|Team||First Period||Second Period||Third Period||Final Score|
|1||9:27||Penn State||Even||Denis Smirnov||Kevin Kerr, Dylan Richard|
|1||13:42||Penn State||Even||Liam Folkes||Brandon Biro|
|1||17:22||Penn State||Even||David Goodwin||Dylan Richard|
|2||1:46||Penn State||Even||Andrew Sturtz||Nikita Pavlychev|
|2||5:40||Penn State||PP||Vince Pedrie||Sturtz, David Goodwin|
|3||1:25||Penn State||PP||Denis Smirnov||Erik Autio, Vince Pedrie|
|3||13:07||Penn State||PP||Andrew Sturtz||Erik Autio|
|3||16:52||Penn State||PP||Brandon Biro||Liam Folkes, Nate Sucese|
Shots on Goal
|Team||First Period||Second Period||Third Period||Final|
Exhibition games are often used to assess what kind of impact younger players will have in a new environment.
In Penn State’s 8-0 win over Queens (Ontario), the freshman class displayed the kind of speed and hockey IQ coach Guy Gadowsky has praised it for.
Freshmen accounted for half of the Nittany Lions offense as five first-year players picked up points in their first taste of collegiate action.
The freshmen did not just impress on offense, however. Goalie Peyton Jones stopped all 14 shots he faced before being replaced by Chris Funkey midway through the second period. Jones’ performance impressed Gadowsky enough to give him the start in Penn State’s regular season opener against No. 16 St. Lawrence on Thursday.
Denis Smirnov tallied a pair of goals, including the opening goal of the game that stood as the game-winner. He deflected a point shot from Kevin Kerr past Gaels goaltender Kevin Bailie to give the Lions the 1-0 lead.
A few minutes later, Liam Folkes capitalized on a brilliant cross-crease pass from Brandon Biro, redirecting the puck over Bailie’s glove to double the Lions’ lead.
After letting the freshmen have their fun, a pair of seniors extended the lead to three. Dylan Richard charged the puck to the net and David Goodwin jammed it through Bailie’s legs.
The Lions continued to roll offensively to start the second period.
Sophomore Andrew Sturtz showed off the quick puck handling that allowed him to score 18 goals last season on a two-man breakaway with Chase Berger. Rather than pass the puck to his fellow sophomore, Sturtz deked Bailie and lifted the puck into the top corner of the net.
While the goal was highlight reel worthy, Sturtz offered praise to the play and player that led to the breakaway.
“[Nikita] Pavlychev made a good play in the neutral zone there picking up the puck,” he said. “Probably a play only a guy like that could make, he’s so big.”
Pavlychev, at 6-foot-7, has a longer reach than most other players in college hockey, let alone on his own team. Gadowsky added praise of the Russian forward following the game.
“What we’re learning with him is he’s an extremely coachable guy,” Gadowsky said.
Vince Pedrie scored the first power play goal of the game four minutes after the Sturtz goal on just the second power play of the game for the Lions.
Early in the third period, Smirnov tallied his second goal of the game, this time with the extra man, as he fired a wrist shot through the legs of Bailie, giving the Lions a 6-0 lead.
After the game Gadowsky offered a lofty comparison to the Russian freshman.
“One of the things with Casey Bailey is he shoots the puck but he also has a higher hockey IQ and can get in the open spaces. Denis Smirnov, we know from recruiting him, he’s very similar to that,” Gadowsky said.
The game took an ugly turn midway through the third period after Gaels’ forward Slater Doggett checked Kerr from behind, sending the defenseman face-first into the end boards. A scrum ensued and Doggett was given a five-minute major for cross checking and a 10-minute misconduct.
Kerr did not return to the game, but Gadowsky called the injury “nothing serious” after the game. He is not sure, however, if Kerr will be ready for the Penn State’s first regular season series against St. Lawrence.
The Lions capitalized twice on the five-minute power play, including Sturtz’s second goal of the game and Biro’s first. Penn State finished 4-for-10 on the power play, and 30 of the team’s 50 shots came with the extra man.
While Gadowsky took positives away from his team’s dominant performance, he understands that Thursday’s match-up with the Saints will be a much more difficult test.
“We can’t look at what happened today and say ‘Now we can extrapolate and we think this is going to happen against St. Lawrence,’” Gadowsky said. “We’re going to need a really good week, a short week of practice, but I think it’s going to be obviously a much, much different game.”