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No. 6 Penn State Hockey Falls 5-1 To No. 7 Minnesota

Tonight was something of a battle before it even happened — No. 6 Penn State traveled to No. 7 Minnesota with Big Ten reign and a little bit of pride on the line.

Luckily for the Nittany Lions, college hockey is a game of series. Penn State fell 5-1 to Minnesota.

How It Happened

The anticipated match up started out slow, save for some 4-on-4 play. Both teams remained scoreless until a slick backhander put Minnesota on the board 17:22 into the first. If Penn State came out of the locker room on fire, a comeback was expected.

The opposite happened — a weird rebound off the boards gave Minnesota’s Rem Pitlick a goal 54 seconds into the second for a 2-0 lead. He struck again shortly after on another rebound and things were looking bleak for teh Nittany Lions. Trevor Hamilton finally got them on the board with a wicked wrister 8:42 into the period for a 3-1 score. Minnesota thwarted any potential Penn State momentum when Sheehy found the back of a struggling Funkey’s net with 4.1 seconds left in the period to make it 4-1.

The third was peppered with solid chances on both ends, but the score remained 4-1 well in. A missed  Penn State power play opportunity pretty much ended this one. Minnesota capitalized on its first power play of the game with 3:11 left to play and sealed the 5-1 final score.

Takeaways

  • Point blank, Penn State’s defense just has to step it up. I’m always hesitant to blame a goalie, and now with both Peyton Jones and Funkey getting net time and struggling with goals allowed , it’s clear there’s a problem with the d core. Over the last three games, Penn State’s allowed its most consecutive goals this season.
  • This is obvious, but more time controlling the puck in general is key for Penn State. Lately I feel like there’s been an urgency to get a huge play from the second the Nittany Lions take possession, but slowing things down a bit is less risky with a struggling defense.

What’s Next

Penn State gets a chance for redemption and a series split tomorrow when it and Minnesota are back at Mariucci. The puck drops at 8 p.m.

About the Author

Sara Civian

Sara Civian is one of Onward State's three ridiculously good looking managing editors, a hockey writer at heart, and an Oxford comma Stan. She's a senior majoring in journalism, minoring in history, and living at Bill Pickle's Tap Room. Her favorite pastimes are telling people she's from Boston, watching the Bruins, and meticulously dissecting the My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album. She's seen Third Eye Blind live 14 times. If you really hate yourself, you can follow her at @SaraCivian or email her at [email protected]

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