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Penn State Hockey: No. 16 Nittany Lions Escape Comeback Bid, Beat Princeton 6-3

by on December 11, 2015 10:30 PM

Penn State survived a third period comeback attempt by Princeton to improve to 11-2-3 on the year and unbeaten in nine straight games with a 6-3 victory on Friday night. The game marks the only for Penn State this weekend.

The Nittany Lions like they so often do at home, opened the scoring quickly with Tommy Olczyk netting the first tally just 4:19 into the opening frame. It took just 1:57 for the second score of the game to find the back of the net as Olczyk once again slotted home a pass, this time from Vince Pedrie to make it 2-0 in just 6:16.

Penn State dominated the opening period with a 15-7 shot total margin and offered little in the way of opportunities for the Tigers to take advantage of. Matthew Skoff was solid in net making 22 saves and several key stops later in the game. Skoff is now 4-1-3 on the year although his record is not entirely the result of poor individual play.

While Princeton provided more resistance in the middle 20 minutes of regulation it was Chase Berger's 10th of the year that pushed the margin even farther for a second straight goal on the man advantage. Up 3-0 with 10:46 gone by in the period the Nittany Lions were on cruise control.

David Glen provided one final firework in the second period stealing the puck and racing down the ice for a rocket of a snipe above the right dot that glanced off the crossbar and into the net. The goal was Penn State's fifth shorthanded tally of the season as the Nittany Lions killed off a 5-minute major following a Kenny Brooks boarding call and game misconduct. Penn State is ranked second in the nation in shorthanded goals.

Princeton made things interesting though with three goals in the opening 7:31 of the final period to cut into Penn State's 4-0 lead. Now down just a single score thanks to a handful of fortunate bounces, it made things far more tense than the crowd at Pegula Ice Arena expected.

Not to be outdone, Olczyk added his third of the game scrambling for a loose puck with 58 seconds to go in regulation to ice the game. Curtis Loik added another 35 seconds later for the game's final score. 

Penn State enters a brief break in the season for finals now ranked No. 16 in the USCHO poll and 11-2-3 on the year. 

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