Canales, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
PARK, Pa. - Although Michigan State (4-15-1, 0-6-0-0 Big Ten) fought hard, Penn
State's (16-2-1, 5-1-0-0 Big Ten) strong offensive performance gave the Nittany
Lions their first sweep in 2017.
who entered the weekend ranked No. 4, had few problems handling the Spartans,
thanks to standout performances from several Nittany Lions, including a new
forward Brett Murray made his debut for the Nittany Lions in Friday night's 5-2
victory. Murray arrived in Happy Valley just a few weeks ago during winter
break, having made the decision to give up the remainder of his junior hockey
season to join the Nittany Lions as a mid-year enrollee.
recorded his first collegiate point with an assist on Liam Folkes' goal during the
second period, was pleased with his weekend debut. Folkes' goal widened Penn
State's lead, 3-1.
good," Murray said of his first game with the Nittany Lions. "Especially to get
a win makes it feel even better. It was a lot of fun."
played Friday night alongside freshman Liam Folkes and freshman Nate Sucese.
The forward said he was nervous for his first game in Pegula, but once he got a
few shifts in, his eager energy subsided.
Guy Gadowsky said after Murray's debut that the 6-foot-5 forward was in a tough
spot joining the team in the middle of the season, but Murray handled himself
also noted how sophomore forward Chase Berger was in his element all weekend.
Berger had both a goal and an assist in Friday night's win.
night, Berger and his linemates, senior David Goodwin and freshman Brandon Biro
were fighting hard for chances in the first period, including a shot by Goodwin
that nearly went in, batted away by Michigan State's goaltender Ed Minney.
Less than a
minute into the second period, with Penn State behind 1-0, Berger was planted
between the hash marks and redirected a pass from sophomore defenseman Kevin
Kerr, tying the game at a goal each. Kerr and junior defenseman Trevor Hamilton
assisted Berger's power-play goal.
entered the third period trailing 2-1, but the Nittany Lions were just getting
started. Halfway through the third period, senior forward Ricky DeRosa got the
momentum rolling once again as he tied the game at 2-2.
senior forward Dylan Richard followed suit with a goal of his own, and less
than 10 seconds later, Berger followed up with his second goal of the night.
Freshman forward Denis Smirnov followed with a goal of his own for good
measure, giving the Nittany Lions a 5-3 win.
the toughest part about the weekend was battling a tough opponent like Michigan
State and overcoming adversity.
"I think we
had a lot of adversity last weekend with Ohio State," Berger said. "We kind of
kept confidence in our game and didn't really change anything and I think that
was the same kind of thing tonight. The message after the second was stick with
it and it will come."
ended the night with two goals and six shots on net, closing out the weekend
with three goals and one assist.
was proud of the sweep, but as always, kept his eye on the finish line and the
team's next game.
fortunate enough to sweep in the Big Ten you should celebrate that," Gadowsky
said. "It's tough to do and at this point in the season they're all big wins."