Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: The Nittany Lions trailed 2-0, aggressively outshot the opponent, then managed a late comeback. Penn State hockey is back.
With a whopping 57 shots on goal, Penn State proved that it doesn’t need Casey Bailey to rack up the opportunities. Although it started slow in what David Goodwin described as “slap puck,” both old and new faces stepped up to produce offensively and stave off Windsor goals.
How It Happened
Penn State picked up where it left off at the end of last season, outshooting its opponents by a wide margin, but free-flowing defense was its downfall. After one period, the Nittany Lions had a 15-8 lead in shots, but trailed 1-0. With 11:20 to go in the frame, on Penn State’s second powerplay opportunity, Windsor forward Dylan Denomme cut past two defensemen to bury a shorthanded goal past Matt Skoff, which was the only scoring of the period. Penn State didn’t score on either of its powerplay opportunities, and Windsor didn’t score on its one.
The second period started off with Windsor on the powerplay, and though it didn’t score, it used its momentum to beat Skoff again six minutes into the period. An even-strength goal put Windsor ahead by two, but from that point forward, Penn State finally was able to pour on some offense. Just after the period’s halfway point, Curtis Loik barreled down the right side of the ice and roofed a backhander to halve Windsor’s lead.
— Onward Sports (@OnwardStSports) October 4, 2015
The third period started off slower, as both teams fought to establish momentum. Eamon McAdam returned in goal and would stay there for the remainder of the game. The exhibition played out in a characteristic Penn State hockey fashion, though. David Goodwin proved he is doing just fine without Bailey and Holstrom, capitalizing on a deflection down low for his second goal of the game to give the Nittany Lions a late 3-2 lead. With six minutes left to play David Glen lit the lamp on a tip from Vince Pedrie, making the score a more decisive 4-2. With 42 seconds left to play, Tommy Olczyk buried short-handed empty netter to assert dominance and finalize the 5-2 Penn State win.
Player Of The Game
David Goodwin, Penn State’s relic of iconic Bailey-Holstrom-Goodwin line, stepped up with two goals in the game. He is expected to have a big season, and today’s exhibition showcased the beginnings of that. In the post-game press conference, coach Guy Gadowsky said “he (Goodwin) is one that we’re going to need to rely on,” and he hopes to find synergy that mimics last seasons’s first line.
- The first (of presumably many) goalie switches occurred in the second period when Eamon McAdam replaced Matt Skoff, who had let in two goals. Although he faced fewer shots, McAdam accomplished a shutout and looked more assertive in net.
- This exhibition showcased the classic Penn State brand of hockey: stressful, really stressful, then an exciting payoff. The Nittany Lions completely outshot Windsor 57-21 and came back from trailing 2-0 with five unanswered goals. The slow starts are not ideal, but the chances the offense produced as the game were very exciting.
- Young players looked promising, with Vince Pedrie racking up two assists and seven shots and a strong defensive showing.
- Gadowsky said after the game that Zach Saar sustained a lower-body injury in practice that will keep him out for at least four weeks.
Penn State hockey starts its season in Buffalo against Canisius on Saturday, Oct. 10 at 7:30 p.m.