Penn State Hockey

Penn State hockey: Nittany Lions fall to Michigan State in first Big Ten road test

The Penn State men’s ice hockey team put up a good fight but fell short in its first venture into the Midwest and Big Ten territory.

The Nittany Lions were knotted with Michigan State well into the third period before a bad penalty led to a late goal and a 5-3 Spartans win Friday night at Munn Ice Arena.

Tanner Sorenson’s second goal of the game with 5:43 left in regulation proved to be the winner in Penn State’s first road game against a Big Ten foe.

Michael Ferrantino and Kevin Walrod also scored for Michigan State (7-15-3), and Greg Wolfe added an empty-net goal with 16 seconds left.4Tommy Olczyk, Taylor Holstrom and Curtis Glen all found the net for the Nittany Lions (9-13).

Penn State’s Matthew Skoff and Michigan State’s Will Yanakeff each made 27 saves in goal.

Connor Varley’s penalty at 12:24 proved costly, whistled for checking from behind. The freshman defenseman was called for a five-minute penalty and a game misconduct, forcing him to leave the game.

The Spartans, who only held a 32-30 advantage in shots on goal, peppered Skoff with attempts before Sorenson finally put one into the net about two minutes into the penalty.

The Spartans broke the ice with Ferrantino’s goal 12:42 into the first period, the only goal of the frame.

The second period was then filled with offense, with Sorenson doubling the lead at 6:55.

The Nittany Lions fought back, however, with goals from Olczyk and Holstrom. Olczyk’s score came shorthanded, with help from Connor Varley and Curtis Loik, for his second goal of the season. Holstrom then netted his sixth goal of the season six minutes later, with assists from Max Gardiner and Casey Bailey, to tie the game at 2-2.

The deadlock did not last long, with Walrod putting the Spartans back on top 80 seconds later, but the Nittany Lions had a quick response of their own, with Glen scoring a mere 12 seconds later from Justin Kirchhevel and Kenny Brooks off the ensuing faceoff. The goal was Glen’s team-leading 12th of the season.

The game then stayed knotted at 3-3 for better than 18 minutes of game time before Sorenson’s winner.

Notes: The teams meet again at 6 p.m. today in East Lansing, with the game shown live on the Big Ten Network. … Assisting on Walrod’s goal was Jake Chelios. He, and his brother Dean, are the sons of longtime NHL star defenseman Chris Chelios, who is an executive with the Detroit Red Wings. … Olczyk’s goal was the third Penn State goal scored this season while being a man down. The team has not surrendered a shorthanded goal all season. … The game-winner was the 16th power-play goal allowed this season by Penn State. The team has scored only eight with a man advantage.