EAST LANSING – The Michigan State hockey team battled to a 2-2 tie with No. 16 Penn State at Munn Ice Arena on Saturday night in the second game of a weekend series between the teams.
Matt DeBlouw and Michael Ferrantino scored for the Spartans (7-20-3, 3-10-1-0), while goalie Jake Hildebrand made 35 saves in the tie. After neither team scored in the overtime period, the Nittany Lions took the shootout, 1-0, to grab the extra point in the conference standings.
“We moved the puck way better tonight, made better decisions and we defended well,” said MSU head coach Tom Anastos. “I would have liked to have seen us finish more often than we did because I think that could have been the difference in the game. Goaltending was strong, too.”
The Nittany Lions (18-8-4, 8-5-1-1) got on the board 3:13 into the first on a shot by Eric Scheid when he entered the zone on left side and snapped the puck over Hildebrand’s shoulder.
The Spartans were able to knot the game early in the second as DeBlouw got open in the slot and snapped the puck past PSU goaltender Eamon McAdam.
Rhett Holland kept the puck in the Spartan zone along the right side where it got to JT Stenglein at the bottom of the right circle. Stenglein dished a perfect pass to DeBlouw, who was wide open in the slot, and the senior beat McAdam for his fifth goal of the season, 1:26 into the period.
The Spartans grabbed the lead with 6:41 to play in the second on a power-play tally by Ferrantino. The MSU captain one-timed the puck upstairs off a feed from Stenglein near the right side of the net, beating McAdam to give the Spartans a 2-1 lead.
While the Spartans again created the majority of the scoring chances in the second period, outshooting the Nittany Lions 14-6, Hildebrand was called on in several key moments, including the minute following MSU’s second goal. The Nittany Lions were able to get the puck deep in the MSU end, creating a 2-on-1 in front, but Hildebrand stymied the chance with a great stop to keep the Spartans in the lead.
Eventually, a power-play in the latter stages of the third period helped Penn State get the equalizer as Luke Juha batted in a bouncing puck from the low slot with 5:27 to play.
After a back-and-forth overtime session, PSU’s Ricky DeRosa beat Hildebrand in the second round for the only goal the shootout. It was MSU’s first Big Ten shootout this season.
“It was a good overall game,” said Anastos. “We’re certainly disappointed we couldn’t come up with another goal to win the game. The shootout is a coin toss, but when you lose it, you leave feeling bad. But, it was a big change in performance from last night which is a positive.”
The Spartans will head to Wisconsin next weekend to meet the Badgers in a two-game series.