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Penn State Hockey: Nittany Lions Tie 3-3 In Thriller As Ohio State Picks Up Extra Point

by on January 20, 2017 10:44 PM

Penn State tied 3-3 with Ohio State on Friday night as the Buckeyes picked up an extra point in the standings via a seventh round shootout win.

"Everybody got their money's worth I can tell you that." Ohio State coach Steve Rohlik said following the game.

And it was hard to argue otherwise.

A few hours earlier it was a special moment in program history as Penn State took the ice the No. 1 team in the nation. A Pegula Ice Arena crowd arriving early and with plenty of energy, largely dressed in white to catch a glimpse of the top team in the country. This time wearing the Blue and White.

They didn't need to wait long for a reason to cheer either, James Robinson taking a tic-tac-toe pass from Nate Sucese to opening the scoring at 1-0 just 7:48 into the game. The Nittany Lions dominated the opening frame to the tune of 24-3 in shots but Ohio State goalie Christian Frey was outstanding in net all night, making more than a few saves that kept a buzzing offense a bay.

"I think he's a gamer," Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky said afterwards. "He made two absolutely phenomenal saves in overtime."

In truth Frey made phenomenal saves all night long and the effort finally paid off as Josh Healey tied the game 12:21 into the second period, putting the puck up and over Jones' shoulder. Defenseman Vince Pedrie only waited six minutes to respond though, batting a puck out of the air and past Frey to give Penn State a 2-1 lead late in the second period.

From there it was a frantic pace as both teams looked for the knockout blow. Ohio State tied the game 6:53 gone by in the third period and Alec Marsh pushed the lead back out to 3-2 with just under eight minutes to go in regulation. Marsh fooling Frey on the rebound, finding the back of the net.

Just over a minute later Ohio State answered with a tally of its own, this one coming on the power play as David Goodwin headed to the box for roughing. Mason Jobst's goal quieting an energized crowd that was hoping for victory No.17 on the year.

Penn State poured on the shots in the game's final 20 minutes but only managed to beat Frey once in the frame despite 18 shots on goal. Heading into overtime the Nittany Lions would eventually earn a power play opportunity but failed to cash in as Frey continued his strong play.

In total Penn State would get 59 shots on Frey and it was his saves in the eventual shootout that led to Ohio State's victory in the seventh round.

"We've built confidence all year around shooting like that," Robinson said after the game. "So we don't really plan on changing anything about that."

Both teams return to the ice on Saturday night at 7 for another key game in the Big Ten title race, with the Nittany Lions just behind Minnesota who won on Friday night.



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