Penn State Men’s Hockey Jumps to No. 1 after Series Sweep against Michigan State

Penn State Men’s Hockey Jumps to No. 1 after Series Sweep against Michigan State

Penn State Men’s Hockey (16-2-1), a program less than five years old, made history this past weekend as the team soared to the No. 1 spot in both major polls, a program first.

This feat was achieved thanks to a tense series sweep against the Michigan State Spartans.

On Friday, your Nittany Lions trailed early on thanks to a power play goal by the Spartans.

Unfazed, Penn State state came back strong just three minutes later with David Goodwin (Des Peres, Mo.) deflecting a shot that ultimately led to Chase Berger (St. Louis, Mo.) scrambling with the puck in front of the net before knocking it in to even the score.

Just before the end of the first, Penn State sank another goal courtesy of Vince Pedrie (Rochester, Minn.) who used raw power to push the puck behind MSU’s goalie.

A little over a minute into the second period freshman Liam Folkes (Scarborough, Ontario) used an impossible angle to sneak in a goal that was assisted by newcomer Brett Murray (Bolton, Ontario).

Michigan State threatened the Lions by adding another point to the Spartans’ tally midway through the second.

It was Andrew Sturtz (Buffalo, N.Y.) and Goodwin who controlled the ice in the third period, with each collecting a goal to bring the final score 5-2, a victory for the Lions.


Saturday evening’s game was a nail-biter for all in attendance.

The Spartans came out hungry for revenge and once again scored the first goal of the night just before the end of the first period.

No deja vu here, but Berger knocked in the first goal for Penn State thanks to a set of passes from Trevor Hamilton (Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.) and Kevin Kerr (Bensalem, Pa.) to tie things up early in the second.

MSU snuck in a second goal just before the end of the second, sending Penn State into a tense locker for the intermission.

Head Coach Guy Gadowsky must have bestowed magical words of wisdom to the team, who came out with four goals in the third period to secure a 5-3 win over the Spartans.

Ricky DeRosa (Aston, Pa.), Dylan Richard (Sherwood Park, Alberta), Berger, and Denis Smirnov (Moscow, Russia) all notched Nittany Lion goals.

In fact, Smirnov’s goal was so epic it was featured on SportsCenter.

Michigan State added one more goal before the final siren, but it was a definitive 5-3 victory for Penn State, who now is sitting pretty at the No. 1 spot.

Goaltender Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.) played the full series, collecting 49 saves for the Lions.

Penn State seeks to defend its ranking this coming weekend at home with a whiteout Friday/Saturday (7 p.m.) series against No. 11 Ohio State, who dealt Penn State its second loss of the season two weekends ago.