Penn State’s season has been mired by fragility.
Not so much in the physical aspect, but more on the mental side of the game.
Just as coach Guy Gadowsky thought the Nittany Lions had turned a corner and were trending in the right direction, old habits crept back into their game.
Despite a strong performance against the No. 5 team in the nation, the Nittany Lions shot themselves in the foot/endured self-inflicted wounds/(insert your own cliche here) in their 3-1 loss to Minnesota.
Goals By Period
Most notable among those self-inflicted wounds were blatant, unnecessary turnovers, and most glaring among those was one which led directly to the Golden Gophers (20-11-0, 15-6-0 Big Ten) eventual game-winning goal.
After having just killed off a pair of minor penalties in short order, Ben Copeland fired the most interceptable of passes across his own zone. Sure enough, Colin Schmidt was there to pick it off for the Golden Gophers. Seconds later, Jack Perbix deflected home his first of two goals on the night.
For as much as the Nittany Lions (14-16-1, 5-15-1) left Liam Souliere out to dry, the sophomore netminder had a strong performance, stopping 32 of 34.
How It Happened
Midway through the opening period, the Golden Gophers opened the scoring. After Sam Rossini’s point shot was blocked, Rhett Pitlick jumped on the rebound and swept a shot past Liam Souliere.
Near the end of the first, the Nittany Lions leveled the game. Forcing a turnover behind the Gophers net, Carson Dyck fed Ryan Kirwan, who fired home a one timer from the slot.
With under five minutes to play in the second period, the Gophers reclaimed the lead. Colin Schmidt intercepted an ill-advised pass from Ben Copeland and fed Jack Perbix, who redirected the pass off the post and in.
With the seconds winding down in the third, the Gophers survived the Nittany Lions’ last ditch efforts to level the game, with Perbix netting his second of the game into the empty net.