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Penn State Hockey: Third Period Pushes Minnesota Past Penn State 6-3

by on February 17, 2017 10:00 PM

Penn State fell 6-3 on Friday night despite a strong first period as Minnesota made the most of its late chances to push past the Nittany Lions.

How It Happened:

Penn State and Minnesota raced back and forth across the ice in a high paced affair early in the game but it was Rem Potlick netting his first of three goals just 6:20 into regulation to slow the pace. It only took just over two minutes for Penn State to answer back, Andrew Strutz slamming home a shot while Penn State played up on the 5-on-3 advantage. Minutes later it appeared that Penn State had taken a 2-1 lead but the goal was waved off for goalie interference.

After 20 minutes Penn State led the shot count 15-8 but chances were far more even.

5:49 into the middle frame it was Nate Sucese taking a beautiful no-look pass from Denis Smirnov, chipping it past Eric Schierhorn to give Penn State a 2-1 margin.

It didn't last for long though as Minnesota answered three minutes later and then six minutes after that for two goals that flipped the script as the Gophers went up 3-2 after 40 minutes of play. Penn State nearly tied the game late in the period but couldn't find the back of the net.

Kris Myllari made the most of a mid period chance, wristing a shot through traffic on the power play, tying the game with just under 10 minutes to go in regulation.

After a second interference penalty was called on Penn State it took only moments for Minnesota to make the most of the chance, as Justin Kloos blasted home a shot from the right circle to put the Gophers ahead 4-3, an earlier goal waved off for a high stick minutes prior.

Penn State pressed and nearly found the equalizer but an eventual turnover ended the comeback hopes as Taylor Cammarata slotted home a shot making it 5-3.

An empty net goal finished the night. 

It Was Over When:

Up a goal with just over six minutes to play, Taylor Cammarata extended Minnesota's lead to a 5-3 margin. The Nittany Lions were facing a tough battle down a single score and Minnesota's second of three goals in the third period finished the job. An empty net tally with just over a minute to play was a formality.

Stat Of The Game:

Minnesota had 21 penalty minutes to Penn State's six, all told both teams went a combined 2-for-7 on the man advantage. Penn State scored a goal on a 5-on-3 but failed to find the net during an extended three minute 5-on-4 advantage. 

The Gophers also blocked 18 shots.

Player Of The Game:

For Penn State it was freshman Denis Smirnov who picked up three assists and two shots on goal as he continues his outstanding debut in the Blue and White. For the Gophers a hat-trick by Rem Potlick (one on an empty net) paced the visitors on Friday night. Eric Schierhorn gets an honorable mention in goal with 40 saves including several key stops early in the game and a sprawling right pad save to keep the Gophers up 4-3 late in the third period.

Up Next: 

Both teams hit the ice again on Saturday night for a 8:00 PM clash as Penn State looks to split the series and stay within reach of the Big Ten title race in the final six games of the year. The game will air on the Big Ten Network.

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