Men’s Hockey Opener Sees Highs, Lows
On Thursday night, Penn State took on SLU in a half-filled Pegula Ice Arena. Crowds were sparse for Penn State due to impending Homecoming activities and exams. However, Penn State created its own motivation and dominated the game to eventually best SLU, 4-2.
Veteran Dylan Richard (Sherwood Park, Alberta) used a rebound off of newbie Denis Smirnov’s (Moscow, Russia) shot to start the Lions off on a good note in the first period.
Penn State once again showed its first period dominance by snagging the only goal of the second thanks to David Thompson (Glen Mills, Pa.)
The third period saw Saint Lawrence step it up a bit, notching their final goal of the night. Penn State secured its win thanks to an empty-net goal by freshman Blake Gober (Colleyville, Tx.).
Newcomer Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.) was in goal for all three periods and showed signs of intelligent and aggressive goalkeeping. Jones can expect to see more ice time in the future after this successful first game.
Friday night saw a full Pegula Ice Arena and the boisterous Roar Zone (student section) that the team and attendees have come to know and love.
Despite this extra energy and a bigger crowd, Penn State saw its first loss of the season, at the hands of Saint Lawrence.
Saint Lawrence came out firing on all cylinders in the first period, scoring three goals in the first 10 minutes. Some confused defense and shifty moves were all it took for Saint Lawrence to jump ahead with an intimidating deficit for Penn State to overcome.
It was Vince Pedrie (Rochester, Minn.) who put Penn State on the map five minutes into the second period thanks to an assist from Andrew Sturtz (Buffalo, N.Y.).
Fifteen minutes later, Sturtz helped Penn State continue on its quest to redemption by notching another Nittany Lion goal.
Finally, Nate Sucese (Fairport, N.Y.) scored another goal for the Lions in the final moments of the third period, but it was not enough. SLU would go on to score another goal and then an empty net goal to end the game with a 6-3 win for Saint Lawrence.
After being shaken up by the 3-0 tear early in the game, Jones was pulled from goal and returner Chris Funkey (Orland Park, Ill.) netminded for the rest of the game.
Penn State returns to the ice next weekend at Mercyhurst University with their first game on Friday at 7 p.m. Fans can listen to the game broadcast at the Go PSU Sports website.