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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Junior Andrew Sturtz (Buffalo, N.Y.) collected a career-high and Penn State single-game record five points and senior James Robinson (Cochrane, Alb.) registered the fifth hat-trick in program history as No. 17 Penn State defeated Mercyhurst, 7-5, in non-conference action this evening from Pegula Ice Arena.
With the win the Nittany Lions improve to 5-5-0 on the year while the Lakers fall to 3-3-2 overall with the setback.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Penn State got the early jump on this night as Robinson banged home a rebound off Sturtz's initial shot for the 1-0 lead at 2:33. Freshman Cole Hults (Stoughton, Wis.) secured the secondary assist on the goal.
- Mercyhurst tied the contest at 11:09 of the opening period as Jack Riley slapped home a rebound on the right side of the crease off Zach Todd's initial bid for the 1-1 score.
- Then just 1:23 later Taylor Best ripped home a rebound as well off Quinn Wichers initial shot from the left point for the 2-1 lead at 12:32.
- Robinson got the Nittany Lions back even after Sturtz created an offensive zone turnover, he found the puck on his stick near the half wall by the right circle and he fired far post beating Laker net-minder Brandon Wildung on the blocker side for the 2-2 tie at 15:33.
- The captain then wasted little time to tip the hat in the second period as Hults sent a beautiful pass that Robinson redirected just in front of the crease and past Wildung for the 3-2 lead just 29 seconds into the opening frame.
- Penn State then extended the lead after Chase Berger ripped home a rebound after Sturtz was denied for the 4-2 margin at 4:07 of the middle frame.
- Mercyhurst got a power-play tally from Joshua Lammon at 18:12, but then just 46 ticks later it was sophomore Liam Folkes (Scarborough, Ont.) all alone out front for the back-hand flick on the left side of the crease for the 5-3 lead at 18:58 of the second period.
- The Lakers then took advantage of a defensive zone turnover by Penn State and Kane Elliot found Zach Todd and his wrist shot from the left slot found the high corner at 6:17 of the third period for the 5-4 score.
- Mercyhurst completes the comeback to find the equalizer as Kane Elliot punched one home near the right post for the 5-5 score at 12:43 of the third period.
- Sophomore Nikita Pavlychev (Yaroslavl, Russia) tipped the lead back in favor of the hosts with his blast from the right slot off a feed from senior Trevor Hamilton (Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.) at 15:43 of the third period.
- Sturtz then capped the night with a short-handed empty-net goal from the far blue line with just 12 seconds remaining in the contest for the 7-5 final.
Sophomore Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.) stopped 36 shots to improve to 5-3-0 with the victory while Wildung fell to 3-3-2 on the year after a 50 save performance.
- Penn State held the 57-41 advantage in shots, but went 0-for-3 with the man-advantage while the Lakers went 1-for-5 on the power-play.
- Hults extends his career-best point streak to eight games with a pair of assists marking his second career multi-point game.
- Robinson becomes just the fifth Nittany Lion in program history to register a hat-trick joining David Glen (2/8/13), Casey Bailey (1/9/15), Tommy Olczyk (12/11/15) and Denis Smirnov (11/18/16). His three goals and three points are a new career-high.
- Sturtz sets a new single-game Penn State record with four assists on the night collecting his fourth multi-point game of the season and the 22nd of his career.
- Sturtz also passed Casey Bailey for first on the Penn State all-time goals list with the 46 th of his career in the third period. The goal was also his eighth career short-handed goal, which increases his own program record.
- His five points is also a new single-game Penn State record. Both his five points and four assists are also career-high's.
- Sturtz ties Eric Scheid '16 and Dylan Richard '17 for third on the all-time points list at 77 after his five-point effort.
- Berger moves past Tommy Olczyk and into solo seventh place on the Penn State all-time goals list with the 28th of his career in the second period.
- Berger added an assist for his second multi-point game this season and the 13th of his career. His 70 career points also move him past David Glen '16 on the all-time points list and are now good for sixth all-time.
- Sophomore James Gobetz (St. James, N.Y.) collected his first career assist and second career point with a helper on Berger's second period goal.
"Sturtz he obviously did some great things and that accolade of breaking Casey Bailey's record that's extremely impressive and extremely well deserved. It's great that it comes on such a great game for him." - Guy Gadowsky
"Right now, we are thirsty for identity and [James Robinson] did all that. He just appeased the Hockey Gods all night. Every little hard thing, every time he got the puck deep. He outsprinted guys for icings, he touched first, he backed checked so well and when you do those things the Hockey Gods love that and he got rewarded." - Guy Gadowsky
"I think a big credit to all those goals goes to every player I've played with over my two and a half years here. I wouldn't have been able to do it without all those guys and their hard work and getting pucks to the net like they do." - Andrew Sturtz
"It was obviously super cool to put three in the back of the net. However, stuff like that doesn't happen without your line mates and your teammates. More importantly it was just about trying to get back to our roots and our team identity. I'm just happy we won." - James Robinson
- Penn State resumes conference play as they travel to the University of Notre Dame to face the Fighting Irish for the first time as conference opponents on Friday and Saturday evening.
- Saturday's contest will be broadcast nationally on NBCsports at 7:05 p.m.