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No. 18 Penn State Men’s Hockey Blows Out St. Thomas 6-2

No. 18 Penn State men’s hockey (5-0-0) defeated St. Thomas (1-4-0) 6-2 to remain undefeated on the season. A four-goal second proved to be the difference as Penn State pulled away from the Tommies to collect its fifth straight win.

Six different players scored for Penn State in the dominating win. Ben Schoen, Ture Linden, Danny Dzhaniyev, and Tyler Gratton all scored multiple points to lead the Nittany Lions offensively.

How It Happened

Penn State entered the series opener with St. Thomas riding a four-game winning streak to start its season. Junior Liam Souliere got the start in net for the Nittany Lions, his fourth of the season. Freshman Aaron Trotter got the start for the Tommies.

Penn State was given an early power play opportunity, but the Nittany Lions failed to find the back of the net. Penn State’s struggles with the man advantage carried over into the first period of this one.

The best chance for either team in the first ten minutes came on a point-blank one-timer from the slot by Ben Schoen. Trotter slid across to deny Schoen on what would’ve been his second goal of the season.

The Nittany Lions followed up with a pair of chances a few minutes later, but Trotter had the answer for both to keep the game scoreless entering the final nine minutes of the first period.

Following another unsuccessful Penn State powerplay, senior Ture Linden beat Trotter for his third goal of the season, giving the Nittany Lions the 1-0 lead.

St. Thomas’ first man advantage of the game came with just 59 seconds left in the opening period. Ryan Kirwan was sent to the box for tripping. The Tommies began the second period with just over a minute of power play time, as the Nittany Lions held the shot advantage 15-8 after one period.

It took some time, but once the Nittany Lions were able to generate some chances, they found the back of the net to double their lead. Defenseman Simon Mack beat Trotter for his first collegiate goal.

Freshman Dylan Gratton then scored less than a minute later to extend Penn State’s lead to 3-0.

After being robbed of a goal in the first period, Ben Schoen got in on the scoring for his second of the season. In the span of one minute and six seconds, Penn State scored three goals to pull away from the Tommies with just under 15 minutes remaining in the second period.

Ryan Kirwan continued his torrid start to the season, scoring his fourth goal to extend Penn State’s lead to five. Defenseman Jimmy Dowd Jr. was credited with the assist, his second of the game and fifth of the season.

After both teams struggled to find any offense following Penn State’s four-goal outburst, St. Thomas scored its first goal of the game with just 0.4 remaining in the second period. Despite the late for from the Tommies, Penn State still held a commanding 5-1 lead with just one period remaining.

St. Thomas had a chance to gain some momentum when Xander Lamppa and Christian Sarlo were sent to the box for holding and tripping, respectively. The Tommies had a brief 5-on-3 for ten seconds, but Penn State was able to kill off both penalties to preserve its four-goal lead.

Following the missed opportunity on the man advantage, St. Thomas scored to cut Penn State’s lead to 5-2 with just over nine minutes left in regulation. Freshman Lucas Wahlin scored his second goal of the season.

Danny Dzhaniyev answered with his first of the season to give the Nittany Lions their four-goal lead back. Schoen was credited with the assist on a beautiful pass to set up the one-time shot.

The final horn sounded as Penn State wrapped up an important series-opening win over St. Thomas, beating the Tommies 6-2. Penn State dominated in the shots on goal category, outshooting St. Thomas 51-19.

Takeaways

  • Penn State’s big four-goal second period gave it a commanding lead that it would not lose. Goals from Mack, Gratton, Schoen, and Kirwan helped the Nittany Lions bury the Tommies in a hole they were not able to dig out of. The Nittany Lion’s stretch of three goals in just over a minute gave them all the momentum needed to stay undefeated on the season.
  • The Nittany Lion’s aggressive forechecking was on display Thursday night as they put the pressure on St. Thomas all game. Freshman Alex Servagno’s pressure on the forecheck helped set up Penn State’s first goal of the game.
  • The power play struggled again for Penn State against St. Thomas on Thursday night. Despite only the two opportunities, Penn State failed to generate much offensively leading to another off night on the power play.

What’s Next?

Penn State will conclude its two-game series with St. Thomas on Friday night. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. from Pegula Ice Arena.

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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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