Michigan State (6-19-3) faces vs No. 11 Penn State (18-8-2) for the final home series of the season. Penn State is 5-0-1 against MSU over the last two seasons, and they swept the Spartans 5-2 and 5-3 during their last meeting in January. Michigan State is 2-10-2 in the Big Ten, making them last in their conference while Penn State is 7-6-1, making them fourth.
Penn State Freshman Denis Smirnov is the highest rated freshman with a plus-23 rating. He ended his first semester of college hockey with 27 points in just 15 games. Smirnov has been proven to be a threat as he has also scored only the fourth hat trick in program history.
PSU has a strong start with a goal from Alec Marsh, just three minutes into the game. The Spartans kill off several power plays and keep the score at 1-0 for the remainder of the first.
Senior captain Joe Cox makes it a 1-1 game just 18 seconds into the second period, marking his sixth goal of the season.
Michigan State has gone with a two goalie system, switching between freshman John Lethemon and Junior Ed Minney. Recently Lethemon has been starting over Minney as he did tonight, playing the full 60 minutes.
Lethemon proves to be a force field throughout the game as he makes 36 saves and denies the only breakaway of the night against forward Denis Smirnov.
Penn State leads the country with shots on goal, averaging 46.1, and the Nittany Lions lead the Spartans 39-28 in shots on goal this game.
Michigan State takes their first lead of the night with a goal from assistant captain Rhett Holland, but loses it just 13 seconds later with a quick response goal from PSU center Chase Berger.
Penn State takes the lead back with a power play goal from Dylan Richard due to a penalty on Rhett Holland, and shortly after secures a 4-2 win with an empty net goal from David Goodwin.
The Spartans will face the Nittany Lions again tomorrow for their last home game of the season at 7 p.m.