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Penn State Hockey

Balanced Minnesota Dominates Penn State 7-2

Penn State Hockey January 21, 2023 David Hague/NSN

Five players goals scored for No. 2 Minnesota and the Gophers dominated No. 7 Penn State 7-2 Friday night at the Pegula Ice Arena.

Penn State began the game with multiple odd-man rushes, including a four-on-one rush right at the start of the game. But Minnesota goaltender Justen Close stood on his head and made an incredible save in the butterfly position.

Minnesota scored first midway through the first period. Connor Kurth scored on a one-timer, assisted by Rhett Pitlick and Aaron Huglen. Penn State had a chance to equalize on a power play when Huglen got called for a minor holding penalty, but it failed to capitalize. After Minnesota killed the penalty late in the first period, Jimmy Snuggerud scored his team-leading 18th goal of the season on an odd-man rush, assisted by Matthew Kines and Carl Fish.

Minnesota led Penn State 2-0 after the first period despite being outshot 11-8 and losing the faceoff battle 18-12.

Minnesota extended its lead to 3-0 39 seconds into the second period when Knies scored on a one-timer, assisted by Logan Cooley and Jackson LaCombe. Minnesota extended its lead two minutes later when Ryan Johnson scored on a breakaway, assisted by Cooley and Knies, which resulted in Penn State goaltender Liam Souliere getting pulled for freshman Noah Grannan. Things got even worse for Penn State when Carter Shade, its best player on the penalty kill, was called for a five-minute major penalty for roughing.

Minnesota instantly capitalized when Snuggerud scored his second goal of the game on a wrist shot, assisted by Cooley and Luke Middelstadt. Later in the power play Kurth scored his second goal of the game, also assisted by Middelstadt and Cooley.

Penn State finally struck when Christian Sarlo scored on a goal, assisted by Tyler Paquette and Jimmy Dowd Jr. Minnesota answered when Cooley scored an unassisted goal from  behind the net.

Minnesota led Penn State 7-1 after two periods. Minnesota scored seven goals on 23 shots on goal.

The third period was mostly uneventful as the outcome was well in hand for Minnesota. Minnesota killed a couple of penalties in the third period as Penn State went 0 for 4 on the power play Friday night. Ashton Carter concluded the game’s scoring on a goal assisted by Ture Linden and Dowd.

The two teams will face off again on Saturday at Pegula Ice Arena face off scheduled for 6:30 p.m.  on the Big Ten Network.

Twitter: @bwalkerdadon

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