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Penn State Hockey Falls 6-3 to St. Lawrence, split series 1-1

It was a tough game but in the end the Saints were spotted too many goals.

Chris Taylor

Scoring Summary

Team First Period Second Period Third Period Final Score
Penn State 0 2 1 3
St. Lawrence 3 1 2 6
Period Time Team Type Goal Assist
1 2:11 St. Lawrence even Eric Sweetman Ryan Lough/Woody Hudson
1 2:42 St. Lawrence even Joe Sullivan Michael Laidley
1 4:50 St. Lawrence even Ryan Garvey Eric Sweetman
2 3:30 St. Lawrence even Carson Gicewicz Ben Masella/Gavin Bayreuther
2 5:36 Penn State PP Vince Pedrie Andrew Sturtz/ Denis Smirnov
2 19:22 Penn State even Andrew Sturtz Chase Berger
3 18:05 St. Lawrence empty Mike Marnell Gavin Bayreuther
3 18:35 Penn State even Nate Sucese Brandon Biro
3 19:05 St. Lawrenc empty Mike Marnell Joe Sullivan

Shots on Goal

Team First Period Second Period Third Period Final
Penn State 15 16 15 46
St. Lawrence 14 5 7 26

Penalty Summary

Period Time Team Type Player
1 2:42 PSU hooking Rickey DeRosa
1 7:52 St.Law bench penalty-too many men on the ice Served by Woody Hudson
1 15:37 St.Law goalie interference Joe Sullivan
2 0:32 St.Law interference Ben Finkelstein
2 3:30 St.Law holding Woody Hudson
2 14:51 St.Law slashing Eric Sweetman
3 4:37 St.Law roughing Joe Sullivan
3 6:30 PSU tripping Nikita Pavlychev
3 8:59 PSU roughing David Goodwin
3 18:18 St.Law elbowing Carson Gicewicz

Coming off a strong 4-2 victory in the opening game of the series on Thursday night, Penn State was in position to make a statement in the series finale. Unfortunately the team came out a little slow, allowing three very quick goals.

Down 3-0 with less than five minutes off the clock, Penn State made a goalie change and it settled the team down. For the remainder of the game the teams played evenly, though the Lions could not come back from the large early deficit. It’s not fair at all to place the slow start on freshman goalie Peyton Jones, as the entire team seemed a step slow at the outset.

The lead was never cut to fewer than 2 goals but the Lions fought hard until the final whistle, pulling the goalie for an extra skater twice in the final minutes.

Ultimately the Saints made the vacant net pay off, with Mike Marnell adding two empty-net goals to seal the victory.

Game Summary

Just two minutes into the game Eric Sweetman gave St. Lawrence its first goal of the night. Just 31 seconds later the Saints added a second goal when Michael Laidley took a neutral zone turnover and brought it in on Penn State goalie Peyton Jones for the finish.

Ricky DeRosa illustrated the frustration felt by the team when he took a hooking penalty soon after the second goal. Peyton Jones made a couple of nice saves during the penalty kill. Unfortunately just seconds after the penalty ended, Ryan Garvey made it three goals in fewer than five minutes for St. Lawrence.

Coach Guy Gadowsky had this to say about the team’s slow start.

Obviously we weren’t ready to play at the drop of the puck. And they were. Ultimately that’s my fault. But I can tell you, by design, we stayed quiet to see what would happen. We failed the test and hopefully we’ll learn a lot from this and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

The crowd inside Pegula Ice Arena was stunned. Chris Funkey replaced the freshman starter Jones in net. It was a quick exit for the young goalie. Shots on goal were 8 to 1 at the time Jones was replaced. While he let in the goals, the entire team was overwhelmed in the early-going.

When asked after the game why he pulled Jones so quickly, Gadowsky said that, “we needed a spark. That was the main reason.”

Penn State settled down and began to play even or better with the Saints. With 6:08 remaining in the first period Andrew Sturtz had an open net but missed the shot high over the crossbar. Moments later Alec Marsh had an odd-man rush with Chase Berger. Marsh got a quality shot off but was turned away by St. Lawrence goalie Kyle Hayton. At the time the shot evened the tally at 12 apiece. By the end of the first period the game was being played evenly but the PSU faced a three goal deficit.

