The hockey team fell 4-1 to No. 7 Minnesota in the series opener on Friday night, marking the fifth straight loss to Gophers at Pegula.
Penn State dominated the first 15 minutes of the game, recording the first 12 shots on goal. The suffocating pressure and forecheck was rewarded with a goal by freshman Dane Dowiak, his second of the season. Dowiak redirected the puck in midair off a floater from Tanner Palocsik. The Nittany Lions managed a few more high-quality chances after the goal but were unable to convert.
After being held shotless for most of the first period, Minnesota snapped out of its funk quickly, with Sam Rinzel and Bryce Brodzinski each tallying a goal on the Gophers’ first two shots of the game. Minnesota took a 2-1 lead and all of the momentum to the first intermission.
The Gophers seized control of the game in the second period, opening up a 3-1 lead with a goal by Connor Kurth. With the wind completely out of their sails, the Nittany Lions took a brutal cross-checking penalty just two minutes later. The Gophers cashed in on the game’s first power play, with Rhett Pitlick finding the back of the net for the 4-1 lead.
Neither team scored in the third period. Penn State had a power play chance early in the third but could not find any rhythm. Any chance of a comeback was thwarted by two untimely penalties in the final 10 minutes of the contest.
The second game of this series is set for Saturday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 6pm on Big Ten Network.