No. 14 Penn State (7-1-1) took the ice Friday night against Niagara (0-7-2) in Pegula hoping to sweep the series after a 5-1 win the night before. In a case of deja vu, Penn State would beat Niagara again 5-1 to clinch its second sweep in a row and remain unbeaten in its last seven games.
How It Happened
Guy Gadowsky’s boys started off the game having to kill off a five-minute major after James Robinson received a game misconduct for contact to the head. Chase Berger would be called for a check from behind 16:27 into the first, sending Niagara on the powerplay. The Purple Eagles would jump out to a 1-0 lead after Johnny Curran put one past freshman netminder Peyton Jones with 3:04 remaining in the opening period.
Penn State would get a powerplay of its own a minute later after Niagara’s Nick Farmer was called for slashing with 51.4 remaining in the first. Andrew Sturtz took full advantage, grabbing a loose puck in front of the net and dumping it past Joe O’Brien to tie the game at 1-1 and push his goal streak to three games. The Nittany Lions headed into the first intermission tied 1-1 with a 12-9 shot lead over Niagara.
Sturtz back at it again with another goal! 🔥🔥🔥 1st period ends tied 1-1. pic.twitter.com/FICOoLFXgs
— The Roar Zone (@TheRoarZone) November 4, 2016
The blue and white would get plenty of great chances to start the second period as Niagara was called for two penalties early on, but could not capitalize on either. The Nittany Lions took 12 more shots, but didn’t break through during any of their three powerplays in the second frame.
Penn State was able finally able to beat O’Brien again to take the lead as Vince Pedrie put a Denis Smirnov rebound in the net. The Nittany Lions controlled the puck for most of the period, holding Niagara to three shots while taking 22 of their own to head into the break up 2-1.
Penn State came out hot in the third, as Sturtz showed his stuff again less than a minute in. Zach Saar would keep the momentum going with some great stick work to give Penn State the 4-1 lead on the powerplay after Niagara was called for slashing.
Penn State was great defensively all night, thanks in large part to the play of Jones. He would finish with 20 saves in the victory. David Goodwin tallied his first goal of the season — his 99th career point — with 5:56 left in the third, giving the Nittany Lions a 5-1 lead. The Nittany Lions would finish the game on a penalty kill after Alec Marsh got called for stick-holding.
Player Of The Game
Andrew Sturtz | Sophomore | Right wing
The Buffalo native’s two goals were huge for the Nittany Lions offensively, as he extended his scoring streak to three games.
The Nittany Lions continue their 10-game home stretch at Pegula this coming weekend in a series against Alaska Anchorage. The puck drops at 7:00 p.m.