Penn State (16-2-1, 5-1 Big Ten) returned to Pegula for its second matchup with Michigan State. The Spartans (4-15-1, 0-6 Big Ten) were hoping for a better second meeting than their 5-2 defeat on Friday, but the Nittany Lions won once again the next night in a come-from-behind victory to seal their 14th win in their last 15 matchups. Goals from Dylan Richard and Chase Berger within nine seconds of each other put the game out of reach for the Spartans.
How It Happened
The opening half of the first period was quiet on both ends of the ice. Penn State had an opportunity on the power play a couple minutes into action, but a Trevor Hamilton penalty negated the man advantage and forced the Nittany Lions to fend off a five-on-four — which they did.
Michigan State struck first with 6:48 left in the first period. Taro Harose scored his fourth goal of the season for the Spartans on a turnaround wrister that beat Peyton Jones right off the post and in to give Michigan State a 1-0 lead.
David Goodwin had a chance to even the scoring with a little more than three minutes left in the first period, but put his attempt went wide from just outside the crease. Zach Saar also had a breakaway opportunity, but his shot was saved to end the period 1-0 in favor of the Spartans.
Penn State got off to a fast start in the second period with a goal on the power play. Rhett Holand got a penalty for tripping, and Chase Berger capitalized on the man advantage with a deflection goal to even the score 1-1 with 19:31 remaining in the second period.
The Nittany Lions had a three-on-one advantage minutes later, but Derian Hamilton hit the post on the opportunity to keep the score level. A few minutes later on the power play, Michigan State’s Sam Saliba had had open look that also rattled of the post and out. Penn State killed off the rest of the power play to keep it tied.
After a Brandon Biro penalty, Michigan State retook the lead with a man advantage. Mason Appleton scored his ninth of the season on a deflection as the Spartans went back up 2-1. That’s the scoreline that would take us into the second intermission despite the Nittany Lions leading 28-20 in shots.
Michigan State had a quiet start to the third period and Penn State had a number of shots, but couldn’t equalize. Finally with 10:19 left, Ricky DeRosa pounced on a three-on-one opportunity that he slided around the goalie to tie it 2-2.
Within the span of seconds, the game changed forever in Penn State’s favor. A Michigan State hooking penalty gave Penn State a man advantage, which the Nittany Lions used with a rebound goal from Dylan Richard to go up 3-2. Then just nine seconds later, Chase Berger added another to make it 4-2, looking like a sealed win for the Hockey Valley. Denis Smirnov tacked on an insurance goal to give Penn State a 5-3 win.
Penn State gets set for a series with Ohio State next weekend. The rematch of last weekend’s battle will start Friday at 7 p.m., as will Saturday’s game.