Nittany Lions goalie Liam Souliere stopped 31 of 34 shots as Penn State men’s hockey lost to Michigan State in overtime.
The Nittany Lions offense came out swinging in retaliation to the hard-nosed defense of the Spartans in the first period, outshooting them 14-12. While Penn State did not find the back of the net in the first period, Souliere made sure Michigan State did the same by saving all 12 shots on goal. Both teams went into their separate locker rooms hoping to gain the upper hand in the second period.
Penn State seemed to have more energy than Michigan State immediately at the beginning of the second period, playing an old-school style of rough and tough hockey against the heavily injured Michigan State offense. Penn State soon found themselves on the receiving end of a 5-on-3 power play and refused to be denied with a beautiful laser-beam goal from the freshman defensemen, #24 Jared Crespo, at the 6:11 mark of the second period. Giving Penn State the first lead of the game 1-0. Souliere continued to stand strong in the net, blocking an additional 10 shots on goal to send Penn State into the third period with all the momentum in their favor.
The Penn State Nittany Lions continued to grind away and draw penalties from the exhausted Spartans team. After receiving another 5-on-3 power play, senior center #20 chipped in an almost too-easy rebound and scored for the Nittany Lions, bringing the score to 2-0 at the 2:32 mark of the third period. Souliere allowed Michigan State to score with an easy tap-in shot from Erik Middendorf at the 8:38 mark of the third period. Michigan State continued to add pressure and scored again thanks to a lucky shot by Jagger Joshua with just under 6 minutes to play, tying the game at two goals apiece. Penn State played lockdown defense and took the game into overtime.
Both teams seemed tired, but Penn State could not keep up with the surging Spartans offense. Cole Krygier ultimately broke the stalemate and gave the Michigan State Spartans the win with just over a minute remaining in overtime.
Penn State men’s hockey will be back in action tomorrow night when they continue their weekend series with the Spartans at 7:05 pm.