No. 9 M. Hockey Comes Within Single Goal of Defeating No. 5 Minnesota
Friday’s game saw Penn State fight hard the whole way through, only to have Minnesota go on a scoring spree in the final minutes of the third period.
It was Minnesota who scored first on Friday, six minutes into the first period.
Penn State struck back within two minutes to even out the board. It was Andrew Sturtz (Buffalo, N.Y.) who used his power to use a Dylan Richard (Sherwood Park, Alberta) rebound to give the Blue and White their first point of the night.
Freshman superstar Nate Sucese (Fairport, N.Y.) struck first in the second period as fellow freshman Denis Smirnov (Moscow, Russia) fed Sucese the perfect pass to give Penn State the 2-1 lead.
Minnesota notched two more points before the second intermission, sending the Nittany Lions into the locker room down by a single goal.
It was Kris Myllari (Kanata, Ontario) who kept the team afloat as he secured the third goal for Penn State halfway through the third period.
Minnesota took advantage of a power-play to take the lead for the final time that evening, and the Golden Gophers would add two more goals before the final buzzer for a 6-3 win over the Nittany Lions.
The Blue and White had 42 shots on the Gophers and the Gophers had just 25.
Saturday evening’s game was a heartbreaker for Penn State, who couldn’t find a win against Minnesota as the Gophers won in overtime, 4-3.
Both teams knew this game would be intense, and fans were not disappointed with the energy level on the ice.
Smirnov wasted no time in getting Penn State on the board as he, Sucese, and Ricky DeRosa (Aston, Pa.) created an odd-man rush that put Penn State up 1-0.
A scoreless rest of the first period seemed to only amp up the fire in Blue and White.
Senior captain David Goodwin (St. Louis, Mo.) beat a Minnesota defender in the first three minutes of the second to give Penn State a 2-0 edge.
Penn State went into the locker room at second intermission with the two point advantage. However, it would not hold.
Minnesota notched two goals of their own just minutes into the third period, tying up the score 2-2.
Smirnov converted a penalty shot to a goal at the 18-minute mark after a Minnesota defender was called for hooking.
As fate would have it, the Gophers secured the tying goal with less than 30 seconds to go on the clock, propelling the two teams into overtime.
The Gophers prevailed in overtime as a Minnesotan fired a shot past Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.) three minutes into extra time, giving the Gophers the 4-3 win.
Penn State had 42 shots on Minnesota and Jones made 25 saves for the Nittany Lions.
The team is back on the road next weekend as they head to East Lansing to take on Michigan State at 7 p.m. Friday’s game will be aired on the Big Ten Network, so make sure to tune in and support your Nittany Lions.