No. 17 Penn State Drops Series Opener at Michigan State, 5-3
EAST LANSING, Mich. – In his 100th career game, junior Nikita Pavlychev (Yaroslavl, Russia) collected three points with one goal and a pair of assists, but it wasn’t enough as Penn State dropped a 5-3 decision to Michigan State on Friday evening in Big Ten Conference action from Munn Ice Arena.
Penn State sees it mini three-game win streak snapped as the Nittany Lions fall to 16-11-2 on the year and 8-10-1-1 in conference action while the Spartans improve to 11-15-5 overall and 7-10-4-2 in Big Ten play.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Spartans opened the scoring taking advantage of a 5-on-3 power-play as Patrick Khodorenko finished off a beautiful behind the back feed from Cody Milan at the near post for the 1-0 lead at 4:20 of the first period.
- The Nittany Lions responded with a power-play tally of their own as Pavlychev redirected a Denis Smirnov (Moscow, Russia) offering and then slammed in the rebound for the 1-1 score at 6:56 of the opening frame.
- MSU regained the lead taking advantage of a bad defensive zone turnover by PSU as Austin Kamer collected the puck all alone in the slot and fired past the blocker of Nittany Lion Junior net-minder Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.) for the 2-1 lead at 14:46 of the period.
- Tommy Miller gave the hosts a two-goal lead as he flicked a harmless shot from the point through a screen that beat Jones over the blocker for the 3-1 advantage at 2:19 of the middle frame.
- Michigan State extended the lead to 5-1 taking advantage of a pair defensive zone as Adam Goodsir scored at 8:25 before Brennan Sanford clanked one off the pipe and in at 9:37 of the second period.
- Penn State cut into the deficit with its second man-advantage tally of the eving as senior LudVig Larsson (Malmo, Sweden) curled around the net an jammed a loose puck past the far post for the 5-2 score at 11:09 of the second stanza.
- Sophomore Sam Sternschein (Syosset, N.Y.) closed the gap even more as he took the puck up the near half wall and fired a no angle shot picking the corner over the glove of MSU goaltender John Lethemon for the 5-3 deficit at 17:53.
- The teams traded chances in the third period, but neither found the net skating to the 5-3 final.
- Jones made just nine saves on 13 shots over the first 28:25 falling to 12-8-2 on the year before being relieved by freshman Oskar Autio (Espoo, Finland) who collected 12 saves in 28:56 of ice time.
- Lethemon improves to 8-8-0 on the year with the victory after a 44 save performance.
- Pavlychev skated in his 100th career game this evening becoming the seventh different Nittany Lion this season to hit that milestone. The junior also registered his fifth multi-point game this season and the ninth of his career adding a pair of second period assists to his first period goal.
- Sophomore Cole Hults (Madison, Wis.) collected a pair of assists registering his fourth multi-point effort this season and the ninth of his career moving into sixth all-time on the Penn State career assists list for defenseman with 34. His 17 assists this season tie his career-high and the fourth most in program history from last season.
- The Nittany Lions held the commanding 47-26 edge in shots on goal while going 2-for-4 on the power-play. MSU went 1-for-2 with the man-advantage.
- Sucese extended his point streak to four games with his second period assist while Hults now has a mini three-game point streak after his two-point night.
- Senior Chase Berger (St. Louis, Mo.) once again controlled the faceoff circling going 14-for-19 on the night.
Both teams return to Munn Ice Arena tomorrow evening to conclude the weekend series with another 7 p.m. puck drop.