Foward Connor Maceachern (29)

Foward Connor Maceachern (29) setting up a pass during the Penn State men’s hockey game against Michigan at the Pegula Ice Arena on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021 in University Park, Pa. The Nittany Lions lost to the Wolverines 5-1.

Penn State upset a top-10 team in the country for the second time this season.

The unranked Nittany Lions beat Minnesota 5-3 for its first conference win of the season, breaking its four-game losing streak and moving to 7-5 overall on the year.

Freshman forward Ryan Kirwan opened the scoring for Penn State in the first period, the tally came on a net-front tap past the goalie’s right shoulder.

Kirwan’s third of the season came off a no-look pass from freshman defender Simon Mack, who gathered his fourth helper of the year.

The blue and white nearly exited the first period without surrendering a tally to the Golden Gophers, but gave up the game-tying tally with 32 seconds left in the frame.

Freshman forward Matthew Knies scored his sixth goal of the season, and his third in four games, to knot it at 1-1.

Minnesota and Penn State traded a pair of power play goals in the second period, with the Gophers holding the lead for less than 90 seconds.

Junior forward Connor MacEachern tied the game for the Nittany Lions after Minnesota junior forward Jaxon Nelson briefly gave his team the lead.

Penn State was able to gather and hold the lead in the third period thanks to a pair of goals from sophomore forwards.

Christian Sarlo grabbed the first goal for the Nittany Lions, while Chase McLane gave Penn State a 5-3 lead.

Here are three takeaways from Penn State’s first Big Ten win of the season.

Power play a major factor

Five of the eight goals tallied in Friday’s game came as a result of a power play.

While only four of the five were actually scored on the man-advantage, Copeland’s breakaway goal was a direct result of a one-on-one created by Minnesota’s aggressiveness on the power play.

All four goals scored in the second period, including Copeland’s goal, were a part of this metric.

While both teams proved to be dominant while a man up, it was Minnesota that squandered the biggest opportunity on the night.

The Golden Gophers had a 31 second 5-on-3 chance that it failed to score on in the third period.

In total the two teams went a combined 4-for-7 on the power play, with Penn State going a perfect 2-for-2.

MacEachern makes plays

One Penn Stater played a big role in his team’s win.

MacEachern scored his seventh goal and notched his fourth assist of the season for the blue and white.

The forward’s points came in big spots, too, as he scored the game-tying goal and assisted on the game-winning goal for Penn State.

The junior is now tied for the Penn State lead in goals with seven on the year, with teammate junior forward Kevin Wall, who previously sat alone in the top spot.

Less shots, no problem

Penn State may have lost the battle in the shot column, but it still came out on top.

The Nittany Lions had 26 shots on the game in comparison to Minnesota's 36.

Senior goaltender Oskar Autio came up big for the blue and white in net, stopping 33 shots for his fifth win of the season.

The blue and white were able to put five goals past Minnesota goaltender Jack LaFontaine, an All-American in 2021.


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