|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
Penn State (10-2-3) was able to take care of business at home in the first Big Ten series of the season. The sweep and six points that come with it will place the Lions at the top of the conference standings. After an uneven performance along the way to a win on Friday night, the team played one of the most complete games of the season.
Freshman goalie Ed Minney made his first career start for Michigan State after superstar Jake Hildebrand had a tough night in net on Friday night. The Lions didn't allow Minney to get comfortable as Eric Scheid scored with the first shot on goal of the game. David Goodwin and Dylan Richard assisted on the goal.
Things got worse for Michigan State as Scheid scored a goal moments later on the second shot of the game. Scheid was behind the net and threw the puck off Minney on the short-side and it ricocheted into the goal. Less than four minutes into the game, Penn State had grabbed a two goal lead. Richard and Goodwin assisted on the goal again.
A minute later Minney made his first save of the game on a routine dump-in and the Roar Zone gave him a Bronx cheer, erupting as though the goalie made a miraculous play. It is a tough task for any goalie to have one of the loudest student sections in college hockey just feet behind the net, yelling at the top of their lungs. For a goalie who allowed the first two shots of the game to score in his first career start, it had to be overwhelming.
Play settled down for the next ten minutes as neither team was able to score or seriously threaten the net.
With just over five minutes left in the period the Lions turned up the heat once again, controlling the puck in its offensive zone and firing shots on net that challenged the net-minder. Moments later the effort paid off as Ricky DeRosa finished off a great pass from Tommy Olczyk and Zach Saar. Saar made a long pass from half-ice to a streaking Olczyk who then found DeRosa in the middle of the ice. DeRosa was able to control the pass with the back of his stick and then beat Minney on the short side for his fourth goal of the season.
Michigan State showed a great deal of resolve as it forced the pace for the next few minutes, getting some of the best scoring chances of the game. Penn State goalie Eamon McAdam was up to the task, turning away several high-percentage shots. Take a look in slow-motion as McAdam turned away two point-blank shots by MSU captain Michael Farrantino and kicked the puck out of the crease. The puck bounced off Dylan Richard's skate and was heading for the far-side post when Richard and McAdam teamed up to stop it. With several players on the ice and the puck still loose, David Goodwin tied up the only player on the ice that was aware of the puck's location long enough for McAdam to cover it.
The play demonstrated why Penn State has been able to hold opponents to the lowest goals per game in the nation over the past five weeks of play. Three forwards were responsible for defending the net on the play for Penn State and without their gritty determination MSU would have surely scored. Scheid initially tied up the stick of a Spartan forward to keep the puck out of the net, Richard dove to the ice to make a save, and Goodwin allowed his goalie time to cover up the puck. It's noteworthy that the three self-less forwards each already had two points on the day and were still thinking defense first.
With 35 seconds left in the period Zach Saar took the first penalty of the game and the Lions skated short-handed for the remainder of the set. The period ended with Penn State able to preserve the three goal lead.
Jake Hildebrand entered the game in net for MSU after watching the first period from the bench. Early in the period Michigan State scored a power play goal when Zach Osburn took a long shot from the point and it found the back of the net. McAdam was screened on the play and never had a chance to stop it.
The Lions went on the power play three minutes into the period and the man advantage helped to tilt momentum back to the side of the home team.
With twelve minutes left in the period David Glen collected the puck behind the goal, took it to the front of Hildebrand and swept a backhanded shot for his third goal of the season. Alec Marsh assisted on the play.
A few minutes after the goal McAdam made a save and there was a scuffle in front of the Penn State net. Several players were tussling as the referees attempted to separate them. Following the scrum the teams were handed matching penalties and skated four on four for the next two minutes.
The players settled down after the penalties, playing hard but no longer chippy. Action went from one end of the ice to the other with each goalie facing very difficult shots. With five minutes left in the frame Kenny Brooks beat Hildebrand for his fifth goal of the season. Curtis Loik and Mike Williamson were credited with an assist.
Following the period the 3rd Annual Teddy Bear Toss took place. All of the bears tossed on the ice will be donated to THON.
Play continued to be fast and exciting at the start of the final period. The teams skated with purpose and there were few whistles. Four minutes in MSU was called for goaltender interference when David Goodwin had a breakaway and Hildebrand used his stick to slow Goodwin down following the shot.
Michigan State was able to kill the penalty but with time running out it was handed another penalty for tripping. The Lions peppered the goalie with quality shots but were not able to score with the man advantage.
With five minutes remaining in the game Eric Scheid had a breakaway chance to score for the third time but was denied. Soon after Penn State went on the power play as MSU began to lose its composure. The Spartans took a second penalty and were forced to skate down two men.
Vince Pedrie made it count when he blasted a one-timer past Hildebrand off a pass from Erik Autio.
With one minute left in the game Eric Scheid made a horrible mistake when he punched a Michigan State player from behind following a scuffle. Scheid received a five minute game misconduct and will have to sit out the next game with Princeton on Friday.
- Penn State will host Princeton on Friday at 7 p.m. for the final game before Christmas break. The team will face-off with Robert Morris at the Three Rivers Classic in Pittsburgh on December 28 following the break.
- Eamon McAdam now holds a record of 7-1 on the season and a goals against average of 2.00.
- The Lions collected its tenth win of the season five weeks earlier than it did last year.