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Penn State Men’s Hockey Defeats St. Thomas 5-1

Penn State men’s hockey (8-6-0, Big Ten 1-5-0) got back in the win column with a 5-1 victory over St. Thomas (1-14-0) Tuesday night.

The Nittany Lions went 1-for-6 on the power play and took three penalties. Tyler Paquette scored two goals, as Ben Copeland and Carson Dyck each registered two points to propel the team to victory.

How It Happened

Head coach Guy Gadowsky gave Oskar Autio his third consecutive start in goal and bumped Ryan Kirwan up to the first line for the Nittany Lions.

It seemed like the Nittany Lions had a fire lit under them to start the game after dominating play in the first few minutes, but no goals came from Penn State’s chances. The game stayed relatively calm midway through the first period. That changed when defenseman Kenny Johnson laid a big hit at center ice at 13:58 of the first period, and it turned out to be a five-minute major penalty and ejection of Johnson after review.

Autio and the Nittany Lions did a solid job of killing off the first four minutes of the Tommies’ power play. With just seconds remaining on the major penalty, defenseman Trevor LeDonne took a shot that deflected off the stick of Simon Mack and beat Autio to give St. Thomas a 1-0 at lead at 18:39 of the first period. The period ended with Penn State leading 14-7 in shots on goal but down by one goal.

The second period started with Danny Dzhaniyev taking an elbow to the face, resulting in Penn State gettings its first power play of the game. Defenseman Clayton Phillips capitalized on the man advantage with a goal assisted by Kevin Wall and Ben Copeland, tying the game at 1-1 at 3:15 of the second period. Just 15 seconds after the goal, the Nittany Lions didn’t make things easy on themselves, as Ben Schoen took a tripping penalty at 3:30 of the second period, but Penn State killed the penalty.

After taking the momentum after the penalty, Ryan Kirwan ripped a one-timer from Copeland to give Penn State a 2-1 lead at 12:35 of the second period. Tyler Paquette then kept the pressure up, scoring a goal off a body in front at 15:03 to extend Penn State’s lead to 3-1.

About two and a half minutes later, St. Thomas’ Kyler Grundy took a minor penalty for elbowing at 17:45 of the second period, but the Nittany Lions couldn’t take advantage of its second power play of the game. The second period ended with Penn State outshooting St. Thomas 33-12 and leading 3-1.

St. Thomas didn’t start the third period on the best note, as Grant Loven was called for holding to give Penn State its third man advantage of the game at 1:27 of the period. The Tommies then killed the penalty with ease but took another holding penalty just 20 seconds later. Penn State couldn’t capitalize on the penalty, again.

What happened next? You guessed it: another Tommies’ penalty, this one for elbowing at 7:24 of the third period. Penn State’s fifth power play was cut short when Jimmy Dowd Jr. took an interference penalty away from the play at 8:46 of the third period. In the end, the Nittany Lions killed the penalty.

A few minutes later, Tyler Paquette scored its second goal of the game at 13:10 of the third period to give Penn State a 4-1 lead, and St. Thomas’ Matthew Jennings took a cross-checking penalty after the play to give the Nittany Lions its sixth power play. They didn’t score. Penn State piled it on the Tommies, as Ben Schoen scored off the backhand at 15:41 to make the score 5-1 in favor of the Nittany Lions.

The game ended with a 5-1 victory for Penn State.

Takeaways

  • Even though Penn State took only three penalties in the game, each one was not great in its own way. Johnson’s five-minute major could have put the team in a big hole to start the game. Schoen’s tripping penalty just 15 seconds after Kirwan’s game-tying almost did the same thing, and Dowd’s interference penalty away from the play was just unnecessary. The Nittany Lions need to clean these penalties up soon.
  • Penn State’s defense was a highlight of this game, only allowing 14 shots on goal from the Tommies. Along with the low shot count, St. Thomas didn’t have many grade-A chances, either, and Autio turned away every solid chance the team had.
  • The Nittany Lions continued to display its perhaps newfound mental toughness after going down 1-0 at the end of the first period. The team trusted its game to begin the second period and scored three unanswered goals in the second period.

What’s Next

Penn State will finish its two-game set with St. Thomas at 8 p.m. tomorrow night. The game can be streamed on Flo Hockey.

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About the Author

Frankie Marzano

Frankie is a junior accounting and economics major from Long Island, NY. You can probably recognize him as the typical Italian-American with slicked back black hair. He is an avid fan of the Rangers, Mets, Jets, and every Penn State Athletics team. Follow him on Twitter @frankiemarzano for obnoxious amounts of Penn State and Rangers content or email him at [email protected]

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