|Team||First Period||Second Period||Third Period||Final Score|
|1||7:51||St. Lawrence||even||Drew Smolcynski||Jacob Pritchard|
|1||10:01||Penn State||even||Dylan Richard||Denis Smirnov/David Goodwin|
|1||13:21||Penn State||even||David Thompson||Liam Folkes/Brandon Biro|
|2||16:07||Penn State||short||Andrew Sturtz||Chase Berger/Erik Autio|
|3||2:50||St. Lawrence||even||Michael Laidley||Nolan Gluchowski|
|3||19:47||Penn State||empty net||Blake Gober||Trevor Hamilton|
Shots on Goal
|Team||First Period||Second Period||Third Period||Final|
|1||11:19||St. Law||Kneeing||Ben Masella|
|1||15:34||St. Law||Cross-checking||Nolan Gluchowski|
|1||20:00||St. Law||cross-checking||Nolan Gluchowski|
|2||4:47||St Law||high-sticking||Matt Purmal|
|3||14:58||St. Law||hooking||Joe Sullivan|
Leading up to Penn State’s season-opening game against No. 16 St. Lawrence, head coach Guy Gadowsky said he was leaning toward freshman Peyton Jones as his starting goaltender.
Jones had yet to play a minute of a college hockey game, but put forth an impressive showing in the team’s exhibition game against Queens, stopping all 14 shots he faced through half the game.
Gadowsky’s decision paid off as Jones made 28 saves on 30 shots to lead the Nittany Lions to a 4-2 win over the Saints.
“When they had us on our heels a little bit, I thought he looked extremely composed,” Gadowsky said following the game.
Jones admitted to some pregame butterflies, but felt he settled in quickly and tracked the puck well throughout the game. He did not receive a warm welcome in his first game, either.
“The first shot, I actually got hit right in the head,” he said. “Besides that, I felt really good.”
Drew Smocynski opened the scoring for the Saints, finishing off a strong passing play with a backhand shot over Jones’s right pad.
Three minutes later, Dylan Richard knotted things up, hammering the puck past Kyle Hayton on the second rebound of a Kevin Kerr point shot. Gadowsky was happy to see Richard, who missed the final 12 games of last season due to injury, get on the board in the first game of the season.
“Just to see him play is great,” Gadowsky said. “To see him score is extremely fitting for everything he’s had to go through.”
David Thompson gave the Nittany Lions the lead for good another three minutes later. Two seconds after a Lions’ power play came to an end, Thompson took a cross-ice pass from freshman Liam Folkes before firing a wrist shot over Hayton’s glove.
Guy Gadowsky constructed his third defense pairing, consisting of Thompson and one of freshmen Kris Myllari and James Gobetz, to act as a shutdown pair, focusing more on the defensive side of the puck than the offensive side.
“We certainly don’t mean to pigeonhole anybody’s role by any means,” Gadowsky said. “But Thompson processes defensively extremely well. To get a goal from that pair was very uplifting.”
Early in the second period Andrew Sturtz doubled the Lions’ lead while shorthanded. On a two-on-one with fellow sophomore Chase Berger, Sturtz picked up the rebound of Berger’s shot and lifted a backhand shot past Hayton on a near carbon copy of the Saints’ opening goal.
Neither team converted for the remainder of the second frame, but the Saints pulled to within a goal early in the third as Michael Laidley fired a wrist shot over Jones’s blocker.
Despite beating a ranked opponent, Gadowsky does not want to celebrate this win too much, understanding there is still another game to be played tomorrow.
“I thought that we played a pretty sound game for the first two periods and then I think St. Lawrence picked it up a notch in the third,” he said. “They’re obviously ranked No. 16 for a reason and they showed it.”
The teams will face off on Friday at 7 p.m. at Pegula Ice Arena.