Redshirt junior Max Gardiner (Deephaven, Minn.) led all players with seven shots, while Nittany Lion netminder Matthew Skoff (McKees Rocks, Pa.) made 26 saves.
Penn State, which stayed out of the penalty box for the first time in its two-year NCAA history, went 0-for-3 with the man advantage. Spartan goaltender Jake Hildebrand turned aside all 48 shots he faced, while Dean Chelios, Lee Reimer and Greg Wolfe led Michigan State with a goal and two assists each.
The Nittany Lions launched 11 shots at the Michigan State net in the first period, but two Spartan goals in less than a three-minute span gave the home team the 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. Before Michigan State cracked the scoreboard, defenseman Nate Jensen (Shorewood, Minn.) generated the Nittany Lions’ best chance, but Hildebrand made a left-shoulder save during the odd-man rush.
With 5:22 left in the first, Dean Chelios, who assisted on Michigan State’s final two goals, gave the Spartans the 1-0 lead. After Reimer’s first attempt was stopped, Chelios located the loose puck outside the crease and moved it around Skoff’s outstretched left pad. Wolfe collected an assist on the play.
The same Spartan line connected just 2:58 later. Reimer found Wolfe in front of the cage, where he moved the puck to his backhand before scoring.
In a scoreless second period, Penn State nearly netted its first goal midway through the frame. Sophomore Jonathan Milley (Gatineau, Que.) slipped past the Spartan defensemen and moved into the offensive zone on a breakaway, but Hildebrand denied his attempt with a right-toe save.
Reimer added his third point of the night with 4:52 left in the third period. After collecting Wolfe’s pass at the blue line, Reimer entered the offensive zone down the right wing before cutting toward the slot and scoring low.
Penn State nearly broke through with less than two minutes remaining and with Skoff pulled for an extra skater. Sophomore David Glen (Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.) received a pass in the slot, but his one-timer was turned aside.
The Nittany Lions and Spartans will conclude their series Saturday (Jan. 18) at 6:40 p.m.
--Penn State Athletic Communications
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