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Penn State Men’s Hockey Defeats Canisius 5-2

Penn State men’s hockey (1-0-0) defeated Canisius (0-0-1) 5-2 in its first game of the season Friday night at Pegula Ice Arena.

Despite the final score being separated by three goals, both teams played neck-and-neck with each other. Ultimately, Penn State took care of business and won 5-2.

How It Happened

North Dakota transfer Ashton Calder earned the nod on Penn State’s top line in its first game of the season. Meanwhile, junior goaltender Liam Souliere started in net for the Nittany Lions. 

Both teams started by playing an extremely physical and competitive game. Multiple hits were exchanged, including one that probably stopped a Penn State goal early on in the first period. 

Penn State went on the game’s first power play after defenseman Cody Schiavon took a high-sticking call. However, Canisius killed the penalty despite several dangerous chances taken by the Nittany Lions.

Shortly after the Golden Griffins killed their high-sticking call, they took a second penalty. This time, though, the Griffins weren’t so lucky. Calder sent the puck scorching past goaltender Jacob Barczewski to make it 1-0 Nittany Lions at 11:39 in the first period. Calder’s goal sent Pegula Ice Arena into a frenzy, leaping against the glass in celebration. 

However, the Nittany Lions weren’t done.

Less than two minutes later at 13:27 in the period, forward Ture Linden fed Ryan Kirwan the puck from behind the net. Barczewski didn’t stand a chance, as Kirwan fired the puck past him to make it 2-0 Penn State. 

After Carter Schade took Penn State’s first penalty of the game for slashing, the first period ended with the Nittany Lions up 2-0. It was an incredibly gritty and physical period, with Connor MacEachern losing his helmet after getting hit along the Canisius blue line. 

Penn State killed Schade’s penalty to begin the second period. Both sides played back-and-forth hockey, although Penn State continued to get the best of Canisius in terms of keeping the puck away from the goal.

Souliere continued to play well, and Penn State continued to take shots. Barczewski improved after a forgettable first period, making multiple saves with little to no time to reset between many Penn State chances. 

Canisius went on the power play after Jimmy Dowd Jr. was booked for tripping. Souliere and the Penn State defense continued to make save after save, but Canisius ultimately scored on a rebound to cut Penn State’s lead to 2-1 at 2:45 in the third period. 

The Pegula Ice Arena crowd, which had been rocking throughout the first two periods, got noticeably quieter after Canisius scored. The Golden Griffins had momentum, forcing turnovers and keeping the puck in its offensive zone.

However, Penn State put the momentum to rest. At 8:35 in the third period, Linden passed the puck to Dowd waiting at the goal post, who tapped it into the goal to give Penn State a 3-1 lead. 

Suddenly, the Penn State faithful came roaring back to life. Pegula Ice Arena was once again the noisy building it had been during the first and second periods. 

Then, at 13:29 in the period, MacEachern scored another goal to put Penn State up 4-1. Dowd picked up an assist in an already impressive performance for the junior defenseman. 

However, Canisius responded in turn. The Griffins went on the power play and capitalized, with Keaton Mastrodonato beating Souliere to make it 4-2 at 14:52 in the period. 

Kevin Wall scored on an empty netter to make it 5-2, and that was ultimately the final score as Penn State took care of business against Canisius.

Takeaways

  • Transfers Ashton Calder and Ture Linden each made immediate impacts for Penn State. Calder put Penn State on the board with a goal in the first period, while Linden assisted in Kirwan’s goal shortly after. 
  • Liam Souliere had a solid performance with 35 saves, but he needs to get better at freezing the puck. Canisius’ goal could have been stopped had Souliere froze the puck. 
  • Both teams played a very physical game. Each side exchanged hit after hit, including one hit on Connor MacEachern that knocked his helmet off and put him on the ice.

What’s Next

Penn State will face Canisius tomorrow, October 8, with puck drop scheduled for 6 p.m. at Pegula Ice Arena.

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About the Author

Nolan Wick

Nolan is a sophomore majoring in journalism. From the Maryland side of the D.C. suburbs, Nolan likes using Old Bay and is a diehard Washington sports fan, which isn't fun these days. If you want to keep in touch with Nolan, follow him on Instagram @_nolanwick or on Twitter @nolan_wick.

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