Penn State Hockey

Penn State hockey fights off Michigan State’s upset attempt

Talk about a fast response when you really need it.

Michigan State held the lead for exactly 13 seconds Friday night against the Penn State men’s hockey team.

That’s how long it took for the No. 11 Nittany Lions to tie the score again in the third period en route to a 4-2 victory at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Mich.

After just two wins in their last nine games, it was a much-needed road victory for Penn State (19-8-2, 8-6-1 Big Ten).

Dylan Richard scored the game-winner while Alec Marsh, Chase Berger and David Goodwin had the other Nittany Lion goals, and Peyton Jones registered 26 saves.

The pivotal sequence came just past the midpoint of the third period.

With a mass of bodies on the left side of the Spartan offensive zone, Taro Hirose made a backhand pass to an open Rhett Holland in the slot. It gave Michigan State a 2-1 lead, and the team was energized.

But right off the ensuing faceoff, Penn State pushed the puck up the ice, with Marsh’s initial try denied by goaltender John Lethemon, but Berger pounced on the rebound and flipped it over the goalie who was low on the ice.

About 3  1/2 minutes later, the Nittany Lions were on a short power play and putting pressure on Lethemon again. The goalie denied an Andrew Sturtz try, but the puck fluttered above Lethemon’s right shoulder. Richard took a swing on the puck and barely got a piece of it, but was able to take another swing at the still-floating puck and knocked it into the net with 4:33 left.

Goodwin closed the scoring with an empty-net tally in the final minute.

Lethemon made 35 saves in the loss.

Marsh opened the scoring, converting a feed from Sturtz early in the first period.

Right off the opening faceoff of the second period, Joe Cox raced straight up the ice with the puck and scored the Spartans’ first goal. The score was a bit of a shick after Michigan State (6-20-3, 2-11-2) had fired just two shots on goal in the opening period.

The teams meet again at 7 p.m. Saturday.