The Penn State hockey team has one of the toughest schedules in the nation, despite only being a Division-1 team for less than a year and a half. The Nittany Lions have played nine teams ranked in the top-20 during their recent ten game stretch, and even though they are 1-9 in their last ten games, six games have been decided by just one goal. That’s why, despite last night’s 5-2 loss to No. 1 Minnesota, head coach Guy Gadowsky is staying positive.
“I think that every time you have an opportunity like this, you continue to grow,” Gadowski said. “I feel that we are a much tougher team mentally than we were before the weekend started, and you can credit that to this experience.”
The No. 1 team flexed their muscles early, scoring on a power play just 2:25 into the game, as Travis Boyd wristed one over Eamon McAdam’s shoulder from the left circle. Even though the team out shot the Golden Gophers 12-9, Penn State trailed 1-0 going into the first intermission. The second was more of the same, as Minnesota managed to get another goal right at the end of the period to make it 2-0 as the teams headed to the third period.
Penn State, as it has in many games during this brutal 10-game stretch, wasn’t going down without a fight. Kenny Brooks scored off a Minnesota turnover behind the net with just under ten minutes left to cut the lead to two.
Minnesota answered with a goal just 17 second later, and although Curtis Loik scored for Penn State with less that four minutes remaining, the Nittany Lions were unable to generate enough offense in the third to overcome the 3 goal deficit.
Despite being behind for most of the game, Penn State actually out shot Minnesota 38-25, and gained quite a few offensive chances throughout. That’s why Gadowsky was pleased with his teams performance after the game, even though his team fell to 4-12-1 on the year.
“You are certainly happy with our performance (out shooting Minnesota by 13), but the No. 1 team in the country doesn’t need a lot of opportunities to finish, and they did that, so give them credit,” he said. “Are we gonna be eying them next month? Oh yeah. It was a great experience, and we’re happy with our improvement, but not the result. We’re looking forward to getting them on their home ice as well.”
- Check out the full game highlights here.
- Quick stats: Shots – Penn State 38, Minnesota 25. Penalties – Penn State 5, Minnesota 3. Faceoffs – Penn State 40/76, Minnesota 36/76. Saves – Minnesota’s Adam Wilcox has 36, Penn State’s Eamon McAdam had 20.
- 3 stars of the night: 3rd star – Curtis Loik (PSU), one goal and one assist on 4 shots. 2nd star – Justin Kloos (MINN), one EN goal and two assists on three shots. 1st star – Sam Warning (MINN), two goals and one assist on 3 shots.