Penn State Hockey Defeats Canisius 4-2, Completes Series Sweep
No. 19 Penn State (5-1-1) took the ice Saturday night at Pegula to complete its weekend series against Canisius College (2-5-1). The Nittany Lions, coming off a win where they launched an absurd 65 shots on net, looked to complete the sweep over Canisius after beating them 4-1 Friday night. Penn State garnered more momentum on the season, deafeating Canisius 4-2 for a five-game unbeaten streak.
How It Happened
Canisius knew what it had to do after Penn State’s shot advantage the previous night. It minimized shooting lanes for Penn State early. There was a noticeable effort to limit the amount of shots toward goalie Charles Williams — and it showed with eight blocked shots for Canisius in the first period.
The bad guys struck first after a leak out led to a two-on-one and Jesse Pereira put the puck past Peyton Jones to make 1-0 Canisius 3:47 into the game. Penn State would find its rhythm on offense midway through the first, though.
It finally started getting shots on Williams and one broke through. A nifty move and wrist shot by Kevin Kerr put the Nittany Lions on the board. Freshman Nikita Pavlychev got the assist on Kerr’s first goal of the season.
Pavlychev then notched Penn State’s first penalty of the night for boarding. Andrew Sturtz’s crafty play at center ice knocked the puck down and sprung him on a breakaway. He took advantage of the open ice and buried the shorthanded goal on a gorgeous move to give Penn State a 2-1 lead with 5:42 remaining in the first. Perhaps another NCAA play of the week?
Penn State continued to control the puck into the second period. Freshman Denis Smirnov tacked on his third goal of year with a shot that just squeezed by Williams to make it 3-1 in favor of the Nittany Lions. Penn State went on the power play for the first time of night after a tripping penalty by Canisius 9:06 into the second period. A turnover with the man advantage led to a Pereira breakaway, and he scored a shorthanded goal for his second of the night.
Penn State’s power play unit struggled to generate good looks in the second period. After giving up the shorthanded goal, Penn State failed to convert on its four power play opportunities in the period generating six shots.
Canisius appeared to tie the game in the third period, but replay showed that a Canisius player was offsides before the goal was scored prompting the refs to disallow the goal. Penn State finally capitalized on the power play on its seventh attempt of the game when captain David Goodwin set-up Chase Berger for the easy tap-in to extend Penn State’s lead to 4-2.
Nine minutes into the third Canisius’s Josh Supryka drove Vince Pedrie hard into the boards forcing a checking from behind penalty along with a game misconduct. Penn State couldn’t capitalize on the five-minute major partially due to having to skate four-on-four for two minutes from a Goodwin roughing penalty.
The Nittany Lions continued to put pressure on Canisius all the way until the final horn sounded. Penn State stayed true to form outshooting Canisius 47-21 for the game and completed the weekend sweep with a 4-2 win.
Player Of The Game
Andrew Sturtz | Right Wing | Sophomore
The electric winger scored his fifth goal of the season and was a key part in helping Penn State complete the weekend sweep over Canisius. Sturtz also drew a penalty after he was hooked on a breakaway continuing to build off his successful freshman campaign last year.
Penn State stays in Hockey Valley for its next game. Its series against Niagra begins Thursday night at 7 p.m.