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Penn State Men’s Hockey Suffers First Loss Of The Season To Canisius 4-1

Penn State (2-1) dropped its series opener to Canisius (1-0) by a score of 4-1.

The Nittany Lions were never able to generate enough offense to keep pace with Canisius as they dropped the first game of a two-game home series to the Golden Griffins Friday night at Pegula Ice Arena.

How It Happened

After a very impressive opening series against LIU, head coach Guy Gadowsky, once again, went with senior goaltender Oskar Autio between the pipes. Junior Jacob Barczewski got the start for Golden Griffins.

Both teams struggled early to get quality chances in the offensive zone as the shots were only 2-1 in favor of Canisius at the 16-minute mark of the first period. Penn State’s first opportunity came when freshman winger Ryan Kirwan fired an unscreened shot from the high slot that Barczewski gloved easily. It was a struggle for both teams early on moving the puck in their respective offensive zones as the defenses did a good job of getting into the passing lanes and knocking the puck loose.

Canisius’ first scoring chance came with just under seven minutes into the first period as left winger Max Kouznetsov found himself unguarded in front of the net with a prime scoring chance. Autio blocked the shot to the corner for his third save of the game.

The first penalty of the game came at the 12:23 mark of the first period as senior center Ben Copeland was sent to the box for two minutes for tripping. While on the penalty kill, a blocked shot by the Golden Griffins leaked into center ice where junior winger Tyler Gratton picked up the puck and was hooked by Canisius defender Jackson Decker, leading to a brief 4-on-4. While still on the penalty kill, Golden Griffins junior defenseman Lincoln Erne was sent to the box for cross-checking. Penn State’s best opportunity on the 5-on-3 man advantage came when an array of shots led to a pileup around Canisius goaltender Jacob Barczewski leading to a number of clean looks for the Nittany Lions but nothing more.

In the final minute of play in the first period, Penn State center Carson Dyck and Canisius defenseman Lincoln Erne were sent to the box after the two got into a scrum behind the Golden Griffins net.

Despite a couple of grade-A scoring chances for both teams towards the end of the period, the game entered the first intermission in a scoreless tie. Shots were in favor of Penn State 12-8.

Despite a few early second period chances, it was Canisius that grabbed the first goal in this one as senior winger J.D. Pogue picked up the loose puck following an odd-man rush and poked it home for the first goal of the Golden Griffins season. The goal was scored just under three minutes into the second period and was assisted by forwards Cooper Haar and Alex Ambrosio

It didn’t take long, however, for the Nittany Lions to respond as junior winger and Carolina Hurricanes draft pick Kevin Wall beat his man to the front of the net and buried it past the Golden Griffins goaltender thanks to an excellent pass from freshman Simon Mack. The goal was Wall’s first of the season and eleventh as a Nittany Lion.

Even after both teams found the back of the net, momentum was hard to come by as the physicality picked up and the defenses shut down any serious scoring chances. Following a timeout by Canisius, both teams traded scoring chances as a stray puck ended up behind Autio but was swatted away by a Nittany Lion defenseman before any further damage could come as a result. Immediately following the chance by Canisius, freshman winger Danny Dzhaniyev, who scored his first collegiate goal on Monday night against LIU, used his speed and puck handling skills to get to the front of the net but saw his shot get pushed to the corner because of a great save by Barczewski.

The first penalty of the second came with just over five minutes remaining in the period. Penn State was sent to the penalty kill for two minutes as freshman Simon Mack was whistled for interference. No real scoring chances came about for the Golden Griffins as Penn State was able to kill the penalty with ease as the game returned to even strength hockey. It didn’t last long, though, as sophomore defenseman Jimmy Dowd Jr. was called for cross-checking. Following a scrum behind the Nittany Lions goal, Canisius forward Max Kouznetsov was called for slashing. As a result of the Dowd penalty, and now the Kouznetsov penalty, Penn State would open the third period with just over a minute of time on the power play.

After a penalty-heavy second period, the game entered the third period tied at one. Shots were in favor of Penn State 29-19.

The third period opened up very similarly to the first period in that both teams struggled to get consistent offensive zone time and quality scoring chances. The first real chance of the period for either team came with just under 15 minutes remaining in the period as a barrage of shots led to a quality scoring chance for Penn State winger Chase McLane, but Barczewski made a sprawling pad save to keep the game tied at one.

It took a while for the Canisius offense to get going in the third period, but when it did, the Golden Griffins made it count. At the 9:02 mark of the period, junior winger Keaton Mastrodonato poked home the loose puck in front of the net to give the Golden Griffins a 2-1 lead with just over 10 minutes to play.

Penn State was never able to gain any sort of momentum in the third period as Canisius amped up the pressure on Autio and as a result, senior forward Lee Lapid found the back of the net for his first of the season, giving the Golden Griffins a commanding 3-1 lead.

The Nittany Lions were given a big opportunity to get back in this one as Canisius winger Daniel DiGrande was sent off for two minutes for hooking. Despite the man advantage, the Penn State power play was never able to solve Barczewski in net. The final nail in Penn State’s coffin came with just over three minutes to play when J.D. Pogue scored his second of the game giving Canisius a three-goal lead.

Neither team would score again, and the game would end with a score of 4-1 in favor of Canisius.

Takeaways

  • Golden Griffins goaltender Jacob Barczewski was phenomenal in this one as he set aside 39 of the 40 Penn State shots. Credit to the Canisius defense by limiting Penn State’s offense particularly on the rush, but, in the end, it was Barczewski that had the answers to just about everything that was thrown his way.
  • Penn State once again found itself in the penalty box more than it would’ve like, but the penalty kill stepped up and was at its best when needed. The Nittany Lions killed all of the five Canisius power plays.
  • It was expected coming into this one that defense would be at the forefront, and it didn’t disappoint. Despite the high shot totals, both teams did a good job of limiting turnovers and keeping the opposing offenses from getting in transition.

What’s Next

Penn State will continue its brief two-game home series with Canisius on Saturday, October 9. The game will begin at 1 p.m.

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About the Author

Devon Craley

Devon is a junior studying sports journalism. He has the genuine misfortune of being a Philadelphia sports fan...IYKYK. Send your hot takes and preferably your freezing cold takes on Twitter to @devon3134. Devon is also your friendly, neighborhood State College movie nerd.

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