Casey Bailey Leads Penn State to 5-2 Win Over MSU, First Place in B1G
Michigan State returned to Pegula Saturday night to attempt to finish off a sweep of the Nittany Lions, but it wasn’t to be. Led by its top line of Casey Bailey, Taylor Holstrom, and David Goodwin, Penn State trounced the Spartans 5-2 to earn a series split.
How It Happened
After trailing two times in the series’ first game, Penn State made a clear effort to not find itself in that situation again. Just over a minute into the game, Casey Bailey took advantage of a mid-rink turnover and fired the puck past Michigan State’s Jake Hildebrand. The goal tied Bailey for the nation’s lead in scoring, but that didn’t last too long.
Speaking of ties, Michigan State scored soon after to tie the game at 1-1. After some more fast-paced play, the Spartans scored their second (and last) goal of the game with 23 seconds left in the first period. Just like Friday night, Penn State outshot Michigan State substantially in the first, but found themselves down one.
As soon as the puck dropped to begin the second period, the game shifted in Penn State’s direction. After some powerplay chances weren’t capitalized on, and the period ticked down to just five minutes remaining, the Nittany Lions poured it on. Nate Jensen began the scoring off a rebound to tie the game, then two minutes later, Casey Bailey slid a pass down low, where David Goodwin buried it. The period came to an end with Penn State having a lead it would never relinquish, 3-2.
The momentum carried into the third period, when Penn State’s top line put Michigan State away. A point shot from Luke Juha was tipped past Hildebrand by Taylor Holstrom, and 59 seconds later, Holstrom and Goodwin assisted on Bailey’s second goal of the night. Now leading the nation with 16 goals, Bailey led his team to the win, and Penn State closed out the game 5-2.
Player of the Game
Casey Bailey. The junior winger had two goals and an assist, and leads the entire nation in goal scoring. Almost every time he, Holstrom, and Goodwin touched the ice, Penn State was an offensive juggernaut.
Tweet of the Game
Thanks to the Roar Zone here at Penn St for the cool, warm welcome and for the sticktap to Stuart Scott pic.twitter.com/Tw7Ak06VUn
— John Buccigross (@Buccigross) January 17, 2015
Tonight’s game was aired on ESPNU, with college hockey proprietor John Buccigross calling it. To prepare for his attendance, The Roar Zone made an awesome sign honoring his friend, the late great Stuart Scott.
Penn State moves to 11-7-3 on the season after earning four of six points on the weekend. The Nittany Lions are in first place in the Big Ten with 16 points, and Casey Bailey moved into first place in the national scoring race. Even as its competition gets tougher and tougher, this Penn State team has proved it’s for real.
Penn State is at home next weekend to take on the 9-7-5 Northern Michigan Wildcats, Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Eight of the next 11 games will be aired on either ESPNU or the Big Ten Network.