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CINCINNATI, Ohio - The No. 11 Penn State men's hockey team scored five goals in the third period to capture a 10-3 victory over the No. 7 Union Dutchmen in the Midwest Regional semifinals of the NCAA Tournament Saturday at U.S. Bank Arena.
Penn State improves to 25-11-2 on the year and move on to the Midwest Regional Final against top-seeded Denver tomorrow evening at 6 p.m. on ESPNU. Union sees its season come to an end with a 25-10-3 record overall.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Penn State opened the scoring as sophomore Chase Berger (St. Louis, Mo.) threw the puck toward the net from the right side half wall and freshman Brandon Biro (Sherwood Park, Alberta) redirected it over the shoulder of Union goaltender Alex Sakellaropoulos for the 1-0 lead at 11:05 of the first period.
- The Dutchmen came right back just 1:07 later as they took advantage of a defensive zone miscue by the Nittany Lions and Brendan Taylor spun in the right slot and fired off the far post and in for the 1-1 tie.
- PSU regained the one-goal advantage as sophomore Chase Berger (St. Louis, Mo.) redirected a wrist-shot from classmate Andrew Sturtz (Buffalo, N.Y.) below the left dot and past Sakellaropoulos at 13:26, however, Union came back just 24 seconds later tying the score again Spencer Foo received a pass from behind the net and one-touched it past Nittany Lion freshman Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.) for the 2-2 score.
- Penn State came out for the second period flying and freshman Kris Myllari (Kanata, Ontario) blasted a one timer from just inside the blue line off a feed from classmate Liam Folkes (Scarborough, Ontario) that beat Sakellaropoulos high-glove for the 3-2 lead at 1:59 of the middle frame.
- Foo once again tied the score as he registered his second tally of the game on the man-advantage as he sliped through the crease and slid the puck past the left pad of Jones for the 3-3 score at 7:54.
- The Nittany Lions again grabbed the lead as freshman Blake Gober (Colleyville, Texas) sent a beautiful pass to Berger for a tap in goal on the right side of the crease for the 4-3 score at 9:35 of the second period.
- Penn State pushed the lead to a pair of goals after senior Dylan Richard (Sherwood Park, Alberta) fired home a rebound off Myllari's initial blast from the left half wall for the 5-3 lead at 14:13 of the second.
- Freshman Nate Sucese (Fairport, N.Y.) then got in on the scoring action as he banged home a rebound off senior David Goodwin's (St. Louis, Mo.) initial shot for the 6-3 lead at 1:10 of the third period.
- Freshman Denis Smirnov (Moscow, Russia) padded the Nittany Lion lead as he skated up the left slot and fired a rocker over the left shoulder of Sakellaropoulos off the far post and in for the 7-3 lead at 6:00 of the third period.
- Freshman Nikita Pavlychev (Yaroslavl, Russia) then registered a power play tally as a shot by Goodwin deflected off the 6'7" Russian and into the net at 7:52 of the third period for the 8-3 lead.
- Sophomore Vince Pedrie (Rochester, Minn.) then registered the eighth short-handed goal of the season for Penn State at 14:58 of the third period.
- Sucese then closed out the afternoon for the Nittany Lions with his second goal of the game, and his 17th of the season, at 17:10 to make it a 10-3 contest.
Jones stopped 22 shots to improve to 23-9-2 on the season while Sakellaropoulos fell to 22-6-2 on the year after making 18 saves before being lifted for Jake Kupsky in the third period.
- Penn State improves to 14-0-0 when scoring five or more goals and 21-3-2 when leading after two periods. The Nittany Lions are also now 20-5-2 when scoring first.
- With his eighth goal of the season, Myllari ties Vince Pedrie for the Penn State single-season record for goals by a freshman defenseman, which Pedrie registered last season.
- With his ninth goal of the season, Pedrie sets a new single-season program record for goals by a defenseman with nine.
- Berger registered his eighth multi-point effort of the season and 11th of his career while scoring two goals for the fifth time in his career and first since January 14, 2017 against Michigan State.
- Smirnov now ties Andrew Sturtz for the single-season Penn State goal record for a freshman with his 18th tally of the season.
- Penn State records a single-game program 10 goals.
- The Nittany Lions tied an NCAA Tournament record by a team making their debut for goals in a game with 10 and became the first team in 27 seasons to record ten goals in a tournament game (Lake Superior State 10 vs. Alaska Anchorage 3 - March 17, 1990).