‘It Was An Amazing Experience’: Penn State Men’s Hockey’s Matt DiMarsico Reflects On First Collegiate Goal
Matt DiMarsico stood a few feet away from the goal after a scramble in front of the net. He received a pass from Tanner Palocsik and sent it flying into the back of the net to give Penn State a 1-0 lead with three seconds left in the first period. The freshman was mobbed by his teammates near the bench as if he’d known them for years rather than months.
Still thinking about this Matt DiMarsico goal.— Onward State (@OnwardState) October 8, 2023
The moment was a special one for DiMarsico, as it would be for any player when scoring their first collegiate goal. DiMarsico is a Wexford, Pennsylvania, native and dreamed of playing hockey for Penn State growing up, which made the moment that much more special.
“It was an amazing experience,” DiMarsico said. “I’ve grown up wanting to play for this program, so to finally throw the jersey on and be able to score in the first period was unreal.”
Backed by a feisty and physical defense, Long Island goaltender Brandon Perrone only needed to make three saves in the first period. This made the stakes even higher, and DiMarsico buried the perfect pass from fellow defenseman Palocsik into the net, slicing a dagger into the Sharks’ momentum.
“It was just kind of a net-front scramble” DiMarsico said. “The puck went up to [Palocsik] up top, he took a nice shot, and I was lucky enough to be in a good spot and just picked it up.”
DiMarsico is a goal scorer, which he showed before coming to Hockey Valley. He found the back of the net 25 times over 59 games with the Green Bay Gamblers last season, something head coach Guy Gadowsky said he specializes in.
“He just has a knack,” Gadowsky said. “He’s a guy that’s just a goal scorer.”
Additionally, fellow defenseman and graduate transfer Jacques Bouquot appreciated the moment, acknowledging that “firsts” are a part of a dream come true for young players.
“Being an older guy now, you really appreciate those moments for younger guys and you know how special it is,” Bouquot said. “Most of us have been dreaming of playing college hockey our whole lives and to see him get the first goal in his first game was pretty cool.”
Although scoring goals may end up coming easy to the freshman, DiMarsico observed some difficulties in the game, specifically the speed and size of other players.
“It’s a lot faster than what I’m used to,” DiMarsico said. “The guys are older, they’re bigger. Not a lot of space out there, so you just have to play your game and find it there.”
Whether that proves challenging or not, DiMarsico has the confidence boost of experiencing scoring a goal in a college game. That will carry value as the season continues and he and the team seek to continue the same levels of production he had in Green Bay.
“I hope that what we saw on Saturday night is a taste of much more to come,” Gadowsky said of DiMarsico.
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