Penn State Hockey

Minnesota thumps Penn State men’s hockey

The Penn State men’s hockey team had another disappointing performance Friday night.

No. 7 Minnesota overpowered the No. 6 Nittany Lions 5-1 at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score.

Rem Pitlick scored a pair of goals and Tyler Sheehy had a goal and two assists to lead the Golden Gophers (16-7-2, 7-2 Big Ten), who remained tied with Wisconsin atop the Big Ten. Vinni Lettieri and Mike Szmatula also scored goals and Eric Schierhorn stopped 28 of the 29 shots he faced. The shot total was a season-low for Penn State.

Trevor Hamilton scored the lone goal for the Nittany Lions (16-5-2, 5-3-1), who are winless in their last four games.

In his first Big Ten start, and just his third career start, sophomore Chris Funkey made 25 stops. Funkey started in place of freshman Peyton Jones, who has struggled in his past few starts.

Funkey’s biggest save came late in the second period, denying Lettieri on a breakaway as he stepped out of the penalty box.

Littieri looked like he had a goal earlier in the first, ringing a rocket off the post, but netted the first goal of the game with 2:38 left in the period, settling a bouncing puck before he beat Funkey.

Pitlick had back-to-back goals in the first five minutes of the second, knocking in a pair of rebounds.

Hamilton finally got the Nittany Lions on the board with a rocket shot from the high slot with help from David Goodwin and Andrew Sturtz.

The comeback momentum disappeared at the end of the second, when Justin Kloos set up Sheehy on a beautiful 2 on 1, give-and-go break with 4.1 seconds left, and Szmatula closed the scoring with a late power play goal.

The teams tangle again at 8 p.m. Saturday.