Men’s Hockey Surrenders Two Goal Lead In 3-3 Tie With Alaska Anchorage

The men’s hockey team played to a 3-3 tie against the University of Alaska Anchorage in the Land of the Midnight Sun Friday night after squandering an early two-goal lead.

Playing the first of two games in the Brice Alaska Goal Rush, Penn State (1-0-2) scored the game’s first two goals in the first 8:37 and outshot the Seawolves 14-4 in the first period. Alaska Anchorage (2-0-1) had a chance to open the scoring three minutes into the game on a 3-on-1, but captain Patrick Koudys saved a shot off the goal line.

After the save, freshman forward Scott Conway retrieved a puck deep in the zone and found junior forward Curtis Loik alone in front of the net, who nailed a shot past Seawolves’ netminder Michael Matyas for his first goal of the season and a 1-0 lead 4:33 into the game. Conway, a native of England, notched his first collegiate point with the assist.

Penn State tacked on a power-play goal with 11:13 remaining in the period to give the Lions an early two-goal advantage. Sophomore forward Dylan Richard blasted a seeing-eye shot through traffic to score his first goal of the season, assisted by seniors Nate Jensen and Taylor Holstrom.

After a minor penalty to Richard for holding the stick with 4:26 remaining in the first period put the Seawolves on the power play, Alaska Anchorage capitalized on the man advantage to pull within one goal at 2-1.

The Seawolves were able to earn two power plays in the first three minutes of the second period, earning a 6-3 shot advantage, but stellar play from goalie Matthew Skoff, including a save on his back during a mad scramble in front of the net, kept Alaska Anchorage off the scoreboard.

Thanks to an 11-2 advantage on the period’s remaining faceoffs, Penn State was able to add to their lead. Junior forward Chris Bailey, an Anchorage native, scored from the left point with 2:07 remaining in the frame, assisted again by Jensen and Holstrom.

In the final period, the Seawolves outshot the Lions 10-2 en route to two goals. Trailing by a goal in the final two minutes, the risky move of pulling the goaltender paid off for Alaska Anchorage, as Blake Leask’s shot through traffic ricocheted off two teammates and into the back of the net for the game-tying goal with 1:09 remaining.

Each team had three shots a piece in overtime, but nobody was able to find a game-winner. Penn State’s sophomore defenseman Dylan Thompson suffered a laceration to his midsection in extra time during a scramble in front of his own net, and was treated by medical staff and taken to a local hospital. The injury required only a few stitches, and he’ll be “alright” according to the team on Twitter.

Alaska Anchorage took the shootout 1-0, giving the Lions their second shootout “loss” of the season. Luckily for Penn State, shootouts do not count in the non-conference season, so the game will go down as a tie in the standings.

Penn State will remain in the Last Frontier for another game Saturday night when they take on the Alaska Nanooks of the University of Alaska Fairbanks at 11:07 p.m. eastern time. The Lions return to Hockey Valley following the game to prepare for a matchup against Holy Cross on Friday, Oct. 14 in Pegula Arena.

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About the Author

CJ Doon

CJ is a senior journalism major from Long Island and Onward State's Sports Editor. He is a third-generation Penn Stater, and his grandfather wrestled for the university back in the 1930s under coach Charlie “Doc” Speidel. Besides writing, one of his favorite activities is making sea puns. You can follow him on Twitter @CJDoon, and send your best puns to [email protected], just for the halibut.

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