Penn State (5-5-0, 2-2-0) took on Mercyhurst (3-3-2, 1-1-2) in the second game of the weekend series on Saturday night. Strong offensive displays from James Robinson and Andrew Sturtz – who became the all-time goals leader in Penn State history – propelled the Nittany Lions to a 7-5 win.
How It Happened
Penn State came out with a clear appetite for victory following a very disappointing 7-4 loss to the Lakers on Friday night.
James Robinson opened the scoring 2:33 into the opening period, giving the Nittany Lions a 1-0 after finding a rebound in front of net and slotting it away. The opportunity started after a few great moves along the left wing for Sturtz opened up room for a shot, which ultimately fell to Robinson just outside of the crease. Berger was given the secondary assist on the move.
Mercyhurst knotted the game up at 1-1 with a goal from Jack Riley who appeared to escape from Erik Autio and find some open space in front of net with 8:51 remaining in the period. Taylor Best extended the lead for Mercyhurst with 7:28 remaining in the period, as two quick goals stole all momentum from the Nittany Lions.
Robinson netted his second goal of the first period on an unassisted effort, after picking up a turnover and wristing a seeing-eye shot towards goal. Robinson’s goal came with 4:27 left in the period to even it back up at two goals apiece, as the captain’s contributions were coming early and often.
The Nittany Lions struck first in the second period as Robinson completed the hat-trick just 29 seconds into play. Cole Hults was noted for the assist, which extends his point-streak to eight games. Penn State’s second goal of the period came after Sturtz led a 2-on-1 attack, beating a defender before finding Chase Berger for the goal to make it 4-2 just 4:07 into the period.
After Derian Hamilton was booked for roughing, Joshua Lammon got one back for Mercyhurst, bringing the game to 4-3 with 1:48 left in the second period. Liam Folkes struck back quickly, however, scoring just 46 seconds later after Mercyhurst’s third goal. After an effective deke, Folkes’ goal sent Penn State into the intermission with a 5-3 lead.
With 13:43 remaining in the game, Zach Todd scored for the Lakes from the left wing to bring the deficit within one. Just seconds later, Sternschein fired one of the crossbar, nearly netting his first collegiate goal. Mercyhurst would strike again with 7:17 remaining in the final period of regulation, tying it up behind a goal from Kane Elliot.
After an absolute scrum in front of net, Hamilton came up with the puck behind the net and found Pavlyvchev in the middle of the ice. The Russian made no mistake about it, giving Penn State a 6-5 lead with 4:17 to play.
During a Mercyhurst power play with just about a minute left to play, the visitors pulled their goaltender to skate with a 6-on-4 advantage. Sturtz, however, found his way to a loose puck and sealed the deal with a goal from the defensive zone with 12.5 seconds left as the Nittany Lions walked away with a 7-5 victory.
Player of the Game
Andrew Sturtz | Junior | Forward
Andrew Sturtz tallied one goal and four assists on the night, and moved into the all-time lead in the goals category for Penn State hockey. The junior’s play brought lifted the offense in a high-scoring game. Sturtz’ five points and four assists were both single-game records.
The Nittany Lions will travel to South Bend, Indiana to take on Big Ten newbies Notre Dame at 7:35 p.m. on Friday.