The Nittany Lions came out fast and aggressive in what proved to be a very exciting hockey game against the University of Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves. The opening two minutes belonged to UAA, including a flurry of shots on PSU goalie Matthew Skoff. When one of those shots ended with the puck behind Skoff, sliding toward the open net, senior defenseman valiantly Patrick Koudys reached behind the net minder just in time to keep the puck out of the net.
From that point forward, the first period favored the Lions. Curtis Loik kicked-off the scoring with a nifty finish on an assist from freshman Scott Conway just under five minutes into the game. Four minutes later Dylan Richard added to the lead with a power play goal that was assisted by Taylor Holstrom.
With eight minutes remaining in the first period, UAA's Blake Tatchell slipped one past Skoff to make the game 2-1, concluding the scoring in the initial frame. The first period ended with the Lions not only holding the upper hand in the scoreline, but also in shots on goal (14-4).
The second period featured heavy hitting from both teams and a nearly even number of shots on goal, (UAA- 9, PSU- 8). One of said shots made it past UAA's goalie Michael Matyas, while Skoff was able to turn back all incoming attempts. Casey Bailey scored his second goal of the year on a power play, assisted by Nate Jensen and Taylor Holstrom. The goal extended the Lions lead to 3-1.
The third period was dominated by the Seawolves. They managed two goals within the final 5:41 of the game, to tie things up at 3-3. The final tally came with just over a minute remaining and an extra attacker on the ice for UAA. Austin Coldwell got one past Skoff to send the game to overtime. The goal that brought the score to 3-2 was scored by Blake Leask.
The overtime period ended without any additional scoring, though Goodwin for the Lions missed a wide open net that would have been the game winner. An unofficial shoot-out took place to decide the tie-breaker, with UAA scoring on their third attempt to garner bragging rights. Both teams received a point for the tie. The overtime period also brought about a scary moment for Penn State fans, as David Thompson was injured in a scuffle in front of the net. Thompson had to be removed from the game on a stretcher, and was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for an abdominal laceration. Thankfully, he was able to get stitches and will be just fine.
If there is such thing as a historic tie for a young hockey program, this was it. Penn State flew across a continent for the game, and started out looking like the favored team. Things took a turn for the worse as the game went on, but it was an impressive showing by the Lions nonetheless. They would have had plenty of excuses had they been beaten down, but they persevered anyway.
Through three games this season, PSU remains undefeated at 1-0-2. Tonight the Lions face an Alaska-Fairbanks team that earned a thrilling 4-3 win against Air Force in the other game of the Brice Alaska Goal Rush tournament.
Check out all of Penn State's goals and more here.