Penn State Hockey Erases Another Three-Goal Deficit, Ties Northern Michigan
After a ludicrous comeback Friday night, Northern Michigan returned to Pegula Ice Arena on Saturday afternoon for revenge. Neither team got its satisfaction in this game, however, as it was booked as a tie. Penn State ended the weekend earning four points out of a possible six.
How It Happened
Just like the night before, Penn State appeared to score about a minute into the game. This time, however, the call was overturned. It appeared like Curtis Loik scored after a broken play down low, but the referees got the goaltender interference call right and waved it off.
The defining sequence of the period came around the ten-minute mark. After a 3-on-1 breakout by the line of David Goodwin, Taylor Holstrom, and Casey Bailey ended with almost the entire team crowded around the Northern Michigan net, a quick rush the other way made Penn State shorthanded. An Eamon McAdam rebound allowed for an easy tap-in for the Wildcats, and they took a 1-0 lead with 10:03 to play.
Penn State’s next opportunity to tie the game came two minutes later, when it was awarded a powerplay. Despite racking up tons of shots and time of possession, no one could find the back of the net.
Almost as soon as the powerplay ended, Northern Michigan rushed back down the ice and put the puck back on McAdam. He couldn’t find his rebound, and gave a huge target to the Wildcats. Ryan Kesti did not miss, and his team went up 2-0.
Finally, with 48.6 seconds left in the frame, a long shot went through a screen and trickled past McAdam to give Northern Michigan a 3-0 lead. Despite a characteristic lead in shots, 20-8, Northern Michigan was the only team to find the back of the net.
P.J. Musico started the second period for Penn State because of McAdam’s rough showing in the previous period and Musico’s own heroics the night before. Penn State came out flying in the second period, thanks to starting the period with a powerplay. The team tallied its best chances of the night to that point, and soon after the advantage was over, Penn State got another. Starting goalie Matthias Dahlstrom had his hand cut by a skate, and backup Michael Doan took to the ice. Despite piling up numerous scoring chances, NMU’s goaltenders kept saying no.
Penn State held the puck inside its offensive end for almost the entire first half of the period before David Glen earned a powerplay by getting hit from behind. The call, just like last night, was just what the team needed to gain some momentum. Dylan Richard picked the puck up in his own zone and handed it off to Eric Scheid. Scheid streaked down the ice, knifed through the defense, and leaped around Doan to tuck the puck home and change the score to 3-1.
Unfortunately, Northern Michigan capitalized with five minutes left in the period to increase its lead to 4-1 on a 4-on-4 opportunity. Another call on the Wildcats gave Penn State just over a minute of a 4-on-3 powerplay. All of the penalties concluded and then, Penn State Hockey happened. In the blink of an eye, the score was 4-2 after a Ricky DeRosa deflection, and then again on another slick Eric Scheid move. The second period ended with a score of 4-3 Northern Michigan, but Penn State had a substantial lead in shots, 44-17.
The Nittany Lions started the third period on the penalty kill, and sure enough as soon as it ended, it was a tie game. A rebound down low was buried by Tommy Olczyk, and the game was 4-4. Unlike the night before, however, Penn State took consecutive penalties to give its opponent a long 5-on-3 advantage, which it scored on. With 13 minutes to play in regulation, the score was 5-4 in favor of the away team.
Things began to unravel as the game wound down. Dylan Richard tied the game at the 6:32 mark of the period, and then all five skaters on each team broke out into an all-out brawl. Richard and his line skated to the bench after everything cleared with their arms and heads held high, and looked as proud as a team ever had. In the second time in as many nights, they erased another three-goal deficit, knotting it up 5-5.
An exciting end to regulation saw no more goals, and the teams headed to overtime.
The overtime period had what was likely the best hockey of the night. Each side went rush-for-rush, but no team was able to score. The game went into the books as a tie, but odds are everyone in the arena would have preferred to see a winner.
Player of the Game
Eric Scheid. His two goals got the scoring started and then brought his team within one right before the end of the second period. Even more than that, when he was away from the puck, he was always noticeable and made the biggest impact on the game.
Coach Guy Gadowsky praised Scheid for his outstanding speed after the game, leading to Penn State generating chances off the rush with the puck on his stick. “He’s playing on a different level,” the coach said.
Quote of the Game
“[THON] is the greatest thing, I think, about Penn State University. This wasn’t a victory tonight, but in many ways, it was.” – coach Guy Gadowsky after the game.
Tweet of the Game
— Onward State (@OnwardState) January 24, 2015
Photo of the Game
During a break in the action, the PA announcer asked the crowd to hold up signs bearing the name of a loved one fighting cancer. The touching gesture in the name of THON had the Penn State team banging their sticks on the ice in salute of the the university’s continued support of the Four Diamonds Fund.
- This was Penn State’s THON game, where it wore special jerseys and had a Teddy Bear Toss. The jerseys said “THON” on the nameplates instead of players’ names and are being auctioned off for charity. The teddy bears collected were also donated, and the sight of the toss was really something.
- After Penn State tied the game at four, it took two penalties to give Northern Michigan a huge advantage. Gadowsky went with senior captain Patrick Koudys, alternate captain David Glen, and freshman Erik Autio to kill the penalties. He combined a big-bodied defenseman, one of the team’s best shutdown forwards, and a small, puck-moving defenseman. The unit gave up a goal eventually, but it wasn’t for lack of ability.
- After the brawl in the third period, Pegula was as loud as it likely had ever been. Penn State erased another huge deficit, beat up the Wildcats, and drew a powerplay chance.
- Penn State erased another three-goal deficit and totaled 64 shots. No analysis needed there – this team is unreal.
- The game was recorded as a tie, which, to be frank, is garbage. An exhibition shootout was played after the game, and why it didn’t impact the decision of the game is beyond me.
- The exhibition shootout was won by Northern Michigan, 3-2. Goals were scored by Northern Michigan’s Casey Purpur, Dominik Shine, and Robbie Payne, and Penn State’s goals came from Eric Scheid and Peter Sweetland.
Next Saturday, Jan. 31, Penn State heads to the Philadelphia Flyers’ home at the Wells Fargo Center to take on Vermont.
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About the Author
ESPN’s signature pregame show will return to the iconic Old Main Lawn on Saturday morning.
Gene Rockey — an employee in Copy Services for the past 26 years — will retire this week after more than 30 years of service to Penn State.
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