Penn State Men’s Hockey Downs Bentley 3-2
Shots were the story of the game on Thursday, as the Penn State hockey team defeated Bentley 3-2 in the first game of the two-game series. Despite the one goal differential, the Nittany Lions outshot the Falcons 54-26.
The first period started off with fast-paced action from both teams. After a Dylan Richard interference penalty, Bentley found the net first on the ensuing powerplay. Matt Maher scored on a floating shot from the point that passed through a few screens before ultimately beating Penn State goaltender Matt Skoff.
Penn State didn’t waste too much time answering, however, as Taylor Holstrom kicked the puck off of Bentley goalie Gabe Antoni, where Casey Bailey found it and poked it to the back of the net.
When asked about his line’s great production as of late, Bailey said after the game, “It’s the chemistry. Holstrom and I played together last year. Things are clicking right now.”
Holstrom added, “We’re doing the little things right.”
After a few minutes dominated by Penn State’s offense, Curtis Loik gave his team the lead after deflecting Patrick Koudys’ point shot.
A hot end to the first period translated into a blistering start to the second. The Nittany Lions continued to do whatever it took to get shots off, and capitalized at the 11:07 mark in the period. A scramble in front of Antoni involving Bailey and Holstrom ended when David Goodwin knocked the puck into the net.
The third period began with Bentley taking play into its own hands. An early holding call on Kenny Brooks gave the Falcons a powerplay opportunity, which Max French capitalized on to bring the score to 3-2. The game’s remaining fifteen minutes saw a flurry of shots from both sides, including Loik ripping a puck wide right past a wide-open net. The final few minutes of play went by easily enough, however, as confident defense coming from the Nittany Lions held on to clinch the win.
- Penn State outshot Bentley 18-8 in the first period, most of which came in the second half of the period. The Nittany Lions surpassed that performance with a 20-8 margin in the second period, then cooled down in the third, only outshooting the Falcons 16-10. “I think it’s the way we drive the net,” Bailey said. “When we drive the middle, it makes it easier for us to get shots off.”
- There was a clear effort on Penn State’s part to often bring the puck up the right wing and feed the puck to Casey Bailey in the slot, where he would rip a one-timer. Bailey ended up with a game-high nine shots on goal.
- The Bailey-Holstrom-Goodwin line was all over the ice tonight. Bailey and Goodwin each had a goal and an assist, while Holstrom had two assists. After the game, coach Guy Gadowksy had nothing but praise for the trio. “I’m happy Goodwin scored, he’s been working really hard,” he said. “All three of them have.”
- Despite finding his name on the scoring sheet often, Holstrom’s biggest value comes as the team’s best backchecker. “I believe in the hockey gods,” said Gadowsky. “Those [defensive] players often get rewarded.”
- Penn State moves to 4-1-2 on the year with the win. Gadowsky shared his thoughts on the win, and on their record after the game. “We’ve got a lot of work to do. I like the direction we’re going, but we’ve got a lot of work to do.”
- The three stars of the game were Casey Bailey (1G, 1A), Gabe Antoni (.941 SV%), and David Goodwin (1G, 1A).
- Penn State and Bentley will be back in action Friday night at 7 p.m.