EAST LANSING, Mich. – Freshman Connor McMenamin (Collegeville, Pa.) netted the golden goal just 39 seconds into overtime as No. 9 Penn State defeated No. 19 Michigan State, 2-1, in Big Ten Conference action on Saturday night at Munn Ice Arena.
With the victory the Nittany Lions snap a four-game Big Ten winless streak and improve to 17-8-1 on the year and 9-6-1-0 in conference play while the Spartans fall to 13-12-1 overall and 9-6-1-0 in Big Ten action.
HOW IT HAPPENED
* After a scoreless first period, Penn State got on the board first late in the second period as senior Nate Sucese (Fairport, N.Y.) collected a pass from sophomore Aarne Talvitie (Espoo, Finland) at the right circle and spun firing a rocket over the glove of MSU net-minder John Lethemon for the 1-0 lead at 19:17 of the middle frame.
* MSU evened things early in the third period with a shorthanded goal as Tommy Apap broke in all alone and fired over the shoulder of PSU senior goaltender Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.) for the 1-1 score just 23 seconds into the stanza.
* Just 39 seconds into the extra session Sucese found Hults in the high-slot and after his initial bid was blocked down McMenamin corralled the loose puck in the low-slot and ripped a shot over the shoulder of Lethemon for the 2-1 victory.
Jones was strong all night making 42 saves to improve to 15-7-0 on the year while Lethemon falls to 13-9-1 after stopping 31 shots.
* Michigan State held the 43-33 edge in shots, but went 0-for-3 on the power-play while the Penn State was 0-for-1 with the man-advantage.
* Apap’s third-period shorty was just the second allowed this season by Penn State and the first since Michigan’s Luke Morgan tallied a shorthanded goal on December 6, 2019.
* McMenamin’s overtime goal marks his third game-winning goal this season to tie for the team lead.
* Penn State improves to 1-1-1 on the year in overtime games with the victory and move back into a tie with Michigan State with 28 points for first place in the Big Ten with Ohio State two points back, but still to play later tonight.
* Hults collected his second-straight multi-point game with a pair of assists securing his seventh multi-point effort this season and the 19th of his career. He now moves within six points of the Penn State single-season defenseman record.
* Sucese added his seventh multi-point effort this season and the 30th of his career with one goal and one assist on the night.
* Penn State improves to 14-1-1 when scoring first and remain unbeaten when leading after two periods moving to 13-0-1 in such games.
The Nittany Lions return home for a Big Ten Conference series against Notre Dame next Friday and Saturday with the series finale serving as the Hockey Valley White Rush where fans are encouraged to wear white and Penn State will don football themed White Rush uniforms.