Nittany Lions Fall in Shootout to Spartans

Story posted November 25, 2017 in Sports, CommRadio by Tommy Butler

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State men’s hockey team couldn’t quite sweep their second series in a row as they fell to Michigan State in a shootout. Coming off their 7-2 victory on Friday night, Penn State scored with 33 seconds left to tie the game at two heading into overtime.

Ending the series split with a record of 8-7-2 (3-4-2-0 Big Ten), Penn State is happy to continue earning points with their tough schedule.

The first period of the second game saw many chances for the Nittany Lions, outshooting the Spartans 10-6. Penn State’s defense showed up early in the game, preventing the Spartans from taking a shot for the first six minutes of the game.

Neither team had many blaring shooting opportunities apart from a breakaway chance for each team toward the end of the first period.

Penn State put the first goal of the game on the board just under 13 minutes into the second period. Freshman forward Evan Barratt slotted his fifth goal of the year from close range. He was assisted by Brett Murray and Alec Marsh.

The Nittany Lions picked up speed after taking their donut off the board. Another opportunity for Penn State came immediately after the first goal, but the shot sailed wide right.

Soon after Penn State took the lead, Michigan State put their first in the back of the net. Fifteen minutes and 39 seconds into the second period Taro Hirose of Michigan State beat Penn State’s Peyton Jones.

Just over two minutes later Jones was beaten by Carson Gatt for a Spartan lead. Both goals scored on Penn State came while Jones was out of position to play the puck.

In the third period Penn State, took shot after shot at Spartan goaltender John Lethemon. By the end of the period the Nittany Lions had taken 16 more shots for a total of 39. Michigan State only managed seven in the third period for 23 total at the end of regulation.

Twice in the period Penn State looked to be on its way to a power play, only to have one of its own players thrown in the penalty box for embellishment. Brandon Biro and Trevor Hamilton each earned one of the embellishment calls.

When asked about his thoughts on the calls, Penn State head coach Guy Gadowsky had only one thing to say.

“I think this community is obviously a very educated hockey community,” Gadowsky said. “And I think the crowd did a good job speaking for us, and we just played.”

Despite the very threatening attack from Penn State, the Spartans held the lead until the Nittany Lions pulled Jones from goal. With just over 33 seconds to go the puck ricocheted through several bodies before landing on the stick of Trevor Hamilton who slotted it into the goal.

Penn State earned their only power play of the game in the final two minutes of overtime, but failed to convert. The Nittany Lions tallied another four shots and kept the Spartans from taking a shot in the overtime period.

Andrew Sturtz took the first shot of the shootout and slotted it into the upper right corner to put Penn State ahead. Michigan State’s Hirose also scored to tie the shootout at one.

Biro had his attempt saved by Lethemon before MSU’s Mitchell Lewandowski got his top left corner shot past Jones. Finally, Penn State captain Alex Stevens missed his shot high to end the game.

After the game, head coach Guy Gadowsky praised his team’s play.

“The truth is both teams played much, much better than they did last night, us included,” said Gadowsky. “Honestly, very happy with the overall play. Obviously we had two mental lapses, one on a dump-in and the other on an offensive faceoff for us but other than that we honestly played a lot better than we did last night.”

“I’m very happy that the guys showed a lot of grit to get that huge goal by Trevor (Hamilton).”

The Nittany Lions head to Columbus, Ohio to take on Ohio State next on Friday, December 1 and Saturday, December 2.

 

Tommy Butler is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email tommybutler1480@gmail.com.