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No. 9 Penn State Hockey Falls To Minnesota 4-1, Splits First Series Of 2019

No. 9 Penn State men’s hockey (12-6-2, 4-5-1-1 Big Ten) took its first loss of the new year in Saturday’s matchup against Minnesota (7-8-4, 4-3-3-0 Big Ten) at the Golden Gophers’ Mariucci Arena.

Chase Berger was the lone goal-scorer for the Nittany Lions, as Minnesota goalie Mat Robson stifled Penn State after Berger notched the first goal of the game in the first period. From that point, the Golden Gophers tallied four straight unanswered goals on their way to an easy 4-1 victory.

Peyton Jones had an unusually rough outing in the cage, allowing three goals on 26 shots.

How It Happened

Despite a handful of scoring chances for both teams, neither was able to find the scoreboard through the first 10 minutes of play.

It took until the 12:36 mark of the first period before Chase Berger managed to sneak the puck past Minnesota’s goaltender, Mat Robson, for his seventh goal of the season. Brandon Biro earned the secondary assist on the goal to give Penn State an early 1-0 lead.

The lead was short-lived, however, as the Golden Gophers retaliated with one of their own to even the score before the first intermission. At the end of the first, Penn State held a narrow 10-9 advantage in shots despite the tie.

The Nittany Lions let the game get out of their control in the second period, allowing two unanswered goals to give Minnesota a 3-1 lead heading into the final period of play. The poor second period performance for Penn State was highlighted by a measly shot total of six to the Golden Gophers’ 12.

The game was just about over before the third period even started, but the Nittany Lions still went down shooting. They managed to fire 16 shots in the final period, but none found the back of the net.

One last empty net goal for the Golden Gophers with 11 seconds left on the clock was the final nail in the coffin, as Penn State fell to Minnesota 4-1.

Takeaways

  • The Nittany Lions’ power play is off to a slow start in 2019. They went scoreless on four opportunities in their first two games of the second half against the Golden Gophers.
  • Penn State’s offense nearly disappeared in the second period. Guy Gadowsky’s squad only managed to get six shots on net which is shockingly low for his offense that usually values shots in volume.
  • Congratulations are in order for both Aarne Talvitie and Evan Barratt, who won gold and silver medals, respectively, at the 2019 U-20 World Junior Championship in Vancouver. Talvitie and Finland upset Barratt and Team USA 3-2 in the gold medal game, which was played at the same time as Penn State’s game against Minnesota tonight.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will return to Pegula Ice Arena next weekend for the first time in 2019, as they hope to get back in the win column when they host Michigan State for a pair of games on Friday and Saturday. The puck will drop at 8 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Saturday.

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About the Author

Anthony Fiset

Anthony is a senior *gasp* majoring in Economics and a lifetime Costco Executive Member. If you are an employer, please hire him. Otherwise, direct all complaints to [email protected]

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