Jan. 26, 2013
East Lansing, Mich. -- - Penn State battled back from an early 2-0 deficit and Taylor Holmstrom broke a 2-2 deadlock with 4:01 remaining in regulation to help Penn State to a 3-2 victory on Saturday. The Nittany Lions earned a series split on the weekend, their first two-game set with a Big Ten opponent. Jake Hildebrand's career-best 47 saves weren't enough for the Spartans, who could not find the back of the net for the remaining 53 minutes of the game after staking a two-goal lead early in the first period.
MSU is now 7-16-3 overall, and has ten games remaining in the regular season. MSU is set to tangle with Michigan next weekend; the teams meet Friday night at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor, and will face off in their annual grudge match at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday.
MSU jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period. The first goal came early, as Michael Ferrantino pushed the puck out to RJ Boyd. Boyd's slapshot from the left point was gloved by the Penn State netminder, but it jumped out of Skoff's glove and into the back of the net at 3:49. At 6:21, Ferrantino sent a long cross-ice pass to Chris Forfar at the near half-wall, and Forfar quickly moved it out to Matt Grassi at the right point. Grassi sent a booming shot netward, and beat Skoff over his glove hand. It was Grassi's first marker of the season.
Penn State returned the favor by scoring a power-play goal 32 seconds into the middle period. Grassi took a holding call late in the first period, and the bulk of the penalty time carried over to the second. Max Gardiner drove to the net, and Hildebrand made the save. A pileup of bodies - including Hildebrand - got tied up on the left side, and the puck squirted out into the slot for an opportunistic Yanis, who had plenty of open net for his third of the season.
At the 3:13 mark of the third, the visitors tied the game on a goal by Casey Bailey. Several players battled for the puck in the right corner, and it came out to Bailey just below the hash mark on the right side. He one-timed it past Hildebrand to knot the score at two.
With 4:01 remaining in the game, a defensive turnover created the Penn State scoring chance; Holmstrom was sprung for a one-on-one with Hildebrand, and beat the goalie low blocker side.
Matt Skoff made 31 saves on the night for Penn State. The Spartans were 0-for-3 on the power play, while PSU went 1-for-4.