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Penn State Hockey: Nittany Lions Tie Northern Michigan 5-5 In Hectic Game

by on January 25, 2015 6:00 AM

One thing is for certain, Penn State hockey may not win every game, but the Nittany Lions will make sure that you get your money's worth.

Penn State came back from a three goal deficit for the second straight game to eventually tie Northern Michigan 5-5 on Saturday night.

It was another classic in front of a packed Pegula Ice Arena.

Things didn't start out like a game worth remembering for most fans. Penn State gave up three goals in the first period after getting one taken off the board following a review. The Nittany Lions seemingly scored in the game's opening minute but a goalie interference call wiped the slate clean.

Dominik Shine scored 9:57 into the game after Penn State net minder Eamon McAdam lost track of the puck on the rebound and Shine poked it in. The Wildcats would add another only six minutes later to make it 2-0. McAdam lost track of another rebound and Ryan Kesti slapped it in to the open net.

It was the final goal of the period though -- with just 49 seconds remaining in the frame -- that put Northern Michigan up 3-0. It felt as if the game was out of reach for the Nittany Lions. To come back from a three goal deficit in back-to-back games was a tough assignment, even for the always aggressive Nittany Lions. PJ Musico came in to relieve McAdam for his second straight night of action after McAdam's early struggles.

For most of the second period it looked like the comeback would never happen. But as he had done only 24 hours earlier, Eric Scheid made his speed and presence felt on the ice, stealing the puck and going end-to-end around defenders before slipping it past Mathias Dahlstrom in net for a shorthanded goal.

At 3-1 it seemed like the comeback was now at least possible, but the Wildcats would answer just under three minutes later to retake a three goal, 4-1 lead. The back and forth action didn't stop there. Ricky DeRosa made it 4-2 only two minutes later before Eric Scheid scored his second of the game to make it 4-3 with just under a minute to play in the second period.

Down only a goal heading into the final frame the Pegula Ice Arena crowd rose to its feet in approval of the second period efforts. Tommy Olczyk made the comeback complete only 3:09 into the third period as he tied the game at 4-4. Penn State would get 59 shots on goal including 20 shots on net in two of the game's three periods. It was a night of offense, goals and big hits that made the crowd cheer at every turn. If nothing else it made a non-conference game in the middle of the Big Ten schedule far more exciting.

Unlike Friday night though, the comeback wasn't going to be easy and a Darren Nowick tally just four minutes after Penn State tied the game gave the Wildcats a goal advantage.

Penn State kept pushing, refusing to give up and were rewarded for their efforts. A Dylan Richard's goal with just under seven minutes to play sent the arena into a frenzy as Penn State once against erased a late deficit. 

Both teams worked hard to find the regulation winner and Penn State nearly did in the final minute but it was not to be. The overtime period yielded only 8 total shots for both teams and the game ended in a tie after so much back and forth action. It was a fitting ending to a game between evenly matched teams, although the evening felt incomplete for a game that deserved a winner.

Penn State is now 12-7-4 on the year and will play in Philadelphia next weekend against Vermont before returning back home for a series against Wisconsin.


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