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Penn State Hockey: Lions Fall to Alaska 4-3

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Penn State loses for the first time this season.

Period 1

The game started with a very consistent, up-tempo pace.  Alaska broke the ice with a goal five minutes in off the stick of Taylor Munson. On the ensuing face-off, Alaska won the draw and took the puck directly to Penn State goalie Mathew Skoff, getting a pair of point-blank shots before PSU could clear the zone. Once PSU was able to clear the zone, however, they took the puck the length of the ice and immediately scored a tying goal. Eric Scheid collected a rebound in front of the net and put it in the goal for the 1-1 tie. Connor Varley and James Robinson assisted on the goal.

Period 2

Four minutes into the second period, Alaska forward Nolan Huysmans tallied Alaska's second goal of the night. Just over a minute later, Penn State answered with a goal from Connor Varley, assisted by Curtis Loik and Kenny Brooks. The game remained tied at 2-2 for the next seven minutes, with a continued up-tempo pace by both teams. Max Gardiner gave Penn State their only lead of the night on a power play goal, assisted by Mike Williamson and Luke Juha. The extra-man advantage for Penn State was due to a 5 minute major penalty on Tyler Morley of Alaska. Morley pushed PSU forward Casey Bailey into the boards on a very dangerous play. Bailey was down on the ice for a few moments, but was able to skate to the bench under his own power. The second period ended with a score of 3-2, the Lions holding the advantage.

Period 3

The score remained 3-2 for fourteen minutes into the third period before Alaska freshmen Austin Vieth scored two goals in 27 seconds to give Alaska a permanent lead at 4-3. After leading for over 30 minutes of game time, Penn State never regrouped from this scoring flurry. A minute later, with four minutes left in the game, Max Gardiner was issued a very unfortunate slashing penalty. The Lions were able to kill off the penalty, but the call sapped the life out of the team. Once the penalty was over, with just a minute left in the game, Penn State pulled goalie Matthew Skoff in an attempt to even the score. The Lions weren't able to get a quality shot on goal with the extra skater, Alaska held on for the win.

Notes

  • PSU goalie Matthew Skoff faced 33 shots, stopping 29. Skoff was named to the all-tournament team for his efforts this weekend.
  • To Penn State's credit, the team managed 43 shots on an Alaska team that had given up no more than 21 shots in a single game this season.
  • Coach Guy Gadowsky said that David Thompson is doing fine after his injury on Friday night, and that he should only miss a couple of games. Thompson sustained a abdominal laceration that required 26 stitches.
  • When all was said and done, the Nittany Lions finished in third place in the Brice Alaska Goal Rush, finishing behind UAF in first place, and UAA in second.
  • The Lions are on their way back to Happy Valley and the team will have Monday off to recover from this long trip.