|Mason Appleton/Taro Hirose
|David Goodwin/Erik Autio
|Blake Gober/ James Robinson
|Vince Pedrie/Erik Autio
|Trevor Hamilton/Chase Berger
Brett Murray came to Penn State (15-2-1) with some lofty expectations. The 6-foot-5 power forward became the second-youngest player on the Nittany Lions roster after he enrolled early to join the blue and white for the second half of the 2016-17 season. He was expected to provide a boost to an already potent offense.
Now with one game under his belt, Murray is well on his way to meeting, and even surpassing those expectations.
Murray assisted on Liam Folkes’ game-winning goal in the second period as the No. 1 Lions defeated Michigan State 5-2. Murray fed the puck to Folkes in the corner.
From there, the Scarborough, Ontario native took care of the rest. After the freshman forward gathered the puck in the corner of the Spartans’ zone, he made his way to the Spartans net, firing a sharp-angle wrist-shot that snuck through what must have been the perfect puck-sized hole in Minney.
Murray credited his linemates, Folkes and Nate Sucese, for making his first collegiate hockey game go more smoothly. He also praised the Pegula crowd, saying it is easier to play at home than on the road, regardless of whether it’s a player’s first game.
Zach Osburn opened the scoring for the Spartans with his team up a man thanks to a holding penalty against Dylan Richard. Osburn took a cross-ice pass from Mason Appleton then fired a laser over Peyton Jones’ glove.
The Spartans lead didn’t hold for long, as the Lions’ tying goal took an unconventional path to the net. Erik Autio fired a wrist shot from the point which was directed by David Goodwin. The puck fluttered toward the goal as Chase Berger took a lumberjack chop at it, knocking it past Ed Minney’s right pad.
After a sluggish start to the game by the Lions, their offense came alive following Berger’s goal, finishing the period ahead in shots 16-7. It took a while for that shot count to pay dividends, however.
With just over three minutes left in the opening frame, Vince Pedrie found the puck near the blue line in the Spartans’ zone. The sophomore defenseman sent a floater through traffic that eluded Minney as it sailed over the 6-foot-6 netminder.
Folkes eventual game winner extended the Lions’ lead to two goals. Midway through the period, the Spartans pulled back to within a goal while shorthanded. After a blocked shot, Joe Cox was sprung on a breakaway. A nifty move later and Cox picked up his fourth of the season.
The Lions played on their heels for the reminder of the second period and into the third as the Spartans comeback attempt seemed imminent.
Early in the final period, however, the Lions’ leading goal scorer gave his team some breathing room. A rocket from the blue line by Pedrie bounced off Andrew Sturtz’s leg and trickled over the goal line before Minney and his teammates could react, giving Sturtz his 14th goal of the season.
Later in the frame, David Goodwin capped off the scoring with another insurance marker. From the right circle, the Lions’ captain sent a wrist shot on goal that drifted over Minney’s shoulder. One of the Lions’ key offensive weapons over the past two seasons, the goal was just Goodwin’s second of the season.
Stars of the Game
First Star- Vince Pedrie, defense, Penn State. 1 goal, 1 assist.
Second Star- Chase Berger, forward, Penn State. 1 goal, 1 assist.
Third Star- David Goodwin, forward, Penn State. 1 goal, 1 assist.