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Michigan State Takes Game Two

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It was a solid series split on the road in conference play for Penn State.

Penn State Men's Hockey 2020-21
Penn State Men’s Hockey 2020-21
Heather Weikel

Penn State trailed for all but 2 minutes of the game after spotting Michigan State two goals on their first five shots. In a tough conference that is all it takes sometimes, and the Spartans were able to use the advantage to hold on for a series split.

Freshman goalie Liam Souliere suited up a day after Oskar Autio shut out the Spartans. Souliere gave up two goals in the opening five minutes but settled down from there. Unfortunately the damage was done at that point, as the Lions only cut the lead to one goal for a brief moment in the second period.

Penn State will travel to Ohio State for a series this Friday and Saturday night before returning home for another series against Michigan State.

How It Happened

The teams came out playing a slightly faster style of play then during the 1-0 shutout on Sunday. Michigan State scored two goals on back-up net-minder Liam Souliere that were visible shots that just got past Souliere. On a great day, which Oskar Autio had on Sunday, those goals would have been stopped.

Alex Limoges got the Lions back to within one score with a power-play goal in the second period. It was a nice pass from Tim Doherty down to Connor McMenamin, who tapped it across to Limoges for the finish.

Clayton Phillips was given a 5-minute major penalty for Penn State midway through the second period. After killing off nearly 4 minutes of the penalty, Michigan State scored to increase the lead to 3-1. The Lions were able to escape while allowing just one goal on the major penalty but playing without Phillips for the second half of the game was a tough task.

With 3:54 to go in the second period, Michigan State was called for a 5-minute major penalty of their own on a hit that left Tim Doherty struggling to get back to the bench. The Lions hit the post four minutes into the penalty but were unable to score.

Kevin Wall had a nice scoring chance with 8 minutes to play but Spartan goalie Drew DeRidder was able to keep it out of the net. After giving up just one goal in a losing effort on Sunday, DeRidder turned in another solid night. The Lions continued to swarm in front of the net for the next couple of minutes, desperately trying to get to within one goal.

The Spartans added a fourth goal late in the final period to put a stamp on the win. With the net empty, down 3 goals, the Lions allowed the fifth and final goal. Will Holtforster, a former club hockey player at Penn State, entered the game in net for the final couple of minutes. It was Holtforster’s first appearance at the Division 1 level and although it came at the end of a game that was already decided, it must have been a great experience for him.