|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
Eamon McAdam turned in the most impressive performance in goal of his Penn State career in the shutout of Vermont. Making a dozen saves that could have easily gone for goals, the junior goalie and New York Islander draft pick pitched his first shutout in a Penn State uniform. It was the first shutout for Penn State since Matt Skoff pulled off the feat on Valentine's Day in 2014.
The Lions came into the game ranked third in the country in goals scored per game and a reputation for being a high-octane scoring team. What isn't as well known is that the team entered the game ranked 23rd in overall goals allowed per game. The shutout will likely see the team in the top 20 in that category as well.
The ice surface was slow inside the Wells Fargo Center. There were no television timeouts, which is when the stadium crew would normally touch-up the surface by removing ice chips along the boards and in front of the net. As a result there were a few times where play was effected by the choppy surface. Neither team gained an advantage from the play but the ice was a factor for each team.
Penn State entered the game having cracked the top 20 USCHO.com rankings for the first time this year and with the win that position is secure for another week. The game was played in front of 9,213 fans that mostly favored Penn State in the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
Just two and a half minutes into the first period Penn State forward David Glen scored what was initially ruled a goal. The game stopped for a few minutes as the refs took a look at the instant replay. After some deliberation the goal was not allowed.
Zach Saar took a penalty for boarding five minutes in and Vermont went on the power play. Conor O'Neil had a great chance to score with the man advantage. O'Neil had the puck alone in front of the net, beat Eamon McAdam with a great fake but then hit the post with the shot. The Lions were able to kill the penalty. Moments later PSU went on a power play when Yvann Pattyn was called for elbowing.
Zach Saar redeemed his earlier mistake in taking the penalty when he slammed a one-timer to the back of the net for a power-play goal. The shot was an NHL-quality shot and Catamount goalie Mike Santaguida had no chance to make the save. Luke Juha and David Glen assisted on the play. The Lions came into the game with the highest-rated power play success rate in the country at 29 percent.
The teams battled from end to end for the next five minutes until Mike Lee of Vermont was called for delay of game for handling the puck with his hands. The Lions skated with a man advantage for two minutes but were unable to make a serious attempt at tallying another power play goal.
Andrew Sturtz had a great move to leave Santaguida baffled with three minutes left in the period. Sturtz made two moves and tried to stuff the puck through the legs of the goalie but didn't get enough on his shot. Chase Berger had a chance to score with a minute left in the period but he shot the puck over the empty net.
With time running out in the period David Thompson, from nearby Glen Mills, had the final scoring chance of the period with a great slap shot from the left circle but the shot was gloved by Santaguida.
The period ended with PSU leading by just one goal but the team had a much greater advantage on the ice than the box score revealed.
END 1ST: #PennState 1, Vermont 0. Saar's PPG the difference in a period dominated by PSU. Shots 13-5. #HockeyValley pic.twitter.com/gisgA9abAx— Penn State Hockey (@PennStateMHKY) November 29, 2015
Two and a half minutes into the period matching penalties were assessed when Anthony Petruzelli of Vermont was called for hitting from behind. Although David Goodwin was hit, he was also called for a two minute penalty for embellishment when he over did the effects of the hit.
David Glen nearly scored during the 4-on-4 play but missed the net on the short side. There was a great deal of action during the penalty and each goalie was forced to make tough saves.
Kenny Brooks was called for charging after the penalties expired, giving the Catamounts a man advantage with 13 minutes left in the period. The Lions were able to kill the penalty with relative ease. Following the penalty Penn State peppered Santaguida with several challenging shots, looking to extend the lead but none found the back of the net.
With nine minutes left in the period Andrew Sturtz and Alec Marsh had a great 2-on-1 chance but Santaguida pushed the puck aside with his stick. After the play Sturtz and Mike Lee got into a shoving match behind the net but calm heads prevailed and no penalties were assessed.
With six minutes left Jonathan Turk challenge PSU goalie Eamon McAdam with a near-goal but McAdam was able to turn the shot away using his stick, leg pads and finally his blocker as the puck fluttered in the air.
With three minutes left in the period Penn State went on a power play after a long delayed penalty that allowed McAdam to skate to the bench and an extra skater to join the PSU attack. Kenny Brooks challenged Santaguida midway through the penalty but the goalie snapped the shot in midair with his glove.
Seconds later Dylan Richard got one past Santaguida's glove for the power play goal. Richard snapped a nasty wrist shot to the top shelf for his nation-leading fifth power play goal on the season. Defensemen Erik Autio and Vince Pedrie assisted on the goal.
Moments later Eamon McAdam stopped the best chance Vermont had to score in the game up to that point when he made an amazing glove save on a Conor O'Neil shot. Ricky DeRosa was called for a penalty in the aftermath of the play and the Lions would go on the penalty kill.
Twenty seconds later the teams were called for matching penalties with Liam Coughlin and David Thompson going to the box for two minutes. The period ended with 50 seconds remaining on the penalties and PSU leading 2-0.
The penalties that carried over from the second period expired without incident at the start of the period.
Chase Berger scored his team-leading ninth goal of the year on a rebound off a Curtis Loik shot that Santaguida was unable to hold on to. Kenny Brooks skated the puck into the zone, passed to Loik who got off a great shot and then Berger tucked the rebound in the net.
The Lions continued to challenge Santaguida over the next five minutes but the goalie hung in there and made a bevy of tough saves. After one scoring attempt, the Catamounts were called for a penalty and PSU skated with an extra man, which only escalated the attack.
Penn State kept the pressure on Vermont for the next ten minutes, controlling the puck for the majority of the time and not allowing Vermont to muster up a scoring attempt.
With six minutes left in the game Conor O'Neil nearly scored the first goal for the Catamounts but McAdam made yet another amazing save, preserving the shut-out. On the next possession Vince Pedrie laid out in from of a Vermont shot to keep the puck from getting to McAdam. It was clear that the entire team was focused on keeping the Catamounts out of the scoring column.
Dylan Richard added his second goal of the game with less than a minute left. A turnover at the opposite blue line and a quick pass ahead to Richard allowed the senior to score his seventh goal of the season. The game ended with the Lions in the lead 4-0.
Stars of the Game
First Star- Eamon McAdam, goalie, Penn State. 29 saves and a shutout.
Second Star- Zach Saar, forward, Penn State. Game-winning goal.
Third Star- Dylan Richard, forward, Penn State. 2 goals.
- The Lions are currently in the top 20 rankings, the top three in goals scored per game, and the top 20 in goals allowed per game.
- The team has not suffered a loss for six straight games which spans the entire month of November.
- At 8-2-3 the team is off to the best start in division one program history, matching the win total in 2014-15 with three and a half months remaining in the season.
- The Lions will begin Big Ten play next weekend when Michigan State comes to Hockey Valley for a pair of games on Friday and Saturday.