Men’s Hockey Ties No. 16 St. Lawrence 2-2 In Relentless Overtime Thriller
In its first true test of the season on Thursday night, men’s hockey faced defensive powerhouse No.16 St. Lawrence. The teams battled in a frustrating, thrilling, powerplay-ridden game that ended in a tie.
How It Happened
St. Lawrence gave its backup goalie his first collegiate start. Penn State’s Alec Marsh struck first with his fourth goal of the season 4:41 into the game. For most of the early first period, Penn State kept the puck in its offensive zone and led in shots. St. Lawrence wiggled out and answered Penn State’s first goal with a long shot deflected over Matt Skoff.
Three back-to-back powerplays in the middle of the first gave the Nittany Lions a chance to gain momentum, but they couldn’t capitalize on a flurry of shot attempts. For the duration of the first period, both teams battled for dominance. By the period’s end, Penn State led 20-7 in shots, St. Lawrence’s defensive prowess killed off three penalties, and it was anyone’s game.
The second period began with a 1-1 clean slate and an air of uncertainty. Penn State took initial command of the period, holding St. Lawrence to zero shot attempts for the first seven minutes. Penn State entered its fourth powerplay opportunity of the game, but St. Lawrence’s defense refused to let up. The call-and-answer nature of the first continued into the second. With 11:33 left, David Glen put Penn State on the penalty kill on a slashing call, and St. Lawrence fruitlessly attempted its first rapid fire shots of the game. By mid-period, both teams were visibly frustrated. With five minutes to go, Curtis Loik sent the Lions back on the penalty kill. This time St. Lawrence scored, an unfriendly reminder that Penn State’s 34 shots-on-goal meant nothing if it couldn’t capitalize.
Penn State entered the final period trailing 2-1. A slow start gave way to a bar-down thriller from Vince Pedrie to tie it up 2-2 around six minutes in. Penn State momentum survived through Alec Marsh’s tripping penalty immediately following the goal. Pegula looked more like a tennis court as both teams sought the lead relentlessly. With 7:38 left in regulation, Penn State failed to capitalize on its bewildering fifth powerplay of the game.
Pegula was almost silent in the final minutes of regulation, as the Roar Zone held its breath for a goal. St. Lawrence’s goalie robbed Loik with a glove save. With 1:29 left in the brutally awesome last period, Guy Gadowsky called a time out. Both teams scrambled to make something happen, but Pegula would host its first overtime of the season.
St. Lawrence won overtime’s opening draw, but a hungry Penn State applied as much pressure as it could. The Lions entered their sixth powerplay of the game. Nothing. David Glen’s helmet popped off as a frustrated St. Lawrence player tossed him into the boards. The play gifted Penn State a short five-on-three advantage and a seventh powerplay. In what Gadowsky described as “the hockey Gods bringing [Penn State] back to reality,” the team’s seventh powerplay opportunity failed them. The most exciting 20 minutes of Penn State’s season season resulted in a 2-2 tie.
Player Of The Game
Freshman Vince Pedrie’s shot-happy nature finally paid off as he scored his first collegiate goal. Gadowsky praised Pedrie for his bar-down beauty, calling it a “tremendous shot on his part.”
Penn State and St. Lawrence head back to Pegula on Friday night at 7 p.m.