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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Behind a pair of goals each from sophomore Liam Folkes (Scarborough, Ont.) and freshman Sam Sternschein (Syossett, N.Y.), the Penn State Nittany Lions defeated Michigan State, 7-2, in Big Ten Conference action this evening inside Pegula Ice Arena.
The win gives Penn State three-straight, its longest streak this season, as they improve to 8-7-0 on the year and 3-4-0 in Big Ten play while the Spartans fall to 7-6-0 overall and 1-4-0 in conference action.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Penn State started quick scoring a pair of goals in the first 2:13 of the game as sophomore Kris Myllari (Kanata, Ont.) and freshman Evan Barratt (Bristol, Pa.) lit the lamp just 73 seconds apart for the 2-0 lead.
- Michigan State came back cutting the deficit in half as Taro Hirose beat sophomore goaltender Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.) off a great feed from behind the net by Patrick Khodorenko for the 2-1 score at 7:35 of the opening period.
- The Nittany Lions came right back just 49 seconds later as sophomore Liam Folkes (Scarborough, Ont.) beat Spartan net-minder John Lethemon from the left circle over the glove at 8:24 for the 3-1 lead.
- A beautiful breakout pass by junior Kevin Kerr (Bensalem, Pa.) followed by a tape-to-tape pass by senior Trevor Hamilton (Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.) sent freshman Sam Sternschein (Syossett, N.Y.) in on a breakaway and the rookie slipped the puck five-hole for the 4-1 lead at 18:02.
- PSU extended its lead just 53 seconds into the middle frame as Sternschein potted his second of the game on beautiful passing by sophomore classmates Brandon Biro (Sherwood Park, Alb.) and Nate Sucese (Fairport, N.Y.) for the 5-1 lead.
- The Spartans answered as Brennan Sanford found the back of the net at 12:45 of the second period for the 5-2 deficit.
- Folkes then scored his second of the game off a pass from Myllari as he skated into the zone and fired far post beating Ed Minney blocker side for the 6-2 score at 14:35 of the period.
- Junior Andrew Sturtz (Buffalo, N.Y.) added his team-leading eighth goal of the season late in the third period for the 7-2 margin at 14:02 of the frame. Classmates Chase Berger (St. Louis, Mo.) and Kerr assisted on the goal.
- Jones was strong in net making 27 saves including shutting the door on a pair of breakaways and backstopping a lengthy 5-on-3 penalty kill to improve to 7-5-0 on the year.
- Lethemon lasted just 8:24 making five saves on eight shots to fall to 7-4-0 on the year before being lifted for Ed Minney who stopped 25 shots over the final 51:36.
- Penn State held the 37-29 advantage in shots on goal and converted its only power-play chance while going 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
- Penn State’s penalty kill is now 14-for-14 over the last five games.
- The Nittany Lions improve to 10-6-3 in the all-time series against Michigan State including a 6-1-2 record at Pegula Ice Arena and PSU is now 6-0-1 in the last seven meeting in Happy Valley and 8-0-1 in the last nine meetings overall.
- Six players registered multi-point games this evening as Penn State scored seven goals for the fourth time this season and second in the last two weeks.
- Berger extends his point-streak to three games as he ties a career-high with three assists and secures his third multi-point game of the season and the 14th of his career. His other three-assist effort came earlier this season during a 7-5 victory over AIC.
- Sternschein extends his career-best point-streak to three games after a career-high two-goal performance.
- Biro sets a new career-high point/assist streak of three games as he picked up a second period helper on Sterschein’s second goal of the game.
- Myllari registers his first multi-point game of the season and the third of his career with a one goal and one assist showing.
- Sturtz registers his team-leading sixth multi-point game of the season and the 24th of his career while Kerr secured his second multi-point effort this season and the seventh of his career.
Both teams return tomorrow evening at 8 p.m. to close out the weekend series here in Happy Valley.