It was a bad night for the Penn State men’s hockey team from the opening seconds, and it led to another stunning loss.
Mercyhurst scored 13 seconds into the game and took down No. 17 Penn State 7-4 Friday night at Pegula Ice Arena.
The defensive struggles continued for the Nittany Lions (3-4), who have allowed 31 goals in the last six games.
The loss overshadowed a milestone night for Andrew Sturtz, who scored his 45th career goal to match Casey Bailey’s program record.
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The Nittany Lions piled up the shots, with a 54-29 advantage in shots on goal, but did not have enough success beating Brandon Wildung, who had 50 saves.
It was the first win for the Lakers (3-2-2) in the first meeting between the programs. Penn State won 7-0 in Erie last season.
Player of the game
Zach Todd scored his first two goals of the season for the Lakers. His first gave Mercyhurst a 3-0 lead with 2:28 left in the first period, and his second put the Lakers ahead 4-2 3:38 into the second.
Bad night in goal
It was another rough night for Peyton Jones in goal, allowing three goals and making just two saves, getting pulled after Todd’s first score with 3:01 left in the first period. Chris Funkey made 20 saves in relief, and also picked up an assist on Sturtz’s goal.
Sturtz netted his milestone tally 33 seconds after the Todd goal to chase Jones. Erik Autio followed 28 seconds later to make the margin 3-2 by the first intermission.
The teams traded goals through the second period, with the Lakers pulling ahead by two, then the Lions slicing the lead back to one. Todd’s second score got a response from Nikita Pavlychev on a power play. Derek Barach scored for Mercyhurst, and Alex Limoges scored for Penn State.
The lead remained 5-4 until Les Lancaster had a pair of power-play goals later in the third to set the final margin.
Cole Hults had a pair of assists for Penn State, giving him a point in seven straight games.
The teams meet again at 7 p.m. Saturday, closing a six-game homestand for the Nittany Lions.