Penn State Hockey Dominates Michigan State 6-1, Sweeps Big Ten Opener
In Penn State’s first Big Ten conference series, it took on the struggling Michigan State Spartans, looking forward to mimicking Friday’s win, completing the series sweep, and staying undefeated in conference play. With a commanding 6-1 victory, led by Eric Scheid’s two goals and plenty of big saves by Eamon McAdam, the Nittany Lions (10-2-3, 2-0-0 Big Ten) checked that all off.
How It Happened
It took the Nittany Lions just two and a half minutes to find the back of Sparty’s net. Eric Scheid, assisted by Dylan Richard, wristed his second goal of the season to put Penn State up by one. 60 seconds later, Scheid showed his unrelenting hunger for goals, easily slipping past Michigan State’s net-minder for the second time. With the Spartan goalie Jake Hildebrand not starting for the first time in 50 games, it came as no surprise that Penn State went up 2-0 after four minutes. Rigorous gameplay carried the period for a while after Penn State’s early and vicious offensive threats, and due to a slew of big hits, Pegula’s loud crowd stayed fully attentive.
Though the Spartans showed a lot of fancy stick work, they didn’t show any promise for scoring opportunities throughout the first period. This left a lot to be desired by Head Coach Tom Anastos. Inversely, Penn State’s passing was stellar, and after beautiful a push in the neutral zone by Tommy Olczyk, Ricky DeRosa buried a one-timer goal off the stick of Olczyk. The Nittany Lions took a commanding 3-0 lead as the period came to a close, with no evidence of slowing down.
Mimicking Penn State’s successful early start, the Spartans took advantage of a costly penalty and ripped a shot passed Eamon McAdam to break the shutout in the first minute of the second frame. Zach Osburn made it 3-1 with his powerplay goal from the left point, and Michigan State poured on the pressure. The Nittany Lions prevailed, and David Glen recorded an unassisted (and impressive) wrap-around goal to put his team back up by three with a little over half the period to play. To no shock, McAdam was incredible between the pipes. The quiet gameplay transpired for an usually long time, but Kenny Brooks broke the silence and, after a quick review, lifted the Nittany Lions to a 5-1 lead.
The third period opened with a goaltender interference penalty by Michigan State’s Joe Cox. As soon as the Spartans killed their first disadvantage, a tripping penalty landed another player back in the sin bin. However, Penn State was 0-3 with the man advantage up until this point, an uncharacteristic statistic when compared to its prior .295 conversion percentage on special teams, and came up unsuccessful again. The theme of the third period was penalties, as Sparty couldn’t seem to stay out of the box. Penn State finally capitalized off of the man advantage with Vince Pedrie blasting a slap shot from the blue line. This goal raised the Nittany Lions’ lead to 6-1, and gave them a dominating victory.
Player Of The Game
Eric Scheid | Forward | Redshirt Senior
With his two tremendous first period goals, and his tenacious play all game, redshirt senior Eric Scheid was the stand-out for Guy Gadowsky and his high-flying team. He was a huge reason for the early momentum Penn State possessed and had as an advantage all game.
The Nittany Lions are back in action next week as they’re slated to face off against the Princeton Tigers Friday, December 11 at Pegula Ice Arena. Puck is set to drop at 7 p.m.