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Penn State Men’s Hockey Sweeps St. Thomas In 4-1 Victory

Penn State men’s hockey (9-6-0, Big Ten 1-5-0) defeated St. Thomas (1-15-0) by a score of 4-1 Wednesday evening to finish the sweep in its two-game series.

Kevin Wall scored two goals, as the Nittany Lions only allowed 13 shots on goal from St. Thomas en route to victory.

How It Happened

Head coach Guy Gadowsky changed things from last night by benching senior goalie Oskar Autio and giving the start to sophomore Liam Souliere.

The Nittany Lions got off to a quick start as junior forward Kevin Wall scored at the 3:02 mark of the first period, giving his team an early 1-0 lead. The goal was assisted by freshman forward Ryan Kirwan and the Minnesotan himself, senior forward Ben Copeland. At 4:20, sophomore forward Chase McLane was sent to the penalty box for two minutes for holding. Penn State’s defensive effort was spectacular, as the Tommies couldn’t get a shot on goal until the 10:43 mark of the period.

The last half of the first period was uneventful, with no scoring on either end of the rink. The Nittany Lions finished the first period with 13 shots on goal and St. Thomas with three.

Early in the second period, St. Thomas tied it up with an unassisted power play goal, coming off the stick of senior forward Grant Loven, at the 0:51 mark of the second period. The Nittany Lions were controlling the puck for much of the game with little happening until the 9:36 mark of the second period when sophomore forward Tyler Paquette scored his third goal of the series against the Tommies. The goal was assisted by senior defenseman Adam Pilewicz.

The momentum kept building from there as junior forward Connor MacEachern scored for the Nittany Lions at 10:30 of the second period, giving them a 3-1 lead. The goal was assisted by junior forward Connor McMenamin.

Apart from a few penalties, the third period was uneventful until 9:16, when Wall scored for the Nittany Lions extending their lead 4-1. Copeland and Kirwan assisted the Penn State goal. With just a few minutes remaining in the game, things got chippy as MacEachern and St. Thomas’ sophomore forward Aaron Swanson got two minutes each in the box for roughing. However, Penn State made it back to full strength and held onto its comfortable 4-1 lead.

Takeaways

  • Penalties tend to hurt your team more than help. Throughout the season, especially late in the second game against the Gophers, it is evident that penalties can make or break a game. The Nittany Lions penalty kill was strong in this game, but six penalties were called against them. St. Thomas’ only goal came on a power play early in the second period. There is a lot to celebrate with the sweep, but the bad penalties are becoming an alarming trend.
  • The defense for Penn State was outstanding tonight. It only allowed 13 shots on goal from St. Thomas, and Souliere was comfortable in the net tonight, as the defense in front of him did not give the Tommies many good scoring opportunities.
  • Kirwan, Copeland, and Wall’s line was on fire tonight. The trio was responsible for two of the team’s goals and played dominantly overall, as the line had 12 shots on goal. Wall also led the game in total shots on goal by a player.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will return to Pegula Ice Arena for a two-game set with Michigan State beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday, December 3.

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About the Author

Gabriel Herman

Gabriel Herman is a junior journalism major at Penn State from Minneapolis, MN. He writes about several sports-related topics. If you want to discuss great moments in Minnesota Twins history, you can reach him at [email protected]

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