Momentum was the name of the game Friday night as the Penn State men's ice hockey team played host to Michigan State at a sold out Pegula Ice Arena.
The game ended in a 2-2 draw, but in keeping with Big Ten rules, there was a shootout. It was the Nittany Lions' first Big Ten shootout, and it went seven rounds before the Spartans emerged with the extra point on a Brent Darnell goal.
David Glen had a chance to tie the shootout as the Nittany Lions shot second, but he failed to come up with a point.
Penn State forward Dylan Richard said it was good experience for the team to go to the shootout - only the second in the program's history and the first against a Big Ten opponent.
"The crowd was crazy," Richard said. "It didn't go the right way, but it was still fun."
Penn State (5-18-2, 1-9-1-0) had a 2-1 lead going into the third period, but the momentum shifted when Ricky DeRosa was called for goaltender interference and David Glen was called for holding, giving the Spartans a 5-on-3 advantage with 7 minutes, 44 seconds gone in the period.
The penalties gave the Spartans (8-13-7, 2-5-6-4) a two-man advantage for nearly two minutes, but Penn State was able to hold them off to maintain its one-goal lead.
"During the 5-on-3, we didn't create dangerous chances at all," Michigan State head coach Tom Anastos said. "They won the special teams."
But the Nittany Lions weren't entirely satisfied, either. They had hoped to parlay their success on the penalty-kill into an offensive surge, but that didn't happen.
"When you kill off two big penalties, you want to harness that momentum and use it in our favor," DeRosa said. "We could have done a better job with that."
Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky said he was surprised the Lions didn't come out a little bit more hungry in the third period. But he was happy with the performance of the special teams, as Penn State killed six penalties.
The Spartans broke open a scoreless game four minutes into the second period. Center Lee Reimer went one-on-one with Penn State goalie Matthew Skoff just as Michigan State killed a penalty. Reimer fired a low wrist shot stick side.
Penn State responded by tying the score just under five minutes later on a goal by DeRosa.
"Eric Scheid caused a turnover, and [Casey] Bailey was crashing the net, so I figure, find the high space, the open space," DeRosa said. "I tried making a little play and saw net. I toe-dragged around him and shot it. It tied the game up, so it was big for us."
Just over a minute later, the Nittany Lions got the go-ahead goal by Richard on a power play.
"Right off the faceoff, David Glen did a good job and popped it back to Bailey. He kinda walked the line, put in on net and I just kinda tapped it in," Richard said.
Penn State gave up the tying goal with 3:54 to go in the game. Michigan State's Michael Ferrantino scored after a pad save by Skoff bounced right in front of the net where Ferrantino was crashing.
The Nittany Lions, whose previous shootout was a 2-0 loss to RIT on Oct. 25, are now 0-2-1 against Michigan State this season. The teams will meet again, for the final time during the regular season, at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Pegula. The game will air on ESPNews.