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Penn State Men’s Hockey Loses 2-1 To Michigan State In Regular Season Finale

Penn State men’s hockey (15-18-1, 6-17-1 Big Ten) was defeated by Michigan State (12-21-1, 16-18-0-1 Big Ten) in the final game of the regular season at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Michigan.

The Spartans looked to avoid their seventh consecutive sweep, and did so with a 2-1 victory after a minimal offensive matchup.

How It Happened

Guy Gadowsky opted for Liam Souliere in net for the second consecutive night. Ben Copeland and Adam Pilewicz were also part of Penn State’s top line for the regular season finale.

Michigan State got off to a good start, taking multiple chances against Souliere. The Spartans continued to play better throughout the start of the first period, controlling the puck and keeping it in Penn State’s zone most of the time.

The Spartans continued to dominate the first period, and it paid off. Michigan State opened up the scoring at 10:33 in the first period after Jagger Joshua passed the puck from the face-off circle to Josh Nodler, who put it past Souliere right in front of the net to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead.

The Spartans continued to dominate, but the Nittany Lions wouldn’t be held back. At 19:04 in the first period, Kevin Wall got the puck past Drew DeRidder and into the net to make it 1-1.

A matter of seconds later, Michigan State suddenly scored again. Adam Goodsir quickly took the lead, and the period ended 2-1. Michigan State outshot Penn State 22-11, and had firm control of the puck throughout the period.

The second period was very uneventful with no penalties or goals. While both teams had quality chances, including a puck off the pipe for Joshua, good goaltending kept Michigan State ahead with a 2-1 lead.

The first power play of the game finally took place in the third period. Christian Krygier, who was celebrating his senior night, not only received a five-minute major for a high hit, but also got ejected. Despite plenty of time with a one-man advantage and plenty of chances, Penn State didn’t score. It was a key momentum turning point in the game.

Michigan State continued to play better throughout the game. The Spartans continued to take shot after shot, and the rare Penn State chances were always blocked by DeRidder. He even took a knee to the helmet in his senior night performance.

Souliere was pulled with roughly over a minute remaining in the game. Penn State was able to keep the puck out of the empty net, and the game came down to the wire. However, Michigan State won 2-1, giving the Spartans its first win of 2022.

Takeaways

  • Defense was problematic for Penn State. For example, the first Spartan goal came after a pass in front of the net that was right in front of the defense. That simply doesn’t cut it in the Big Ten.
  • Penn State is the win in regulation for the Spartans in a long time. Michigan State last won a game in regulation on December 4. This was also Michigan State’s first win of 2022.
  • The offense was quieter than usual for Penn State against a tough goaltender. Drew DeRidder posted a .974 save percentage with 38 saves.

What’s Next

Penn State will wait to see who it faces in the Big Ten Tournament next weekend, with dates to be determined.

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About the Author

Nolan Wick

Nolan is a sophomore majoring in journalism. From the Maryland side of the D.C. suburbs, Nolan likes using Old Bay and is a diehard Washington sports fan, which isn't fun these days. If you want to keep in touch with Nolan, follow him on Instagram @_nolanwick or on Twitter @nolan_wick.

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