PSU Icers’ Season on Thin Ice After Losing Two to Ohio
The Penn State Icers came back from winter break by losing two games to Ohio last weekend. With the losses, the Icers’ play-off hopes remain uncertain in a season that has seen Penn State play well below their own lofty standards.
On Friday, the Icers went down early to fourth-ranked Ohio, giving up a goal just four minutes into the game. Penn State let in three more goals in the second period, which forced goalie Teddy Hume out of the net in favor of Matthew Madrazo. Chris Cerutti scored in the third period to make it 4-1, and Madrazo stopped all 19 shots he faced, but it was not enough to overcome the four-goal deficit.
Part of the Icers’ troubles this season are due to uncertainty between the pipes. Hume was the starter to begin the season, and he looked poised to break the all-time Icers record for wins as a goalie. However, after some mid-season losses and after posting a mediocre 3.12 goals-against-average, Madrazo got more playing time. Neither player has played well enough to take control of the starting job, and the confidence of the goalies, as well as the team, has suffered.
On Saturday, Penn State played better, but it was not enough in a 5-2 loss. Ohio got on the board four minutes into the second period, but Tim O’Brien responded with a goal two minutes later. Ohio scored again to take a 2-1 lead after two periods. In the third period, Ohio extended the lead to 3-1 four minutes in. O’Brien netted his second goal of the game at the 11:10 mark, but Ohio scored twice more to win the game.
With the sweep, the Icers fall to 13-7 on the season and remain 3-3 in conference play. Penn State will more than likely also fall out of the top ten in the rankings. With a play-off field of only 16 teams, the Icers will need some quality wins to boost their chances. Penn State plays six more times this month, with five of those games being on the road. All six matches are against conference foes, with two coming against third-ranked Delaware.
Friday: at Robert Morris (PA), 10 p.m.
Saturday: at Robert Morris (PA), 3:30 p.m.