A penalty in overtime spelled the end of Penn State’s chances against No. 15 UMass Lowell.
Clayton Phillips was penalized for holding, and the River Hawks capitalized with a power-play goal to send the Nittany Lions home with their fourth loss of the season by a score of 3-2.
The River Hawks struck first at 18:14 in the first period. Anthony Baxter put a shot past Peyton Jones and into the top corner after a faceoff win by UMass Lowell.
The team would take the 1-0 lead over Penn State into the end of the period.
The Nittany Lions had to wait a bit, but they found their answer. Evan Barratt notched his fifth goal of the season early in the second period during four-on-four hockey.
The River Hawks matched Penn State’s second-period goal total two minutes later. Andre Lee broke free and was able to beat Jones one-on-one, placing the puck in the top corner to give UMass Lowell a 2-1 lead five minutes into the period.
That lead would hold as the two teams headed into the final period of play.
With 23 seconds remaining in regulation, the Nittany Lions were finally able to find the back of the net once again as Nate Sucese tied the game with a power-play goal.
It was Chase Blackmun of UMass Lowell that hit the overtime game-winner to seal the deal for the River Hawks.
On Friday, Penn State set the tone early by finishing the first period up 2-0 against Merrimack. The hot start got the momentum rolling for the Nittany Lions, who proceeded to put up three more goals in the second and two more in the third period in the shutout victory.
That wouldn’t be the case on Saturday against stiffer competition.
Penn State had opportunities early, putting a total of 13 shots on goal, but no Nittany Lion could find the back of the net in the first period.
The River Hawks managed to score on one of their five total shots on goal in the period to take the lead after the first period.
Power play woes
Penn State’s slow start wasn’t due to a lack of chances.
The Nittany Lions got their first big opportunity at 5:22 in the first period when Colin O’Neill of UMass Lowell was called for hooking. They were unable to convert the chance into a goal.
Penn State got two more minutes of power-play time at 13:18 due to a slash by the River Hawks, but the Nittany Lions arrived at the same result.
The pattern continued in the second period as Penn State couldn’t find the back of the net after UMass Lowell was called for having too many men on the ice.
In what was the Nittany Lions’ last big opportunity to keep their chance at victory alive, they were able to finally rid themselves of their struggles and Sucese scored the game-tying goal.
Peyton Jones receives back-to-back losses
Jones received his second rest day of the season as the Nittany Lions defeated Merrimack and sophomore Oskar Autio notched his first career win and shutout.
Jones wasn’t able to find the same success.
In his last outing, Jones and Penn State suffered a 4-3 loss at the hands of Ohio State. He once again headed home with a loss in Saturday’s game against UMass Lowell.
This is the first time this year that Jones suffered losses in back-to-back starts.
Penn State returns to action on Dec. 6 as the Nittany Lions travel to Ann Arbor for a two-game conference series.