Jan. 18, 2014
EAST LANSING - Lee Reimer's goal at 3:41 of the third period snapped a 2-2 tie and lifted the Spartans to a 3-2 win over Penn State on Saturday night at Munn Arena. The victory gave the Spartans their first Big Ten sweep as they improved to 8-10-3 overall and 2-2-2-2 in conference play.
"It was a good win," said Spartan head coach Tom Anastos. "We came into the weekend with our goal of trying to get two wins and we knew it would be difficult because Penn State competes very hard. We knew the games this weekend would be close and fortunately the script went the way we hoped it would.
"These were important points to pick up this weekend and get us in the middle of the Big Ten race."
Mike Ferrantino got the Spartans on the board quickly, scoring just 1:33 into the game. The play started when Joe Cox worked the puck behind the net to Matt Berry, who directed it toward Ferrantino in front. Ferrantino took the puck on the right side, just outside the crease, made a move to the center and beat PSU goaltender Eamon McAdam with a backhand along the ice.
The Spartans killed a pair of penalties following the Ferrantino goal, but in the final half minute of the period, PSU's Taylor Holstrom scored to knot the game at one. Positioned in the low slot in front of the net, Holstrom took a pass from Luke Juha at the left point and directed it in.
With the score still 1-1 just over seven minutes into the second period, Tanner Sorenson got his first goal of the season and reclaimed the lead for the Spartans. Following some sustained pressure from the Spartans in the PSU end, Jake Chelios punched the puck behind the net to Greg Wolfe, who swept it to Sorenson. Positioned to the left of McAdam near the side of the net, Sorenson fired the puck into the net for his first goal of the season.
"We had a couple of good chances earlier and Wolfie was able to get the puck behind the net," said Sorenson. "I was yelling for the puck and he made a nice pass. I knew I had to get if off quickly."
Penn State (4-14-1, 0-6-0-0) started the third period with 1:37 of carryover power-play time and took advantage to tie the game, 2-2. With 19 seconds remaining on Cox's interference penalty, Eric Scheid scored from the right side, near the bottom of the circle to knot the game.
The game didn't remain tied for long as Lee Reimer scored what proved to be the game-winner just over two minutes later. Dean Chelios fired the puck wide of the net from inside the zone and RJ Boyd threw it back in front to Reimer, who tapped it in.
"We talked right after they scored about taking the momentum back, and fortunately we were able to do so," said Anastos.
A night after making a career-high 48 stops in a shutout, Spartan goaltender Jake Hildebrand stopped 29 shots, including 12 in the third period.
Now 3-1-1 in their last five games, the Spartans stand alone in third place in the conference with 10 points.
The Spartans will be back in action on Thursday against Michigan at Joe Louis Arena. Tickets are available at TicketMaster.com.