Penn State's freshman net minder was tremendous. But two shots had already evaded him by the time the clock ticked late into the third period, and the third one was the final nail in the Nittany Lions'attempt to topple the top-ranked program in the land.
No. 1 Minnesota finished off PSU with a 3-2 victory over Penn State in the first of a pair of Big Ten tilts in as many nights at Pegula. Gopher Ben Marshall's laser from the right point snuck past a few Penn State defensemen and McAdam before smashing off the post and into the net at the 15:59 mark of the third to give the visitors the last lead they'd need.
"That mentality of getting pucks to the net," Marshall said of the key to the game-winner. "You got to give a lot of credit to their goalie. He faced a lot of shots tonight, but when you face that many, we get that mentality that one has to go in.
"There was a lot of traffic in front of the net, hard to see, and I'm lucky it got through."
Penn State (4-11-1) trailed 2-1 entering the third after Gophers Brady Skjei and Mike Reilly scored in the first and second periods, respectively. The latter cancelled out a Taylor Holstrom deflection marker that put State on the board for the first time.
It didn't take the hosts long to erase the deficit, as forward David Glen scored his second of the year by tipping Nate Jensen's blast from the point past Minnesota goaltender Adam Wilcox (28 saves) just under four minutes into the third.
Play would stabilize from there, as both sides traded quality chances and defensive zone blunders. But it was Minnesota that had the last laugh, as Penn State could not climb back again after Marshall's bullet.
"It was a hard fought game," Gopher coach Don Lucia said. "Tip your hat to their goaltender, he played very well. We had a lot of good looks, and good rebound opportunities, but he was there to make the save most every time.
"We couldn't get enough of a separation where they were going to make some plays, which they did, to put them back in the game. [The game-winner] was a heck of the shot."
Penn State head coach Guy Gadowsky heaped praise on McAdam (42 saves) after the defeat, and while the goaltender saw and stopped plenty of Golden Gophers' blast on this night — including a terrific 2-on-1 save moments before Marshall's goal — he admitted afterward he never saw the final shot that got past him.
"He was outstanding, he gave us a chance," Gadowsky said of his goaltender. "We didn't get it done for him, but by far his best outing of the year."
The two teams meet again Monday at 7 p.m. and the game will be televised by the Big Ten Network.