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Penn State Hockey: Nittany Lions Retake Big Ten Lead With 5-2 Win Over Michigan State

by on January 18, 2015 6:00 AM

Penn State retook the lead in the Big Ten title race on Saturday night behind a commanding third period and 5-2 victory over Michigan State.

The Nittany Lions picked up 4 of 6 points on the weekend and now lead Michigan by a single point in the standings. Penn State is 11-7-3 overall on the year and 5-2-1 in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions were led by Casey Bailey's two goals and one assist on Saturday night.

How It Happened:

Penn State opened the scoring on Saturday night thanks to a Casey Bailey breakaway goal only 1:11 into the game to give Penn State a 1-0 lead. It didn't take long for the Spartans to answer though with a goal just about 3 minutes later on the man advantage as a shot redirected past Nittany Lion goalie Matthew Skoff.

From there is was more back and forth action in front of a packed Pegula Ice Arena but Michigan State once again took a 2-1 lead late in the period with only 23 seconds left in the frame. On Friday night the Spartans scored with 33 seconds to go in the opening stanza.

It was all Penn State from there though as the Nittany Lions took a 3-1 lead with just under 5 minutes to go in the second period thanks to Nate Jensen's first of the year. David Goodwin registered his second of the series just two minutes later to give Penn State a 3-2 lead.

The waterfall of offense continued early in the third period with two more goals in the opening 2:32 of the frame as Taylor Holstrom and then Casey Bailey found the back of the net early on.

Michigan State would get 11 shots on net but Penn State goalie Matthew Skoff stood tall all period and all game turning aside 28 attempts while Michigan State goalie Jake Hildebrand made 35 saves including 15 in the opening period.

It Was Over When:

Penn State scored two goals in the opening 2:32 of the third period to turn a 3-2 lead into a 5-2 advantage with just under 18 minutes to go in regulation. The Nittany Lions scored three goals in the span of the final 2:38 of play in the second period and opening 2:32 of the third.

Stats Of The Game:

Penn State's Casey Bailey scored twice for the Nittany Lions to bring his goal total to 16 on the year. Bailey now leads the nation in goals scored this season. 

Matthew Skoff made 28 saves including 11 in the third period to pick up his 7th win of the year.

Penn State scored 4 goals in the span of 7:33 to take command of the game and a 5-2 lead.

Penn State went 0-8 on the power play against Michigan State this weekend while giving up only 1 goal on 7 Michigan State man advantages.

Players Of The Game:

Casey Bailey scored a goal to open the game and one to close it as the nation's leading goal scorer continued his outstanding season. Bailey registered 5 shots on goal and was +4 on the game with an assist as well. The line of David Goodwin, Taylor Holstrom and Casey Bailey generated 4 of Penn State's 7 goals this weekend.

What's Up Next:

Penn State will play out of conference against Northern Michigan this upcoming Friday and Saturday. Saturday's game will air on the Big Ten Network at 4:30 PM. Eight of Penn State's next 11 games will air on either ESPNU or the Big Ten Network.

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