Feb. 15, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Joe Cox and Matt Berry each had a goal and an assist as the Michigan State hockey team topped Penn State, 2-1, on Saturday afternoon at Pegula Ice Arena in University Park, Pa. Berry broke a 1-1 tie with 5:04 to play in the third when he batted home a rebound to put MSU in front for good, 2-1.
The Spartans (9-13-7, 3-5-6-4) were limited to just 13 shots in the game, while goaltender Jake Hildebrand made 28 saves at the other end, including several key stops early in the third with the game tied at one.
"They defended us very hard and it was tough to get to the net," said MSU head coach Tom Anastos. "I think we were looking to make an extra pass or a fancy play and didn't keep the game simple enough. We kept hanging around and finally got a few pucks to the net in that third period."
The Nittany Lions (5-19-2, 1-10-1) struck less than a minute into the game, scoring from the point off a faceoff in the Spartan zone. David Glen and Dylan Richard teamed to win the draw back to Patrick Koudys, who fired a slap shot past a screened Hildebrand.
MSU got on the board just past the midway point of the second period as Cox, Berry and Mike Ferrantino teamed up for the line's first of two goals on the day. After a turnover in front of the net, Ferrantino slid the puck to Cox on the left side. Cox broke toward the net and backhanded the puck back toward the crease where it deflected off PSU's Eric Scheid and past Skoff into an open net, tying the game at one.
With the game still tied early in the third, the Spartans got a few solid scoring chances, both off the stick of Lee Reimer. Reimer was first stopped on a semi-breakaway off a stretch pass from Brock Krygier, and later hit the post from the left side, just beneath the bottom of the circle.
The Spartans continued to pressure as the period went on and it was again the line of Berry, Ferrantino and Cox that caused havoc in the PSU end, resulting in a goal. Cox started the play with a shot on goal that Skoff deflected away. Ferrantino put the rebound right back on net and Berry got a piece of it with his stick, putting it past Skoff for a 2-1 Spartan lead.
"That line played hard and we tried to get them on the ice as much as possible," said Anastos. "It was probably the one line for us that was going with some level of consistency. I thought Joe Cox was maybe our best skater all weekend."
With the win, MSU claimed five of six points from the Nittany Lions on the weekend. The Spartans will hit the road again next Friday and Saturday when they head to Wisconsin.
"We've been in games like today's a few times where we thought we deserved a better fate," said Anastos. "We had a hard time matching their level of play and we were able to hang around and make the right plays at the right time to figure out a way to win the game.
"We've been on the other end of these games before and winning ugly is okay once in a while."