Nittany Lions Roar to a Comeback Victory on Saturday

Nittany Lions Roar to a Comeback Victory on Saturday

It was yet another stressful series for No. 16 Penn State (17-8-3, 7-5-0) this past weekend as they headed to the Midwest to face the Minnesota Golden Gophers (14-13-0, 9-3-0) , who are currently number two in the Big Ten standings. Despite rallying from a tough series loss to Michigan two weekends ago, the Nittany Lions had trouble mastering Minnesota on Friday, only to come out strong and snag a win on Saturday.

On Friday, senior goalie Matt Skoff (McKees Rocks, Pa.) started for Penn State and made a stellar 39 saves throughout the night. Skoff was faced with an onslaught of 43 shots from Minnesota, while Penn State was able to muster only 32 against Minnesota’s goalie.

The game held promise in the first period. Minnesota scored first, in the second minute. Penn State’s Chase Berger (St. Louis, Mo.) notched the Lions’ only goal of the evening in the tenth minute to tie up the game. Unfortunately, the tie was not made to last, and Minnesota etched out a lead in the last minute of the first, leaving the Lions down a goal before the second.

Minnesota’s luck was enough to gain them two more goals to cap off a sad 4-1 win on Saturday. The Gophers snagged a goal in the second and a goal in the third period.

Penn State accrued eight penalties on Friday, allowing Minnesota six power play opportunities, none of which they were able to capitalize on.

Despite a less-than-desirable start to the series, the Gophers had no idea the attack that the Lions had planned for Saturday.

Saturday was quite the turnaround for Penn State. Junior Eamon McAdam (Perkasie, Pa.) started in the net and remained there for all three periods. McAdam would make a stunning 34 saves that evening, playing a large role in the Lions’ 5-3 win over the Gophers.

After a scoreless first ten minutes of the game, Penn State’s Matt Mendelson (Pittsburgh, Pa.) etched out the first goal of the evening in the eleventh minute, the only goal of the first period. Captain David Glen (Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta) continued Penn State’s scoring trend with a goal to open up the second period.

Minnesota caught Penn State at a low moment in the middle of the second, notching two goals in two minutes. Despite this potentially demotivating set of goals, Penn State did not give up.

Fan favorite Luke Juha (Mississauga, Ontario) earned Penn State another goal thanks to assists from Alec Marsh (Bridgewater, N.J.) and David Goodwin (Des Peres, Mo.).

Minnesota got lucky with one more goal right at the end of the second, but Penn State came roaring back in the final minutes of the third with goals from Zach Saar (Richland, Mich.) and Kenny Brooks (Las Vegas, Nev.), both of which were assisted by Berger. Brooks’ goal was an empty net goal as Minnesota pulled its keeper for the night.

Although Minnesota outshot Penn State on both nights, the Nittany Lions proved that with a little heart and a lot of hustle comes great reward. The Lions head to Michigan State this weekend to take on the Spartans before the THON weekend game against storied rival, Ohio State.