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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Junior Andrew Sturtz (Buffalo, N.Y.) tied Casey Bailey's program record for career goals with 45, but No. 17 Penn State dropped a tough 7-4 contest to Mercyhurst University in non-conference action this evening from Pegula Ice Arena.
The Nittany Lions fall to 4-5-0 on the year while the Lakers improve to 3-2-2 overall with the victory.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Lakers opened the scoring just 13 seconds into the contest as they took advantage of a defensive zone miscue by the Nittany Lions and Jonathan Charbonneau ripped a shot off the pipe and in for the early 1-0 lead.
- Mercyhurst then scored a pair of goals just 1:31 apart as Joshua Lammon and Zach Todd found the back of the net at 15:28 and 16:59, respectively, to chase sophomore Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.) from the game.
- Penn State then rallied late in the period to cut the deficit to a single goal as Sturtz pulled the puck back in the right slot and fired past the blocker of Brandon Wildung at 17:32 and just 28 ticks later it was senior Erik Autio (Espoo, Finland) who ripped his first of the year glove side for the 3-2 score at 18:00 of the opening frame.
- Todd then secured his second of the night as his initial shot went off the chest of junior goaltender Chris Funkey (Orland Park, Ill.), but trickled over his shoulder and across the goal line for the 4-2 lead at 3:38 of the second period.
- The Nikttany Lions came right back as sophomore Nikita Pavlychev (Yaroslavl, Russia) jammed home a centering feed from classmate Nate Sucese (Fairport, N.Y.) on the power-play for the 4-3 deficit at 6:09.
- The Lakers extended the lead back to a pair of goals as Derek Barach slipped the puck past the pad of Funkey off a great feed from Jack Riley during an offensive rush for the 5-3 edge at 11:06 of the second period.
- PSU again cut the deficit to a single goal heading into the final period as freshman Alex Limoges (Winchester, Va.) redirected classmate Sam Sternschein's (Syosset, N.Y.) initial shot with his body and past Wildung for the 5-4 score at 17:26 of the middle frame.
- Les Lancaster then sealed the game for the visitors as he netted a pair of power-play goals in the third period at 12:50 and 18:36 to account for the final score.
- Jones lasted just 16:59 and didn't factor in the decision after stopping a pair of shots. Funkey collected 20 saves over the final 43:01, but falls to 0-2-0 on the season in the loss.
- Wildung stopped 50 pucks and improves to 3-2-2 on the year with the victory.
- Sturtz ties Casey Bailey for first on the Penn State all-time goals list with the 45th of his career.
- Funkey earned his first career point with an assist on Sturtz's first period goal. He becomes the third different Nittany Lion goalie to register a point in his career joining Jones and Eamon McAdam.
- Freshman Cole Hults (Stoughton, Wis.) extends his career-long point-streak to seven games after a pair of assists marking his second multi-point game of the season.
- Sucese extends his point streak to six games with his second period assist.
- Sternschein collects his first career point with his second period assist.
- This marks the first time this season Penn State was unable to follow up a loss with a win in its next contest as Mercyhurst evens the all-time series at one game apiece.
Both teams return to Pegula Ice Arena tomorrow evening to close out the season series with a 7 p.m. affair.