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The Pioneers improve to 31-7-4 and will move on to the Frozen Four in Chicago to take on Notre Dame on April 6. Penn State sees their record-setting season come to an end at 25-12-2 overall.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Denver opened the scoring as Jarid Lukosevicius received a pass from behind the net and cut across the crease from right to left finishing with a back-hand effort past the blocker of PSU freshman goaltender Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.) for the 1-0 lead at 3:17 of the first period.
- The Pioneers extended the lead to 2-0 as Adam Plant weaved through the slot and fired a wrister through traffic to light the lamp at 7:19 of the first period.
- Freshman Nikita Pavlychev (Yaroslavl, Russia) cut the deficit in half for the Nittany Lions as he scored the ninth shorthanded goal of the season and second in the last two nights after banging home a rebound off senior Ricky DeRosa's (Aston, Pa.) initial shot for the 2-1 score at 15:00.
- The Lions struck for the equalizer early in the middle frame as freshman Denis Smirnov (Moscow, Russia) skated through the right slot down to the crease and as he went to center the puck it deflected off a Denver player and past Pioneer net-minder Tanner Jaillet for the 2-2 tie at 2:02 of the period.
- Denver recaptured the lead with a power play tally as a shorthanded odd-man rush set up a 2-on-1 the other way for the Pioneers and Henrik Borgstrom set up Troy Terry for the man-advantage goal and 3-2 lead at 6:30 of the second period.
- The Pioneers extended the lead to a pair for the second time of the evening after Terry fed Lukosevicius in the left slot for a one-timer that tickled the twine at 15:40 of the middle frame.
- Terry then used pure hustle and strength along the half wall to collect a loose puck and find Borgstrom who gave the puck right back to him for the tap in goal at 18:42 for the 5-2 advantage.
- The Lions would not go away quietly as freshman James Gobetz (St. James, N.Y.) registered his first career goal on a blast from the left point at 12:40 of the third period.
- At 17:46, Terry tallied an empty net goal to secure the 6-3 victory.
- Jones falls to 23-10-2 on the year after collecting 22 saves in the setback while Jaillet improves to 26-5-4 after stopping 24 pucks in the victory.
- The Nittany Lions were outshot, 28-27, and were unable to capitalize on four man-advantage opportunities including a five-minute major while Denver went 1-for-4 on the power play.
- Penn State falls to 1-8-0 when trailing after two periods and 0-8-0 when allowing five or more goals on the season.
- Penn State held Denver to five shots in the first period while scoring just the second shorthanded goal of the season against the Pioneers.
- Smirnov set a new single-season Penn State freshman goals record with his 19th tally in the second period breaking Andrew Sturtz' previous record of 18 set just last season.
- Gobetz becomes the 21st Nittany Lion to register a goal on the season and the eighth freshman.
- Kris Myllari and Nikita Pavlychev were named to the NCAA Midwest Region All-Tournament team.