The Lions had the first break in the second period when it went on a power play less than a minute in. Unable to capitalize, St. Lawrence added to the lead when Carson Gicewicz scored to make it 4-0. Shortly after the goal Penn State went on the power play once again.

Vince Pedrie scored seconds later when he had a power play goal assisted by Andrew Sturtz and Denis Smirnov. The score was 4-1 midway through the game.

The teams skated fast and evenly for the next ten minutes when David Goodwin got a breakaway chance to cut into the lead but was unable to get the puck past Hayton. Moments later, with 5:09 remaining in the second period, the Lions went on the power play. PSU had a few quality scoring chances but were unable to find the back of the net.

With just 37.7 seconds remaining in the second period, Andrew Sturtz cut the lead to 4-2 with a brilliant wrist shot. Chase Berger assisted on the play.

Play continued to be fast and even well into the third period. Each team took a penalty just before the midway point but neither team was able to capitalize with the extra skater. Penn State captain David Goodwin was called for a roughing penalty a few minutes later. During the power play, St. Lawrence was penalized when Joe Sullivan made a vicious hit on a defenseless Penn State player. Once again the penalties expired without further scoring.

With just under three minutes remaining in the game, down by two goals, coach Guy Gadowsky called timeout to talk things over with his team. After the timeout Penn State came out with six skaters, Chris Funkey was pulled, leaving the net empty. It didn’t take long for St. Lawrence to capitalize when Mike Marnell scored the empty-netter to stretch the lead to 5-2.

Moments later the Lions fought back to score an even strength goal. It was the first career goal for Nate Sucese. Shorty after, Marnell added a second empty-net goal to put a stop to any hopes of a Penn State comeback.

Andrew Sturtz scored the most goals last season for the team (18) and has two goals through two games this season. When Penn State was down 4-0 he notched an assist and then a goal to help his team cut the deficit in half. After the game Sturtz spoke for his team when he broke down what happened earlier in the night.

You know when you beat a team of that strength on opening night, they are going to come out hard that next night. They came out looking to win. We didn’t answer the bell for the first ten minutes. A good team is going to do that to you. You’ll see that in any league. And a good team did that to us, unfortunately.

Chris Funkey played solid in net after taking over for Peyton Jones. He was quick to give his teammates credit for playing a full sixty minutes.

We kind of dug ourselves in a hole right at the start tonight. I was really proud of the way that we fought back. We kind of clawed our way back into it.

Since Funkey is talking about claws I guess it is a good time to mention that he takes on the likeness of a stone crab when he is playing goalie. At 5’10 Funkey is not a large goalie, giving up a half-foot in height to the likes of Jones and former PSU goalie Eamon McAdam. Funkey uses his lateral quickness to make up for his lack of size, and also his glove hand, which snags shots out of the air as though it were instinctive. Stone crabs often have one claw that is larger than the other, resembling a hockey goalie. They are very quick from side to side. Each have a predominantly strong hand and a smaller version on the other side. It’s likely that Peyton Jones will get the start next Friday when the team takes on Mercyhurst, but in the future if a second goalie it needed, the stone crab will be ready to step in.

Stars of the Game

First Star- Eric Sweetman, St. Lawrence. One goal and one assist.

Second Star- Chris Funkey, Penn State. One goal allowed, 15 saves, in 53 minutes played.

Third Star- Joe Sullivan, St. Lawrence. One goal, one assist, 6 penalty minutes and a whole lot of talking on the ice after the whistle.

Notes

  • There was a great deal of hitting during the game. At no time did the teams appear to be headhunting, or purposely trying to injure one another, but several players skated gingerly off the ice after big collisions. There were several no-calls for each team that could have been called a penalty on any other day, maybe even a couple of major penalties, that drew no whistle.

Here are some of the highlights of the game.

  • Penn State is now 1-2-1 while facing St. Lawrence in the past two seasons.
  • Penn State will travel to the northwest corner of the state of Pennsylvania next week when it takes on Mercyhurst in Erie on Friday night. The teams will play just one game. This will be the first time that the programs have met since Penn State joined Division I hockey. It will be the first game of the season for Mercyhurst