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Penn State Hockey: Nittany Lions Beat Minnesota 5-3 For Series Split

by on February 06, 2016 8:30 PM

How It Happened:

After giving up the first goal of the game on Friday night via the very first shot of regulation, Penn State didn't make the same mistake twice as the Nittany Lions forced the issue in the offensive zone against the Minnesota defense and were rewarded with a goal with just under 10 minutes remaining in the period. Matt Mendelson pouncing on a rebound from a Zach Saar shot to make it 1-0. The goal was Medelson's first of his collegiate career and would eventually help give Penn State win No. 13 on the year when scoring first.

Minnesota managed just eight shots on goal in the opening 20 minutes of play and Penn State was rewarded with a 1-0 lead after the conclusion of the opening stanza.

David Glenn made it 2-0 minutes after David Goodwin was robbed on a breakaway to give Penn State a 2-0 lead with just over 13 minutes to go in the middle frame. Glenn's tally was a power play effort. The Gophers seemingly scored to make it 2-1 but a review deemed the goal no good and Penn State kept the 2-0 lead.

The margin didn't last long though as the Gophers put in two quick goals to tie the contest before Luke Juha made it 3-2 with 9:25 to go in the period.

With 39.7 seconds to go in the frame, Minnesota slotted home a shorthanded goal to tie the game and kill all of Penn State's momentum heading into the final period.

For most of the third period it was a tense contest, the tension finally broken as Zach Saar blasted home a shot from the right circle to give Penn State a 4-3 lead. Kenny Brooks added an empty net goal with 10.2 seconds to play.

It Was Over When:

Kenny Brooks' empty net tally turned a tense final minute of regulation into celebration as Penn State held a two goal lead with just seconds remaining.

Stat Of The Game:

Penn State is 13-0-1 when scoring the first goal this season. The Nittany Lions improved to 3-9-0 all-time against Minnesota and 1-5-0 at Mariucci Arena. The Nittany Lions have now won in all five opposing Big Ten arenas.


Player of The Game:

With the game winning goal and a shot that set up the opening score of the night, Zach Saar made the most of his ice time after being a healthy scratch the past few games.

Up Next:

Penn State continues its run on the road with an away series against Michigan State next Friday and Saturday.

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