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Penn State Hockey: Nittany Lions Finish Sweep Of Niagara With 5-1 Victory

by on November 04, 2016 11:04 PM

How It Happened:

After Penn State jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead on Thursday is was Niagara scoring first on Friday night, albeit late in the period with just under five minutes to go to give the visitors a rare 1-0 lead. The margin didn't last long though as Andrew Sturtz buried a power-play chance with under a minute to go in the frame to tie the score. 

It was all Penn State from there as Vince Pedrie took a pass from Denis Smirnov midway through the second period to give the Nittany Lions a 2-1 lead. The assist from Smirnov was his second of the game as the freshman would finish the night with three assists to his name and continue his climb up the national points leaderboard.

Up 2-1 after the second period Penn State put on a three goal clinic in the final frame to pull away for the series sweep. It was Nate Sucese netting the first of the period just 32 seconds in to make it 3-1. Then freshman Brandon Biro added his name to the box score minutes later with a score of his own. Captain David Goodwin's tally with just under six minutes remaining gave Penn State the final 5-1 score for the second night in a row. Peyton Jones made 20 saves in net to improve to 6-0-1 on the year. Penn State managed 51 shots on goal for the night.

It Was Over When:

Two goals early in the third period turned the close game into a blowout victory. Sucese's tally just 32 seconds in likely sealed the deal though as Penn State very rarely gives up third period leads, let alone outside of conference play at Pegula Ice Arena.

Stat Of The Game:

Smirnov's three assists helped extend his point streak to nine games which ties a program record with former Nittany Lion Taylor Holstrom. Andrew Sturtz's eight goals also tie for the Big Ten lead early in the season. 

Player Of The Game:

Smirnov was once considered the best recruit to ever sign for Penn State and he has lived up to that billing early and often. Three assists and two goals in the series is a hard stat line to beat, impacting half of the goals Penn State scored in the series.

Up Next: 

Penn State hosts Alaska Anchorage next Friday and Saturday. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. on both nights.

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