Three Unanswered Goals Doom No. 8/7 Penn State in Loss to No. 1/1 Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – A pair of third period goals in 66 seconds lifted No. 1/1 Minnesota past No. 8/7 Penn State, 3-1, as the teams split their Big Ten Conference series on Friday night inside 3M Arena at Mariucci.
Penn State drops to 10-2-0 on the year and 4-2-0 in conference action with loss while the Gophers improve to 8-4-0 overall and 4-2-0 in Big Ten play with the victory.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- For the second consecutive night the Nittany Lions opened the scoring as junior Xander Lamppa (Rochester, Minn.) displayed great vision and patience behind the net feathering a pass out front to classmate Christian Sarlo (Lynbrook, N.Y.) and he roofed the puck for his second goal in two games and the 1-0 edge at the 13:42 mark of the first period.
- The Gophers evened the score with a powerplay tally late in the second period as Mason Nevers redirected a shot from the point by Luke Mittelstadt that found its way past Nittany Lion junior net-minder Liam Souliere (Brampton, Ontario) for the 1-1 score at the 16:49 mark.
- Minnesota gained its first lead of the weekend midway through the third period as Bryce Brodzinski picked the corner from the slot after a failed clearing attempt by Penn State for the 2-1 edge at 6:55 of the final frame.
- Just 66 ticks later a strong defensive play behind the Nittany Lion net led to another goal from Brodzinski as Nelson found him in space for the 3-1 lead at the 8:01 mark.
- The Nittany Lions opted for the empty net with 3:30 remaining, but were unable to mount a comeback and the Gophers finished strong for the victory and series split.
- Souliere falls to 8-2-0 on the year after making 27 saves in the loss while his counterpart, Justen Close, moves to 7-4-0 after stopping 37-of-38 shots in the victory.
- Penn State has now scored first in 10 of its 12 games this season with tonight serving as the first loss in such games as the Nittany Lions are now 9-1-0 when scoring first.
- With his first period goal, Sarlo now has goals in back-to-back games for the first time in his career.
- Penn State held the 38-30 shot advantage but went 0-for-3 with the man-advantage while Minnesota was 1-for-5 on the powerplay.
Penn State returns home to begin a six-game homestand as the Nittany Lions host the Michigan State Spartans for a Friday-Saturday series at Pegula Ice Arena.