|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
It is sometimes easy to forget that two years ago Penn State was a program that finished in the bottom-five of the final NCAA hockey rankings. Entering last season the question surrounding the team was goal scoring. The answer revealed itself as the season unfolded and PSU finished as the 12th highest-scoring team in the country. This year the challenge appeared to be replacing the scoring production lost to graduation and the loss of Casey Bailey to the NHL.
Early in the season the answer to that question seems to have been found. The scoring will come by committee and also the incoming freshmen can contribute more than anyone could have imagined. Tonight freshmen accounted for four goals and five assists. That's the production that was needed out of the group to keep Penn State's forward momentum as a program. Entering the game the Lions were tied for first in the country in goals per game with 5 per contest. The snowman put up on the board tonight will get attention around the country.
Penn State came out skating with purpose, committed to putting the pressure on AIC. It didn't take long to get quality scoring chances. Eric Scheid, playing for the first time this season coming off a lower-leg injury, created several quality shots during his first shift on the ice. Scheid's speed was clearly an problem for AIC.
Moments later just three minutes into the game, the Lions hit pay-dirt when Curtis Loik forced a turnover in AIC's zone and found Chase Berger for the goal. The goal is Berger's third on the season and for Loik the assist was his fifth.
Penn State continued to skate with the advantage in momentum but was making sporadic defensive miscues. AIC was able to get a couple of shots off that were easier than it should have been.
Skoff made a great save with 12:52 remaining in the period when David Goodwin turned the puck over in the Lion's defensive zone. It was the first real test for Skoff, who was coming off the worst performance of his career when he allowed 7 goals to Notre Dame.
On the next trip down the ice PSU was able to score when Tommy Olczyk threw the puck on net from a nearly impossible angle. With Ricky DeRosa standing in front of the goalie, the puck found a way to the back of the net. It was Olczyk's first goal of the season on an assist from Luke Juha.
The game continued to favor Penn State four the remainder of the period. With three minutes left in the period, Chase Berger scored for the second time in the period. The assist was the first of freshman defenseman Derian Hamilton's career. On the play, Hamilton shot the puck on net and Berger dove to tip in the rebound, doing some dirty work in front of the net.
The period ended with PSU leading 3-0 and a feeling inside Pegula that there would be many more goals to come. The Lions had the advantage in shots 18-10 and there were no penalties in the period for either team.
|Goal Summary First Period|
Derian Hamilton (1)
The teams skated for the first five minutes with PSU holding the advantage in scoring attempts. Six minutes in Curtis Loik took the lead to 4-0 when he put in a rebound off a shot by Chase Berger. Conor Varley and Berger assisted on the goal.
A few minutes later Eric Autio scored from the point on an assist from Alec Marsh and Kenny Brooks. The goal came as Autio found himself in position to score but not facing the net. He took the puck and shoveled it toward the net from 20 feet away and it found the back of the net. Soon after AIC took the first penalty of the game and also pulled goalie Alex Murray in favor of backup Jacob Caffrey.
The goalie change did not help AIC. Three minutes later highly touted offensive force Andrew Sturtz scored the first goal of his collegiate career. Sturtz took the puck into the zone then made a sick move on the AIC defender, taking the puck across the crease from left to right, beating Caffrey to the opposite post for the goal.
With a little over two minutes remaining Chase Berger had his first shot at gaining a hat-trick on the night. Curtis Loik worked the puck in front of the net, drawing a penalty, while getting the puck back to the trailing Berger who had an open net but was unable to finish the play.
AIC would take another penalty later in the period but was able to kill it off without allowing another goal.
|Goal Summary 2nd Period|
Curtis Loik (3)
Erik Autio (1)
Andrew Sturtz (1)
The third period began as the second had ended. The Lions had the advantage and 42 seconds after the puck was dropped Kenny Brooks scored for the first time this season. Curtis Loik and Chase Berger assisted on the goal.
Leading 7-0 it appeared that the Lions could do no wrong on the evening. Less than two minutes later, AIC proved that not to be true as it scored on a goal by Lucas Bombardier that was assisted by Mark Dubeau and David Gandara. The goal was scored when Eric Scheid was a little late on the back-check and goalie Matt Skoff was left hung out to dry.
Five minutes later AIC scored again when Chris Porter scored an unassisted goal past Skoff.
The Lions would answer with the second goal of the night by Andrew Sturtz. David Goodwin and Alec Marsh assisted on the goal and it appeared that the run by AIC had been extinguished.
That would not be the case. AIC cut the lead to 8-3 when Johno May beat Matt Skoff on a stuff near the goal. The puck was initially stopped by Skoff but it continued to creep through his pads and slowly dribbled in for the goal.
AIC would take a penalty late in the period but PSU could not capitalize on the extra skater and the game ended 8-3.
|Goal Summary 3rd Period|
Kenny Brooks (1)
Lucas Bombardier (1)
Chris Porter (1)
anDREW sTURTZ (2)
Stars of the Game
First Star (★): Chase Berger, Penn State- Berger scored twice in the first period and had two assists.
Second Star (★★): Curtis Loik, Penn State- Loik had a goal and two assists
Third Star (★★★): Andrew Sturtz, Penn State- Sturtz had two goals.