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Penn State Hockey: Nittany Lions Snap Scoreless Drought Late In 3-2 Loss To Michigan

by on January 20, 2018 9:53 PM

Penn State hockey's scoreless streak ostensibly reached eight periods on Saturday night until two quick goals in the game's final two minutes put a small asterisk on that fact as the Nittany Lions fell 3-2 to Michigan.

Heading into the contest Penn State was coming off of a 4-0 defeat to the Wolverines the night prior. The game previous to that was a loss to Ohio State where the Nittany Lions managed a rare lone goal at home. That goal came in the first period.

As a result Penn State found itself in an unusual place for the nation's top scoring offense: there were no goals. On Friday night the Nittany Lions weren't as sharp. On Saturday, they couldn't beat the goalie. 

165 minutes of no goals, from a team that scores so many. Generally this could be categorized as a problem.

If there was any indication that the issue had been noticed internally, fans need look no farther than Saturday night's lineup card, which was littered with changes and switches and modifications to try to jump-start the usually potent attack. 

In one sense it worked. Penn State cranked 31 shots on goal to Michigan's 18 after two periods and repeatedly came inches from finding a way back into what was then a 2-0 game. 

With less than 10 minutes to play it turned 3-0.

And yet the Nittnay Lions, with some help from an extra attacker via an empty net, continued to press and two goals gave them a chance with less than a minute to play to tie the game, but they never did. The loss gives Penn State its third straight, but avoids what would have been just the third shutout of the season.

With eight games left to go in the regular season the stakes will only get higher as the weeks go along. It stands to reason that an offense predicated on shooting the puck and crashing the net will find goals in due time as well.

The only question is if they will find them soon enough. 

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