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Penn State Hockey: Nittany Lions Race Back Late For 3-2 OT Win Against Ohio State

by on January 22, 2016 11:14 PM

For all of the strides Penn State hockey has taken, the Nittany Lions had yet to beat the Buckeyes in Columbus.

And late into Friday night's contest it looked like that accomplishment would have to wait at least one more night as Ohio State took a 2-1 lead into the third period's final minutes.

But a Kevin Kerr blast tied the game with just under five minutes to play in regulation to gave Penn State new life in the game's final stages.

It was Alec Marsh though that finished the deal as Penn State won its third straight Friday night overtime game and improved to 16-4-3 overall just 2:32 into the extra frame. Marsh was the third Penn State freshman to score on Friday as the Nittany Lions continued to get offense from all of their youngest players.

It was freshman Andrew Sturtz's 12th of the season while shorthanded that gave Penn State a 1-0 margin 10:36 into the first period. The freshman continued his sense of timely goal scoring as Penn State took the lead.

The advantage was short lived though as Ohio State scored less than a minute later on the power play, one of five power plays the Buckeyes had all night. Josh Healey picked up credit for the tying goal as he netted the puck past goalie Matthew Skoff who made 38 saves in the winning effort.

With just under two minutes remaining the second frame, Nick Schilkey put the hosts up 2-1 to set up Penn State's need for a third period comeback. Prior to Friday night, the Nittany Lions were 0-3-4 when trailing or tied after 40 minutes of play.

Kerr's late goal set the stage for the overtime winner and with it a chance to sweep the Buckeyes on Saturday night. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM.

A win would at least tie the Nittany Lions for first place in the Big Ten title race, setting up a crucial series against Michigan next week. The Wolverines are not active this weekend. Minnesota beat Wisconsin 4-0 on Friday night giving three teams 18-points in conference play atop the standings.

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