In its first game at Pegula Ice Arena since Dec. 6, the Penn State men's hockey team fell to top-ranked Minnesota, 3-2.
It was the first Big Ten game in Hockey Valley and the first game of the new year for the Nittany Lions (4-11-1, 0-3-0-0).
"At times we looked fantastic, and at times they looked fantastic," Penn State coach Guy Gadowksy said.
Defenseman Ben Marshall scored the winning goal for Minnesota (14-2-3, 4-0-1-0) with 4 minutes, 1 second to play in the third period.
"Two players came in on a two-versus-one. I bounced the puck out of the zone and [Marshall] walked to the blue line and hit it post in," Nittany Lion goalie Eamon McAdam said. "I never saw [the puck]."
The Gophers started the scoring early, as defenseman Brady Skjei got a wrist shot past McAdam with only 2:37 gone in the first period. The Nittany Lions' defense held strong for the rest of the period, even though it allowed 12 shots. Uncharacteristically, Penn State only had two penalty kills in the period.
Minnesota took a 2-0 lead 11:34 into the second period on a power play goal by defenseman Mike Reilly. Reilly hit a wrist shot from the blue line on a pass from center Travis Boyd.
Penn State only allowed one power play goal on six chances for Minnesota.
McAdam kept the Nittany Lions in the game during the second period, as he made a couple of big saves. His best save came during a Gopher breakaway 10:45 into the period. McAdam was in a butterfly split and saved a shot by Sam Warning with his outstretched left leg pad.
With 3:45 gone in the third period, Penn State brought the crowd of 5,999 to its feet by tying the score at two goals apiece. David Glen redirected a shot from Nate Jensen past Gophers goalie Adam Wilcox.
"I jumped up with excitement," junior forward Taylor Holstrom said. "It was a big boost for us.
McAdam finished with 42 saves and said he hopes to build on his performance. His teammates were certainly impressed.
"Eamon stood on his head," Holstrom said. "When he makes the save, it gives the forwards a chance to get an odd-man rush at the same time."
The two-game series will conclude at 7 p.m. Monday night. It will be the first White Out at Pegula Arena, and the game will air on the Big Ten Network.