Penn State notched 48 shots through three periods, but could not get a goal past Jake Hildebrand and the Michigan State Spartans as the Nittany Lions were shut out for the second time this season Friday night in East Lansing. Spartans Lee Reimer and Dean Chelios each totaled one goal and two assists on Penn State starting goaltender Matt Skoff. Captain Greg Wolfe added one goal and an assist of his own for the 3-0 Michigan State win.
Penn State sustained some pressure on Michigan State early in the first period but were not able to cash in on their chances against Spartan goaltender Hildebrand. On the other end of the ice, Skoff for the Nittany Lions was busy keeping the game close off of more than a few Penn State turnovers in their own end.
Michigan State got on the board with 5:22 left in the first frame on Chelios’ rebound opportunity that he stuffed behind Skoff’s left pad for the 1-0 Spartan lead. Penn State generated a few more chances in Michigan State’s end but Hildebrand was there for the Spartans. Three minutes after the opening goal, Michigan State doubled its lead to 2-0 after Eric Scheid turned the puck over in front of the net and Spartan captain Greg Wolfe picked up the puck and backhanded it over a sprawling Skoff.
Penn State received the first power play of the game with 1:03 left in the first but could not convert the rest in the second. The momentum swung Penn State’s way though as the team put up 19 shots in the period, but Hildebrand had all the answers for Michigan State. Curtis Loik and Jonathan Milley both had breakaways behind the Spartan defense though were stopped by the glove and right pad of the Michigan State goaltender respectively. The Nittany Lions gained their second power play of the night with four minutes left in the period and while they had their chances, they could not net one through the second 20 minutes.
Ricky DeRosa was injured falling into the boards after he lost an edge on his skate on a Penn State power play in the third period and did not appear to return to the game. No official word has been given on his injury yet. Though there was more up and down action in the third frame, Penn State still had chances but could not crack Hildebrand for the third straight period. The Spartans padded their lead 3-0 as Lee Reimer deked around the Nittany Lion defense and beat Skoff low under the right pad with 4:52 left in the game. Coach Gadowsky pulled Skoff with 3:08 to play but nothing came of the extra man and the Nittany Lions fell 3-0.
Despite the loss, this game marked the first time in Penn State’s Division I team history that the team committed no penalties through the course of the game. On the other side of the ice, Michigan State surrendered three power plays to the Nittany Lions in three periods.
The two teams will rematch Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. on NBCSN in Penn State’s first broadcast on the network in Division I history.