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Penn State Hockey: Nittany Lions Pick Up Key 4-2 Win Over Michigan State

by on February 24, 2017 10:45 PM

Penn State trailed 2-1 on Friday night midway through the third period. 

13 seconds later the game was tied.

A week ago it was Minnesota breaking the hearts of Penn State fans and players, but six days later the Nittany Lions said no to a second round of "almost" as Chase Berger slammed home a puck to tie the game.

The rest was history.

Just over an hour or so earlier Penn State opened the scoring in a key game in the Nittany Lions' season as Alec Marsh found the back of the net for the only goal of the period. Penn State continuing last week's stout defensive effort holding Michigan State to two shots on goal all frame but taking just a one goal 1-0 lead into the intermission.

The defensive dominance didn't last as the Spartans tied the game just seconds into the middle period, beating Peyton Jones and giving the home team new life on senior night.

As a result the game found itself tied after 40 minutes and Penn State once again faced a challenge ahead. With six games remaining in the season every point and every win counts. As the Nittany Lions look to make their first ever NCAA tournament appearance few things would sting more than a late season loss to a team far from postseason contention.

So as Michigan State took that 2-1 lead it appeared another dose of heartburn was on the menu for the Nittany Lions faithful.

But then Berger tied the game.

A few minutes later Dylan Richard batted the puck out of the air to give Penn State a 3-2 lead, the goal reviewed, but deemed legal. Just like that Penn State controlled the game and in part its destiny.

But fans and players didn't take a breath again until the clock hit 30 seconds remaining and captain David Goodwin found an empty net, and with it a sigh of relief. There would be no heartbreak on Friday night.

As a result Penn State moved up two spots in the PairWise ranking to No. 9, well inside the Top 16 with five games left to play. Both teams will hit the ice again on Saturday night before Penn State returns home to host Wisconsin. The Badgers upended Minnesota to pull even with the Gophers at the top of the Big Ten standings.

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