three minutes later, the Nittany Lions would tie it all up to keep the Spartans on their toes to make it 1-1. Lewandowski would score the first of his two goals to gain the lead back for his team off the top-bar of the net.
“I heard our entire bench yelling shoot and I thought that I better shoot it then pass it,” Stevens said. “I saw it sneak in and then I got real excited.”
In the second period, Penn State controlled the first half of the period by outshooting the Spartans 8-1, but failed to find the back of the net to tie the game back up.
Sophomore goaltender John Lethemon would go on to make 13 saves in the second and 28 saves in total.
“The last few games I really haven’t had any point so it was nice to on the receiving end of a couple of them tonight,” Lewandowski said. “When you have a two goal lead with that much time left you want to play good defensively.”
In the third period, Penn State’s sophomore forward Nikta Pavlychev would decrease the Spartans’ lead by one goal and pull Jones from the net to give them the extra player.
In the final moments of the game, sophomore forward Taro Hirose would put his team up again by two by shooting the puck from the blueline into the empty net.
“They closed and recovered real well,” Cole said. “This is a hard team to do that against and we outshot them.”
Penn State will return to face the Spartans tomorrow Feb. 17 for a 5 p.m. puck drop at Munn Ice Arena as the senior players will be honored before the game in their last home game of the season.