On Friday night, Penn State managed 48 shots.
Not one of them found the back of the net.
It was a game of missed opportunities for the Nittany Lions who committed zero penalties and out-shot the Spartans 48-24. Despite the stats, the Spartans converted one chance and added an empty-net goal to hang on for a 2-0 win at Pegula Ice Arena.
Penn State and Michigan State played 20 minutes of largely uneventful hockey, which featured no goals or penalties, to open the game. Lots of stoppages slowed the game down and made it extremely choppy, hindering both teams from settling into a rhythm.
The Nittany Lions dominated possession and out-shot the Spartans 16-4 in the first period. However, Penn State’s best scoring opportunities were isolated, and it was unable to find the back of the net.
Michigan State opened the scoring late in the second, as left wing Mitchell Lewandowski and center Patrick Khodorenko executed an excellent give-and-go to put the Spartans on the board. The quick play ultimately caught Penn State goaltender Peyton Jones out of position, leading to the score.
In Penn State’s zone, Khodorenko won the faceoff and found Lewandowski, who’s wrist shot went wide to the right of the net. The puck took a pro-Spartans bounce off the end boards and bounced right to the stick of Khodorenko at the opposite post, who slipped the puck past Jones.
Left wing Logan Lambin added an empty-net goal with just over two minutes remaining, effectively sealing the Nittany Lions’ fate. The loss marks the second time in which Penn State has been shutout at home this season.
In the middle of the second period, two Spartans committed minor penalties, giving Penn State a prime 5-on-3 advantage. The first power play of the game, Penn State put pressure on the Michigan State defense, but could not break through.
The Nittany Lions took five shots during the two-minute advantage, many of which were quality, but Spartans goaltender John Lethemon stood tall. In total, Penn State was 0-for-3 on the power play in the matchup.
With odd-man rushes, breakaways and wide-open nets, the Nittany Lions had numerous chances to score in the final period during even-strength play. The Spartans’ defense hung around the front of their net all night, and went into full park-the-bus mode with six minutes to go in the contest.
The Penn State defense was exceptional, suffocating many Michigan State attacks. The Nittany Lions back line blocked several shots, some of which were prime scoring opportunities.
Jones churned out another dominant performance between the pipes, stopping all but one puck. The senior finished the game with 22 saves and a .917 save percentage.