No. 14/15 Men’s Hockey Sweeps Niagara at Home
Thursday night it was all Penn State as they dominated Niagara for all three periods, ultimately defeating the Purple Eagles 5-1 and outshooting them 56-25.
Senior Zach Saar (Richland, Mich.) started off the evening just two minutes into the period off of a pass from Ricky DeRosa (Aston, Pa.).
Just about five minutes later, sophomore Andrew Sturtz (Buffalo, N.Y.) used his speed to weave behind the Niagara defenders and net a goal to send the Lions into the second period up 2-0.
Niagara’s lone goal of the night came just under six minutes into the second period, bringing the Purple Eagles within one goal of tying.
However, it was freshman Denis Smirnov (Moscow, Russia) who propelled the Lions toward victory as he scored not one, but two goals in a three minute span beginning just before the 18-minute mark.
Penn State led 4-1 at the start of the third period.
To cap off the first game of the series, Dylan Richard (Sherwood Park, Alberta) received an assist from Smirnov and slammed in a final goal of the night, giving Penn State a significant 5-1 win over the Purple Eagles.
Chris Funkey (Orland Park, Ill.) was in goal for the entire duration of the evening for Penn State.
Friday’s game was no different, but it took some time to get the Nittany Lions up and running. Both teams appeared tired and slow in the first two periods, with neither team taking accurate shots.
However, Penn State picked it up and began showing its dominance after Niagara scored its only goal of the evening at the 17-minute mark.
Sturtz quickly returned the favor as he snuck in a goal with 44 seconds to go, tying the game at 1-1 heading into the second period.
From then on, it was all Penn State.
Vince Pedrie (Rochester, Minn.) netted a goal just under 10 minutes into the second period, the only goal of the second period. Penn State was picking up its momentum, and it was clear that it would be an epic third period.
Just 32 seconds into the third period, Sturtz flew past the Purple Eagles’ defensemen and brought Penn State to a significant 3-1.
Four minutes later, Saar scored his second goal of the series thanks to some superior stick handling in front of Niagara’s net.
To cap off the win, David Goodwin (Des Peres, Mo.) sealed the deal with an assist from Smirnov as he sank the Lions’ fifth goal of the night and tenth of the series, defeating the Purple Eagles, 5-1.
Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.) was in goal for all but 10 seconds of the game, making 20 saves for the Lions.
Penn State out-shot Niagara 51-21.
Next Friday and Saturday, come out to Pegula at 7 p.m. to watch Penn State take on Alaska Anchorage, always an exciting match-up!