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Penn State Hockey: Nittany Lions Sweep Michigan State With 4-1 Victory

by on February 25, 2017 11:20 PM

Penn State hockey hasn't had the luxury of convincing and stress free victories since 2016 turned to 2017, so the Nittany Lions likely enjoyed much of Saturday night's 4-1 win over Michigan State.

That enjoyment started early as Penn State scored three goals in the first period to take a convincing lead into the first intermission. It was freshman Nate Sucese scoring the first of his two goals on the night as he took a pass from David Goodwin, tapping it home with 11:18 gone by in the frame.

It only took three minutes minutes as freshman Denis Smirnov continued his stellar season with a snipe on the power play from the right corner beating Michigan State goalie Ed Minney for the second of the frame.

The third and final goal game with just 50 seconds left in the period as Sucese took a pass from Brandon Biro for his second of the period and the game on an odd-man rush.

With no goals scored in the second period it was Villiam Haag who broke the scoreless drought midway through the third period to put Michigan State on the board with Penn State still leading 3-1.

The momentum and potential comeback bid didn't last long though as Andrew Sturtz picked up his 19th goal of the season just over a minute later to push Penn State ahead once again by three goals.

The Nittany Lions improve to 20-8-2 with the victory and 9-6-1 in the Big Ten securing their second consecutive 20-win season as they are just one-win shy of tying last season’s program record of 21. Payton Jones made 22 saves on the night and improved to 18-6-2 on the season. The Nittany Lions out shot Michigan State 35-23 and completed the weekend series having gone 7-for-7 on the penalty kill.


  • ·        Goodwin extends his career long point-streak to 10 games, which also ties the Penn State record for longest point-streak recorded by Smirnov earlier this season.
  • ·        Sucese extends his point-streak to six games, which is now a new career-high.
  • ·        Smirnov tied Casey Bailey’s single-season Penn State point record with his 40th of the season on his power play goal in the first period.
  • ·        Penn State sweeps the season series against the Spartans and move to 7-0-1 over the last two seasons.
  • ·        PSU improves to 17-2-2 on the season when leading after two periods of play.


Penn State returns home next weekend for a series against Wisconsin with a 7 p.m. puck drop Friday and an 8 p.m. faceoff on Saturday on American Sports Network as part of Senior Night. Penn State sits at No. 9 in the PairWise rankings with Wisconsin coming off of a split series against Minnesota.



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