Fall Sports Wind Down: Icers, Women’s Soccer Pick up Wins
I wrote last week that the key to Penn State retaining top billing in the ACHA’s rankings was special teams success, and while the power play didn’t click, the Icers’ penalty kill was a collective 11 for 12 in a two game sweep of the University of Rhode Island on the road.
In a trend that has been the norm over their first seven games, the Icers got out to a flying start Friday night in a nearly empty Brad Boss Arena, as five different Icers recorded goals in a 6-2 victory. Tommy Olczyk scored twice to reach a team leading six goals on the year, and freshmen goalie Tim Carr turned away 19 of the 21 shots he faced to notch his first victory in a Blue and White sweater.
In a rare Saturday afternoon contest, uneven play was the theme, as a total of nine penalties were called. With under five minutes two play, a pair of were called within a minute of each other to put Penn State in a hairy situation.
However, the penalty kill was again resilient, going a perfect seven for seven while keeping goaltender Matt Madrazo mostly clean, and the sophomore notched team leading victory number three while stopping 21 of 23 shots he faced.
The scary thing about this Icers club is that it seems anyone can score at anytime, regardless if they are playing defense or a forward position. This seems to be a result of coach Guy Gadowski’s up-tempo play, his get-the-puck-and-move-it style. It also doesn’t hurt that plenty of the younger players were recruited to play varsity hockey in a year. So far, it’s working great for a now 7-0 Icers club.
In other fall sports action:
Penn State earned a pair of wins in field hockey action, as their 12th win of the season came in Tuesday’s 3-1 victory over Bucknell. The Bison managed to hold Kelsey Amy scoreless, but the Lions’ star notched an assist. In Sunday’s contest with Michigan State, Penn State scored four times, and the No. 8 Nittany Lions clinched the three seed in the upcoming Big 10 tournament to be held here in State College.
The women’s soccer team rounded out its portion of the regular season with its 11th straight victory in a 2-0 shutout of Purdue. Emily Hurd and Taylor Schram scored the two goals on Senior Night, and Penn State is now off to Evanston, Illinois for the Big 10 Championship. They open play against host Northwestern on Wednesday.
Andrew Wolverton tied the single season shut-out record in Penn State men’s soccer history in a 0-0 draw against Bucknell in the Lions only game of the week. The Lions two games left to improve their seed in the upcoming Big Ten tournament, at Hofstra and at home against Wisconsin on Saturday.
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The close game certainly made things exciting, which is more than you can say about the first two games, but nothing seemed “fun” about watching each team try to let the other win.
Football has its flaws, but it also has the innate ability to bring people together for 12 Saturdays a year.
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