STATE COLLEGE, PA. – Trailing by two goals entering the third period Friday, the Gophers men's hockey team rallied to tie Penn State on Brent Gates' two goals.
Unfortunately for the visitors, an overtime followed. And the Nittany Lions won the Big Ten game 3-2 on Vince Pedrie's goal from the high slot at 3 minutes, 57 seconds of the extra period.
It was the fourth goal of the season for Pedrie, a freshman defenseman from Rochester, Minn.
"Tommy Olczyk made a great play [getting me the puck]," Pedrie said during a Big Ten Network interview. "I think he slid that pass right under their winger's stick and the puck had eyes, luckily it went in. Good net presence by Berger, and I'm just happy it went in.
"This is a big win for our program,"
The two-time defending conference champion Gophers came into this series in first place again, albeit by one point over Michigan, and with a 7-1 record all-time against Penn State.
It looked as if the Gophers (8-10, 3-2 Big Ten) might prevail again when Gates scored at 1 minute, 39 seconds of the third period and again at 10:12. Those goals were the freshman forward's second and third of the season.
But No. 14 Penn State (13-3-3, 3-0) dominated the extra period, outshooting Minnesota 5-1 at Pegula Ice Arena before an announced sellout crowd of 6,025.
The Gophers are 2-3 in overtime games this season, and have lost two in a row. Then-No. 7 Harvard beat Minnesota 3-2 in overtime in the championship game of the Mariucci Classic on Jan. 2.
Eamon McAdam had 40 saves for Penn State — and Pedrie called him the player of the game; Eric Schierhorn stopped 36 shots for the Gophers. Those were season highs for both goalies.
Penn State, now 10-0-1 when scoring first in a game, took a 1-0 lead 2:27 into the second period on Zach Sarr's goal during a scramble in front of the Gophers' net. First-line freshman wing Andrew Sturtz made it 2-0 on a breakaway at 6:59.
Tyler Sheehy had a breakaway late in the period that McAdam stopped with a poke check. The Gophers also had a 5-on-3 power play when Penn State took hooking and cross-checking penalties within 15 seconds in the 13th minute but couldn't score.
"We were down 5-on-3 for a minute-45 and they were zipping the puck around, making great plays and [McAdam] was unbelievable," Nittany Lions coach Guy Gadowsky said. "He was hurt at the time.
" We were just waiting for a whistle and the play went on for seven, eight, nine minutes and that time where he was hurt and he just stopped everything."
The Gophers finished with a 42-39 edge in shots on goal in the game — the first time the Nittany Lions have been outshot this season — and the shot difference would have been higher if Penn State had not blocked 22 shots, a season high.
Michigan routed Michigan State 9-2 on Friday, replacing the Gophers atop the Big Ten standings. The Gophers and Penn State are tied for second, two points back.