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Penn State Hockey Falls To Cornell 3-1

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In a game with many clean, hard hits, the Lions came up short on the scoreboard.

Joe Hermitt-The Patriot News

The game was played in front of a little more than 15,000 fans at Madison Square Garden in New York. Play was even for the majority of the night with both teams controlling the momentum at times.

First Period

Nine minutes in David Goodwin got the scoring started with a goal for the Lions off an assist by Taylor Holstrom and Casey Bailey. The trio have formed one of the most potent scoring lines in all of college hockey. Holstrom now sits atop the leaderboard for assists per game and Bailey is currently eighth in the country in goals scored per game. Goodwin has played well this season, adding five goals and five assists to the line's tally.

The early part of the first period was controlled mostly by Penn State and the uptempo, high shots-on-goal style of play that the team is best known for employing. Shots were 10-2 in favor of the Lions at the time of Goodwin's goal, but the tide began to turn right around that point. At the end of the first the game was 1-0 with the blue and white owning a 12-5 edge in shots on goal. No penalties were called on either team.

Period Two

The second period was played at a pace that the controlled Big Red prefers. Shots on goal were even at 10 each by the end of the frame, but Cornell controlled the puck for a majority of the time with smooth passes in the neutral zone. There were a number of penalties in this period, including a 5-minute major on Cornell's John Knisley for interference.

Penn State was unable to take advantage of the five minutes of power play time due to two penalties of their own that overlapped Cornell's penalty. David Goodwin and Ricky DeRosa each had two minute penalties, with the Big Red having a brief 5 on 4 advantage toward the end of DeRosa's penalty. Soon after the expiration of the penalties, John Knisley scored his first goal of the season for Cornell, tying the game at one goal apiece with six minutes remaining in the 2nd period.

The teams skated to an even tie to end the period, but the fireworks weren't finished after the horn sounded. A scrum that involved a dozen players erupted, but there were no punches thrown and cooler heads prevailed. As a result dual penalties were handed to Patrick Koudys of Penn State and John McCarron of Cornell. Two minutes each for roughing. While the fight was brief and didn't amount to more than some yelling, pushing and pulling, there was a statement being made by each team. Koudys and McCarron are the captains of their respective teams. This was a team-wide moment and the leaders of each squad took it on themselves to stick up for their team.

Third Period

The third period began with the teams matching scoring chances for the first ten minutes without success on either side. The hitting had increased on both sides following the fight that ended the second period. Players on both sides were flying in the air, onto the ice, and into the boards from clean but emphatic checks.

With eight minutes left in the game Cornell's Joel Lowry found the back of the net with the eventual game-winning goal for Cornell. Penn State pulled goalie Matt Skoff in an attempt to even the score with just over two minutes remaining in the game. Instead the Big Red added a third goal on the empty net, sealing the victory with a minute remaining.

Captain John McCarron assisted on all three of Cornell's scores for a playmaker, the passing equivalent of a hat-trick. While the hitting was ferocious at times in the final period there were no penalties called as the hits were clean. Penn State was able to get 16 shots to their opponent's 10 during the period, but none got past goalie Mitch Gillam.

There were many PSU hockey fans among the 15,000 on hand, including Dean Christian Brady.

Coming up for the Lions

Penn State is now 7-4-2 heading to a two-game series against the Badgers (1-8-1) in Madison, Wisconsin. The young Badger squad are just now finding their way this season, gaining a tie and win over the weekend versus Ferris State, the first points of the year.