Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Final: MSU hockey takes tough shootout loss to Penn State in first game of series

November 10, 2023
<p>Senior defenseman Nash Nienhuis (4) fighting for the puck during a game against Penn State at the Munn Ice Arena on Nov. 10, 2023.</p>

Senior defenseman Nash Nienhuis (4) fighting for the puck during a game against Penn State at the Munn Ice Arena on Nov. 10, 2023.

After a hard fought battle from puck drop to the very end, the Spartans ended in a tie and shootout loss against Penn State for their first home Big Ten matchup of the season.

From the start, both teams played aggressively on both ends of the ice, fighting hard to earn the puck whether it be in the defensive zone or offensively. The Spartans able to keep the puck in the offensive zone for almost the first three minutes of the game, preventing Penn State from initiating a shot on goal.

The Spartans logged the first penalty after a hooking call on sophomore forward Daniel Russell, but there was no stopping the team after a breakaway on the penalty kill brought sophomore defenseman Patrick Geary soaring down the ice to light the lamp for the first goal of the game.

The goal raised some tension, causing the first scrum of the night to come about less than eight minutes into the first period

With 34 seconds left in the first, Penn State had its first penalty on a slashing call, ending the period with a power play for Michigan State and letting the Spartans begin the second with time left on the power play.

The green and white produced seven shots on goal and took most of the face offs (14), but Penn State was able to produce more shots on goal during the period (13). Both teams brought the heat during the first, playing tough, playing quick, but also playing clean.

With the second period underway, the Spartans fought hard during the final 90 seconds of their power play, but they were unable to capitalize as Penn State played harshly to keep the green and white from landing a puck in the back of the net.

The Spartans ended up logging their second penalty of the night after a tripping call sent junior forward Tanner Kelly to the box, but the well oiled machine of the Spartan penalty kill was able to keep the Nittany Lion penalty kill away from freshman goalie Trey Augustine between the pipes.

Halfway through the second period, Russell was able to come in and scoop the puck up between the legs of the Penn State goalie Noah Grannan for a 2-0 MSU lead.

Shortly after, sophomore forward Isaac Howard faked out Grannan and sent the puck in off the side of the net, marking the goal his fourth of the season and the team's third of the night

After that third goal, tempers rose even higher than the first period, sending both MSU’s Kelly and a Nittany Lion to the penalty box for roughing and both teams were able to show off their abilities during some four on four hockey.

With three minutes to go in the secondary, Penn State was able to bar down a shot and land its first goal on the board, but the Spartans still had no hesitations while holding their own.

The third period came quickly at Munn, where the Spartans held their own until the very last second.

Just under 13 minutes left in the third, the Nittany Lions were able to slide a goal past Augustine, making it a one goal game even after every defensive effort coming from the Spartans.

In the remaining 3 minutes of the game, Penn State was able to land another goal, tying the game after coming back from a 3-0 score in the second period

Three periods was not enough for either team, leading into a 3 on 3 sudden death overtime, which would be the Spartan’s first OT of the season.

As the anxiety built in Munn during the overtime period, the Nittany Lions landed three shots on goal and the Spartans had five, but the extra five minutes was not enough to declare a leader, and both teams moved on to a shootout.

The Spartans were not able to take the shootout win, after the Nittany Lions took the lead in the fourth round of the shootout and ran away with a technical win.

The Spartans will be back in action tomorrow for an afternoon game starting at 4 p.m. at Munn Ice Arena to round out the Penn State series, looking for a weekend split after an eventful first game. The final game of the series will be streamed on Big Ten Plus.

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