Penn State Men’s Hockey Wins 4-1, Splits Series With Ohio State
After a thrilling 5-4 overtime loss to the Buckeyes on Friday night, the Nittany Lions (10-7-2, 4-2 Big Ten) followed up the performance with a 4-1 win on Saturday. Eric Schied added two goals, including an empty-netter, while Curtis Loik and David Goodwin each tallied a goal to pace the potent Penn State offense. The teams finished the weekend with a series split in early Big Ten play to remain atop the Big Ten standings with Michigan.
How it happened
The first game of the series saw a scoreless first period, and ended with Penn State outshooting its opponents 18-8. This game saw a more even showing from both sides, and ended with a shot differential of 14-8, in favor of the Nittany Lions.
Penn State opened the period with a litany of icing calls in the first five minutes of the game. After the sloppy start, the team began building momentum and the following ten minutes were a great display of up-tempo, two-way hockey.
With 5:45 left in the period, a tripping call by freshman forward Scott Conway gave Ohio State the first powerplay advantage of the night. The successful penalty kill shifted momentum Penn State’s way, and led to an elbowing call with just over two minutes left in the frame when Ohio State’s Josh Healey made contact with Tommy Olczyk’s head in front of the former party’s bench.
An early shorthanded breakaway chance from Christian Lampasso was turned away by Eamon McAdam, and from then on, the frame was all Penn State. With 42.9 seconds left, Eric Scheid slid in front of Ohio State’s net and sent a slick cross-crease feed to Curtis Loik, who buried the backhander to give his team the lead.
The lead wasn’t to last however, as Penn State came out of the locker room looking for trouble. Consecutive cross-checking calls on Max Gardiner and Nate Jensen gave the Buckeyes a short 5-on-3 powerplay, which Matt Weis immediately capitalized on, knotting the score at 1-1.
Ohio State tallied most of the following scoring chances, until they didn’t. With just under eight minutes left in the stanza, Penn State erupted for two goals in 50 seconds. First, Taylor Holstrom knifed through the defense and ended up behind the opposing net, where he set up linemate David Goodwin for a tap-in that gave his team the lead. Less than a minute later, after minor penalties to Lampasso and Jensen, a Scott Conway pokecheck sent he and Eric Scheid a 2-on-0 break, where the former set the latter up to extend the lead to 3-1.
Penn State held possession of the puck in Ohio State’s zone for nearly the entire second half of the frame, and it eventually came to a merciful end for the Buckeyes.
An uneventful start to the third period saw few shots for either side, until with 13:54 remaining, Max Gardiner was sent to the penalty box on a (typical) iffy goaltender interference call. The penalty kill was equal parts Ohio State and Taylor Holstrom offense, as the speedy forward singlehandedly killed a large chunk of time in the Buckeyes’ zone.
With 8:37 remaining in the final stanza, Ohio State’s Blake Doerring took a slashing call to give Penn State the man-advantage. Ohio State took a too many men on the ice penalty as time was winding down, and with no further drama besides an Eric Scheid empty net goal, Penn State took the game 4-1.
Player of the game
Eamon McAdam. The New York Islanders’ draft pick had a great performance in the second game of the series, allowing one goal with a .972 save percentage.
Tweet of the game
.@PennStateMHKY just announced that the team will unveil new alternate jerseys on January 17, when the team takes on Michigan State.
— Onward Sports (@OnwardStSports) January 10, 2015
Might we see the pink and black combination the basketball team sported this season? Or something similar to the the alternate grey uniforms from the hoops team unveiled last year? The sky is the limit.
Zach Saar only had a handful of shifts in his fourth game back from injury, and while his name never came up on the stat sheet, he looked solid out on the ice. While the second period was winding down, he ripped a quality wrist shot on net, but was robbed by Christian Frey.
After being nominated for the Hobey Baker Award earlier in the week, forwards and linemates Taylor Holstrom and Casey Bailey both played well, but didn’t light up the scoring sheet. Holstrom finished the game with one assist, and Bailey was kept pointless.
Scott Conway had a great game, finishing with two assists. During Penn State’s late-second-period flurry, he brilliantly poked the puck away from an Ohio State defenseman to set up a 2-on-0 breakaway, where he sent the puck to the backdoor for Eric Scheid to easily knock in. The freshman’s ceiling as a Nittany Lion looks to be very, very high.
Penn State is back in action next Friday, January 16, taking on the Michigan State Spartans at Pegula Ice Arena.