Penn State Earns Series Split with Michigan State
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Six different Nittany Lions scored goals as Penn State (7-2, 3-1) beat Michigan State (3-5, 1-1), 6-4, to earn a split of their two-game series on Saturday night at Pegula Ice Arena.
After being shut out the night before for the second time this season, the Nittany Lions got more than enough offense on Saturday from many different contributors.
“I think we made it a lot more difficult on their goaltender,” Penn State head coach Guy Gadowsky said. “There’s aspects of the game that we were much better yesterday, but tonight we did finish and made it much more tougher on their goaltender.”
Nikita Pavlychev would get the scoring started in the first period by batting in a deflected puck for the Nittany Lions’ first goal of the weekend. Evan Barratt would then make it 2-0 with a highlight-reel-worthy goal that wowed Pegula Ice Arena.
In the second period, Michigan State’s Mitchell Lewandowski cut the deficit to 2-1 with a power-play goal. However, the Nittany Lions would then score three straight goals in the period from Clayton Phillips,Alex Limoges on the power play, and Sam Sternschein. Phillips’ goal was his first as a Nittany Lion, and it really excited his teammates.
“The team has really taken to [Phillips],” Gadowsky said. “The team loves having him on the ice, and obviously you can see how the team feels about him off the ice. That was a great reaction, and I’m sure we’re going to see more of that.”
The Spartans showed a little bit of life in the third period, cutting a 5-2 deficit to 5-4. Patrick Khodorenko scored two goals in total, and the Spartans would get another from Dennis Cesana.
Denis Smirov would then add an empty-netter to put the Nittany Lions up two and seal the game for good. Penn State goaltender Peyton Jones finished the night with 25 saves.
The Nittany Lions will hit the road for the first time this season as they travel to Minnesota for a two-game series with the Golden Gophers next Friday and Saturday.
Kevin McConlogue is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.