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No. 20 Penn State Men’s Hockey Defeats Mercyhurst 4-1

No. 20 Penn State men’s hockey (4-0-0) defeated Mercyhurst (0-6-0) on Friday at Mercyhurst Ice Center in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Penn State dominated from the start, drastically outplaying the Lakers in nearly every area. The Nittany Lions ultimately won 4-1, completing the series sweep.

How It Happened

Head coach Guy Gadowsky opted for a starting lineup we haven’t seen this season. The Gratton brothers, along with Paul DeNaples, Danny Dzhaniyev, and Ben Schoen started for the Nittany Lions. Meanwhile, Liam Souliere started in goal.

Penn State went on the penalty kill not long after the puck drop. Defenseman Carter Schade took a two-minute minor for interference just over one minute into the game. The Nittany Lions killed the penalty with ease.

Penn State spent most of the first period playing a strong game with many shots on Mercyhurst goaltender Owen Say. Say was in goal for Tyler Harmon, who gave up multiple goals in the Nittany Lions’ 6-3 win in game one.

The Nittany Lions’ attack on Say and the Mercyhurst defense never let up, resulting in them opening the scoring. Kevin Wall picked up a rebound and tapped the puck past Say, giving Penn State a 1-0 lead with three minutes left to go into the first period.

The period ended with Penn State leading 1-0. Despite taking the period’s only penalty, the Nittany Lions easily played a better 20 minutes of hockey.

Penn State picked up where it left off and scored early on in the second period. Paul DeNaples put the Nittany Lions up 2-0 at just under four minutes in the period, shooting the puck past a group of Mercyhurst skaters and into the net.

Penn State continued to play a tough game against Mercyhurst, controlling the puck more often than not. The Nittany Lions went on the power play after an interference call against the Lakers but did not capitalize against Say.

Then, it was the Lakers’ turn for a power play. With under three minutes left in the period, DeNaples was sent to the sin bin for tripping. However, Mercyhurst was kept scoreless.

Penn State kept its 2-0 lead at the end of the second period. Penn State was far and away the better team, outshooting Mercyhurst 63-29.

However, things changed in the third period. Penn State took a penalty, and Mercyhurst capitalized. Under three minutes into the period, Rylee St. Onge cut the lead in half to make it 2-1.

Both teams continued to play back-and-forth hockey throughout the final period of regulation. Each team took good chances, although Penn State looked like the better team.

Then, 13 minutes into the period, Christian Sarlo took advantage, sped down the ice, and passed the puck to Tyler Paquette, who put the puck in the net to make it 3-1 on an odd-man rush.

As the clock ticked, Mercyhurst pulled Say for the extra skater. Ashton Calder put the puck in the empty net to give Penn State a 4-1 lead.

That completed the series sweep for Penn State, defeating Mercyhurst 4-1 to remain undefeated.

Takeaways

  • Liam Souliere was again reliable in goal. After giving up three goals in game one, Souliere conceded one goal but made 19 saves.
  • Ashton Calder has continued to make a solid impact for the Nittany Lions. He now has three points in Penn State’s first four games.
  • Although Mercyhurst got swept, Rylee St. Onge was a problem for Penn State. St. Onge scored in both games against Penn State.

What’s Next

Penn State has a two-game home series against St. Thomas on October 20 and 21, with puck drop scheduled for 7 p.m. for both games.

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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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