Friday was a night almost three years in the making. On October 18, 2010, Terry and Kim Pegula announced that they were giving a $88 million gift, an investment that would provide funds for men's and women's hockey teams as well as a state-of-the-art college hockey arena. It all finally came to fruition in front of 6,370 fans tonight as Penn State opened the 2013-14 regular season with a 4-1 victory over Army.
Penn State christened the Pegula Ice Arena very early on as a shot from the point by Nate Jensen passed through the traffic from forward Taylor Holstrom just over three minutes into the game and the Nittany Lions took a 1-0 advantage. However, a five-minute major and ten-minute game misconduct charged to Kenny Brooks later in the period derailed whatever momentum the Lions had gained and the teams went into the locker room with the same score.
Scoring wouldn't come again until the third period as Curtis Loik buried the puck into the right side of the net off a 2-on-1, short-handed run with 16:36 remaining. David Goodwin would follow that up about eight minutes later as he took the puck from a David Saar block to give Penn State a 3-0 lead. Army would finally get on the board with 4:21 left when Mac Lalor scored on the power play from right in front of the goalie, but Eric Scheid would bring the advantage back to three with an empty netter to close out the game.
However, it was not all peaches and cream for the Lions in their season opener. The team committed 10 penalties which put them into two separate five-on-three situations, something that certainly won't fly come Big Ten season. They also had puck-playing miscues in their defensive end early on which caused some consternation for Skoff in goal. But, they persevered and came out with a well-deserved, hard-fought victory over the Knights.
Dan's Three Stars:
1. Matthew Skoff, G, Penn State
2. David Goodwin, LW, Penn State
3. Rob Tadazak, G, Army
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