Pegula Ice Arena - UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Junior Andrew Sturtz (Buffalo, N.Y.) collected a career-high and Penn State single-game record five points and senior James Robinson (Cochrane, Alb.) registered the fifth hat-trick in program history as No. 17 Penn State defeated Mercyhurst, 7-5, in non-conference action this evening from Pegula Ice Arena.
With the win the Nittany Lions improve to 5-5-0 on the year while the Lakers fall to 3-3-2 overall with the setback.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Penn State got the early jump on this night as Robinson banged home a rebound off Sturtz's initial shot for the 1-0 lead at 2:33. Freshman Cole Hults(Stoughton, Wis.) secured the secondary assist on the goal.
- Mercyhurst tied the contest at 11:09 of the opening period as Jack Riley slapped home a rebound on the right side of the crease off Zach Todd's initial bid for the 1-1 score.
- Then just 1:23 later Taylor Best ripped home a rebound as well off Quinn Wichers initial shot from the left point for the 2-1 lead at 12:32.
- Robinson got the Nittany Lions back even after Sturtz created an offensive zone turnover, he found the puck on his stick near the half wall by the right circle and he fired far post beating Laker net-minder Brandon Wildung on the blocker side for the 2-2 tie at 15:33.
- The captain then wasted little time to tip the hat in the second period as Hults sent a beautiful pass that Robinson redirected just in front of the crease and past Wildung for the 3-2 lead just 29 seconds into the opening frame.
- Penn State then extended the lead after Chase Bergerripped home a rebound after Sturtz was denied for the 4-2 margin at 4:07 of the middle frame.
- Mercyhurst got a power-play tally from Joshua Lammon at 18:12, but then just 46 ticks later it was sophomore Liam Folkes (Scarborough, Ont.) all alone out front for the back-hand flick on the left side of the crease for the 5-3 lead at 18:58 of the second period.
- The Lakers then took advantage of a defensive zone turnover by Penn State and Kane Elliot found Zach Todd and his wrist shot from the left slot found the high corner at 6:17 of the third period for the 5-4 score.
- Mercyhurst completes the comeback to find the equalizer as Kane Elliot punched one home near the right post for the 5-5 score at 12:43 of the third period.
- Sophomore Nikita Pavlychev (Yaroslavl, Russia) tipped the lead back in favor of the hosts with his blast from the right slot off a feed from senior Trevor Hamilton (Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.) at 15:43 of the third period.
- Sturtz then capped the night with a short-handed empty-net goal from the far blue line with just 12 seconds remaining in the contest for the 7-5 final.
- Penn State resumes conference play as they travel to the University of Notre Dame to face the Fighting Irish for the first time as conference opponents on Friday and Saturday evening.
- Saturday's contest will be broadcast nationally on NBCsports at 7:05 p.m.
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