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Penn State Hockey: Buckeyes Upend Nittany Lions 5-3 Friday Night

by on February 28, 2015 6:00 AM

Penn State scored 31 seconds into Friday night's contest but couldn't overcome mistakes and penalties as the Buckeyes capitalized for a 5-3 victory.

Tommy Olczyk's strike in front of the open net started off the night on the right foot, giving Penn State an early 1-0 lead. The Nittany Lions headed into Friday's game 11-2-1 when scoring the first goal of the night. The goal wasn't the fastest goal in program history though. Casey Bailey holds that honor at a lightning fast 13 seconds.

Either way, Penn State controlled much of the early action. The Nittany Lions got seven shots on goal in the opening seven minutes of play. Back and forth action highlighted the opening period until both teams took hooking and holding penalties to start off some 4-on-4 action late in the period.

It was Ohio State that made the most of the open ice, scoring with 5:34 remaining in the first period. Penn State was able to kill off another penalty late in the frame to avoid going down 2-1 heading into the intermission.

PJ Musico was once again in net for the Nittany Lions and made 12 saves in the first period. Both teams got off plenty of shots with Penn State leading in that department by a slim 15-13 margin.

The mistakes continued though and an early tripping penalty by Casey Bailey sent Ohio State back on the advantage. It didn't take long for the goal to follow as the Buckeyes went up 2-1 just over a minute into the second period. Musico would make a breakaway save only minutes later to prevent a 3-1 margin. It was only a temporary reprieve. The Buckeyes added another goal with 7:47 to go in the period. 

Dylan Richard kept things within reach just a minute later to make it 3-2 in favor of the hosts but plenty close for a Nittany Lion team known for its comebacks. Neither team scored again in the final seven minute of the second period but both generated good chances on goal that could have been game changers.

Penn State looked for the tying goal and nearly found it but couldn't connect in front of net. The Nittany Lions worked hard to open the third period, but a blast from near the blue line found its way through traffic and in behind Musico to make it 4-2 Ohio State with 11:58 to go in the game.

Ohio State added another goal 57 seconds later to make it 5-2. Penn State tried its best to mount another comeback. A Patrick Koudys' blast with 5:15 to go was too little too late.

The Nittany Lions return to action on Saturday night at 7 p.m. in what will be a key rematch with the Buckeyes.

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Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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