No. 12 Penn State Hockey Defeats Alaska-Anchorage 6-3
No. 12 Penn State continued an eight-game unbeaten streak in Pegula tonight with a 6-3 win over Alaska-Anchorage. This matchup included David Goodwin’s 100th point, a top-shelf beauty from Vince Pedrie, and penalty woes.
How It Happened
Other than a puck flying into the press box via Denis Smirnov and nearly decapitating me, the first half of period one was quite dull. (If you’re reading this Smirnov, I forgive you.) With 7:11 left, Penn State had only 4 shots and UAA had 2. The Nittany Lions seemed off and a little disconnected. That would change aggressively a few minutes later when Penn State went on the powerplay and Chase Berger finally made something happen at 13:51. The sophomore got the puck from Trevor Hamilton and David Goodwin, and the Roar Zone went wild — Goodwin became the first Nittany Lion to reach 100 points in program history. Momentum didn’t let up less than a minute later when Kris Myllari netted his first career goal from the point at 14:51 to make it 2-0. Berger struck again with less than two minutes to go in the period — he deflected a rocket from Pedrie and it was pretty fun. See for yourself:
— The Roar Zone (@TheRoarZone) November 12, 2016
The first closed with Penn State leading 3-0 on the board and 11-4 in shots.
Penn State killed off a powerplay in a more energized start to the second. A few good chances off the bat never came to fruition. Nate Sucese had a speedy near-breakaway and an ensuing penalty shot mid-period, but he couldn’t get it past Olivier Mantha. It almost felt like a reversed version of the previous period, and things slowed down on the offensive front. On the other side of the ice, Peyton Jones quietly made a few important saves to hold the Seawolves scoreless. Mantha and UAA’s defense did the same, and the period almost ended as it started. Enter Vince Pedrie. The defenseman finessed the puck up top via powerplay to put Penn State up 4-0 with 11.8 seconds left in the second.
Penn State came out swinging in the third. Mantha thwarted an early Kerr chance point-blank and several others through the first two minutes. The flurry of chances didn’t last too long — UAA finally got on the board with a powerplay goal 3:39 into the third. Ricky DeRosa quickly answered with his backhand at 4:30, and it was 5-1 Penn State through the first five minutes of the period. Matching penalties with 13:00 left to play gave us some ever-interesting 4-on-4 hockey, but nothing eventful came of it. A scrum in front of Alaska’s net almost resulted in a Penn State goal halfway through the period, but the puck flew in just about every direction. Right after, Alaska netted a powerplay goal at 9:59 to make it 5-2 despite Jones’ best efforts. Pegula was not happy when Penn State headed to the 5-on-3 disadvantage at 13:20 — Zach Saar headed to the box for a ten-minute misconduct and Nikita Pavlychev joined him for a two-minute roughing call. All was well when Pavlychev’s time ran out, though –Myllari scored his second of the game (and the season) and Penn State went up 6-2 with 4:18 left to play. In the midst of a Sweet Caroline singalong, UAA scored one more to make it 6-3 with seconds left to play.
- Penn State’s depth has improved this season. There are still some standouts (in terms of points) like Andrew Sturtz, Goodwin, and Smirnov, of course, but anyone on any line could come up with a big play and I wouldn’t be surprised.
- Something seemed a bit off in brief parts of the first and second periods, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. As I was typing this, a “SCOREBOARD, SCOREBOARD” chant happened in my head so I should probably just stop talking. The important thing here was that Penn State’s “a little off” didn’t cost it the game. Coach Gadowsky has been harping on reducing penalties, though, and two of UAA’s three goals were on the powerplay.
- I like that Goodwin genuinely doesn’t seem to care too much about his 100 point record. He’s just here to play hockey. In the post-game presser, he said he wanted to shoot and score for his 100th, but he was thinking about what was best for the team. He also gave a lot of credit to his teammates past and present.
- Sturtz is out for the weekend with a lower-body injury.
- I’m considering wearing a helmet to the next game. No one’s safe out here.
Penn State and Alaska-Anchorage square off in Pegula again Saturday night at 7 p.m. to finish their series.