No. 11 Penn State Falls to Michigan State, 6-4
For Immediate Press Release – Saturday, January 12, 2019
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Senior Chase Berger (St. Louis, Mo.) scored twice, but it wasn’t enough as No. 11 Penn State dropped a 6-4 decision to Michigan State this evening in Big Ten Conference action from Pegula Ice Arena.
The loss drops the Nittany Lions to 13-7-2 on the year and 5-6-1-1 in Big Ten play while the Spartans improve to 7-12-3 overall and 3-7-2-2 in conference action.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Michigan State opened the scoring taking advantage of a fury in front of the Penn State net as Logan Lambdin ripped in a third chance opportunity on a rebound for the 1-0 edge at 7:25 of the first period.
- The Nittany Lions responded as junior Brandon Biro (Sherwood Park, Alberta) sent a no look centering pass into the slot from the far half-wall that was corralled by senior Alec Marsh (Bridgewater, Pa.) and he fired one past MSU net-minder John Lethemon for the 1-1 score at 15:55 of the opening frame.
- With under a minute to play in the first period the Spartans grabbed a two-goal lead using just 46 seconds to secure the 3-1 margin as Tommy Apap banged one home out front at 19:08 before Taro Hirose found the top shelf over the glove of PSU goaltender Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.) at 19:54 of the stanza.
- Penn State responded early in the second period as Berger fired in a rebound off junior Kris Myllari’s (Kanata, Ontario) initial shot from the point for the 3-2 score at 4:42 of the middle frame.
- Berger then pulled the game even with his second of the game on the power-play later in the period as he finished off a feed from sophomore Evan Bell (Livonia, Mich.) for the 3-3 score at 17:32.
- MSU regained the lead early in the third period as a whiff on one end turned into a goal by Brennan Sanford down the other end and the 4-3 lead for the visitors at 1:34 of the frame.
- The Spartans extended the lead to a pair of goals taking advantage of a tripping call against Penn State and Mitchell Lewandowski cashed in on the doorstep for the power-play goal at 6:43 of the stanza.
- The Nittany Lions again cut the deficit to a single goal with another power-play tally as junior Nate Sucese (Fairport, N.Y.) ripped a one-timer to the back of the net off a feed from sophomore Cole Hults (Stoughton, Wis.) from the right dot for the 5-4 score at 13:28 of the third period.
- Brennan Sanford then iced the game as he hit the empty net with just 24 seconds remaining for the 6-4 final.
Jones falls to 9-5-2 on the year after making 31 saves while Lethemon improves to 5-7-0 this season after stopping 40 shots.
“I think that was the worst mentality that we could have come out with. It is my responsibility to make sure they are ready to play at the drop of the puck and clearly, we were not and clearly Michigan State was. I think regardless of what happened after the first period that set the tone.”
Q: “You might categorize or see it differently but in six of those periods did you see a fall in your identity period or points where you lost your identity? Do you see it that way and how frustrating is that? How do you bounce back?”
A: “Yes, it is tough to commit to play the way we have to play. We showed flashes but I do not think we played a full period where we played the way we want to play. I thought tonight’s second period was probably the best and I liked their mentality, but by that time it was over. When you come in with the mentality that we came in with, they are not going to let you win. Honestly, I thought that we wanted it to be easy. That is obviously my responsibility and I need to make sure we are ready to get going and that did not happen.”
Q: “Chase Berger had two goals and tied the game up and was also 16-for-20 at the dot. What did you see out of him and do you feel like he showed up?”
A: “I believe his line was the only plus line and I thought he did a lot of great things. Faceoffs are a really good indication. It is easy to say that guy was not ready or that guy was, but a faceoff in hockey is the only true time when it is 50-50. There are guys who win races but you anticipate it a little more. A faceoff is basically an absolute, well contained 50-50 battle of who wants it more situation. So, when you say that, Chase was probably ready to go and I was happy about that. It is a team game and mentality is a chain and you need everybody on the same page. Yes, I thought that line was the only plus line and Chase had a really nice stat line, but along the lines of team game, our team mentality was really poor.”
- Senior Kevin Kerr (Bensalem, Pa.) appeared in his 100th career game this evening.
- Penn State held the 44-37 edge in shots on goal while going 2-for-3 with the man-advantage. MSU went 1-for-1 on the power-play.
- The Spartans secure just their second regulation win all-time at Pegula Ice Arena improving to 2-7-3 while Penn State maintains the 12-8-4 record in 24 all-time meetings.
- With a pair of assists, Biro set a new career-high point streak of eight games (2-10-12) as the junior has now registered at least one point in 12 of his last 13 games with three goals and 14 assists for 17 points over that span. With a pair of assists tonight, Biro now has eight multi-point efforts this season and 19 for his career.
- With a pair of goals in the second period, Berger has now passed Andrew Sturtz ’18 for second on the Penn State all-time points list with 106 points for his career while his 46 goals pass David Goodwin ’17 and Casey Bailey and are good for second all-time in Penn State history. It was also Berger’s first multi-goal game this season and the seventh of his career as well as his fourth multi-point effort this season and the 20th of his career.
- Penn State controlled the draw winning 55-of-83 draws with Berger leading the way at 16-4 while junior Nikita Pavlychev (Yaroslavl, Russia) went 15-4.
- With a pair of goals on the weekend Sucese moves into solo fifth on the Penn State all-time goals list with 41 for his career.
- Penn State remains home for a pair of crucial Big Ten contests against conference leading and fourth-ranked Ohio State next weekend at Pegula Ice Arena. Puck drop for both games is at 7 p.m.