UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Freshman Evan Barratt (Bristol, Pa.) scored a pair of goals including the game-winner while adding an assist to lift fourth-seeded Penn State past No. 5 Minnesota, 6-5, and sweep the best-of-three Big Ten quarterfinal series this evening inside Pegula Ice Arena.
The win moves the Nittany Lions to 18-13-5 on the year while Minnesota falls to 19-17-2 and are eliminated from the Big Ten Tournament.
Penn State advances to next Saturday’s Big Ten Semifinals and with No. 2 Ohio State and third-seeded Michigan each winning their respective series, the Nittany Lions will travel to South Bend to battle top-seeded Notre Dame in a single elimination contest with a time to be announced.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Penn State opened the scoring just 16 seconds into the first period as senior Trevor Hamilton (Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.) ripped a shot from the right point that was redirected off a stick out front and past Gopher goaltender Eric Schierhorn for the 1-0 lead.
- The Nittany Lions extended their lead as sophomore Liam Folkes (Scarborough, Ont.) was able to finish out front on a rebound off freshman Evan Barratt‘s (Bristol, Pa.) initial offering for the 2-0 lead at 13:01 of the opening frame.
- Minnesota cut the deficit in half thanks to a power-play goal from Casey Mittelstadt at 2:06 of the second period, but Penn State responded with a man-advantage goal of their own as Barratt redirected a feed from classmate Alex Limoges (Winchester, Va.) out front for the 3-1 margin at 4:37.
- The Gophers again cut the deficit in half as Jack Ramsey was able to slot one past Nittany Lion sophomore net-minder Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.) from the low slot for the 3-2 score at 9:31 of the middle frame.
- Minnesota then grabbed its first lead of the game as Rem Pitlick fired short-side high for a goal at 12:48 and Scott Reedy cashed in on the doorstep off a feed from Mittelstadt on the power-play for the 4-3 advantage at 15:21 of the second stanza.
- Senior captain James Robinson (Cochrane, Alb.) ended the Gopher run of three consecutive goals as he finished off a feed from junior Chase Berger (St. Louis, Mo.) during an odd-man rush at 17:50 for the 4-4 score heading into the second intermission.
- Minnesota grabbed the lead again early in the third period as Reedy finished off a feed from Mittelstadt during a three-on-one odd-man rush for the 5-4 edge at 4:00.
- Penn State again answered the challenge taking advantage of the power-play as sophomore Nate Sucese (Fairport, N.Y.) found classmate Brandon Biro (Sherwood Park, Alb.) on the right side of the net and he slid the puck five-hole on Schierhorn for the 5-5 tie at 7:54.
- It was then Folkes finding Barratt again as the freshman skated into the zone and fired a shot low off Schierhorn’s pads and collected his own rebound skating through the crease and slipping the puck past the left pad and into the back of the net for the 6-5 score at 11:25 of the final period.
Jones moves to 17-11-4 on the year after collecting 35 saves while Schierhorn falls to 12-12-1 after making 29 stops in the defeat.
- Penn State extends its winning streak to five games and is now 7-3 all-time in the Big Ten Tournament having advanced to at least the semifinal round in three-straight and four of five. The Nittany Lions have won five-straight Big Ten Tournament games, three against the Gophers.
- PSU finishes the season winning five-of-six games against Minnesota and are now 9-14-0 all-time against the Gophers, but 6-1-0 in the last seven.
- Minnesota outshot the hosts 40-35 while going 2-for-5 with the man-advantage. Penn State went 2-for-3 on the power-play in the game and 4-for-9 in the series and have now scored at least one man-advantage goal in three-straight games and five of the last six.
- With the secondary assist on Folkes’ first period goal, Limoges extends his career-best point-streak to five games and after adding a later assist he collects his third multi-point effort this season.
- With a pair of goals and one assist, Barratt ties his career-high with a three-point effort and secures his third multi-point effort this season.
- Folkes also ties his career-high with three points on one goal and a pair of assists to register his fourth multi-point game this season and the sixth of his career.
- With a pair of assists Berger collects his fifth multi-point effort this season and the 16th of his career.
- Hamilton added an assist after his first period goal to collect his ninth multi-point game this season and the 12th of his career. Hamilton’s 23 assists are also now a new single-season Penn State record for a defenseman passing the 22 Vince Pedrie had last season. The senior’s 29 points are also now just one shy of Pedrie’s single-season defenseman record of 30 from last season.
- Junior Andrew Sturtz (Buffalo, N.Y.) collected a first period assist giving him 40 points on the season to extend his career-high as he becomes just the third Nittany Lion in program history to reach 40 points in a single-season tying Casey Bailey for the second most in a single-season.