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No. 2 Penn State Completes Sweep Versus Alaska-Anchorage

Nate Sucese notched a pair of goals and an assist in the Nittany Lions 3-1 victory over the Seawolves.

Photo by Heather Weikel

Scoring Summary

Team First Period Second Period Third Period Final Score
Penn State 1 1 1 3
Alaska-Anchorage 0 0 1 1
Period Time Team Type Goal Assist
1 5:19 Penn State PP Brandon Biro Nate Sucese/Kevin Kerr
2 14:02 Penn State EV Nate Sucese Derian Hamilton/Nikita Pavlychev
3 5:54 Alaska-Anchorage EV Tad Kozun Matt Anholt/Jarrett Brown
3 19:33 Penn State EV-EN Nate Sucese Ricky DeRosa

Shots on Goal

Team First Period Second Period Third Period Final Score
Penn State 11 26 19 53
Alaska-Anchorage 6 7 10 23

In the two remaining weeks prior to the opening of Big Ten play, coach Guy Gadowsky said that he planned on shuffling his lineup to see how his players meshed with new linemates. Gadowsky’s thought process was that if his regular lines ever hit a cold streak, he would have a second plan to go to in order to spark his offense.

A weekend sweep later, Gadowsky may have found the right combination should that situation arise.

Nate Sucese led the way as No. 2 Penn State completed its sweep over Alaska-Anchorage with a 3-1 victory Saturday night. Playing alongside new linemates Nikita Pavlychev and Zach Saar, Sucese netted a pair of goals and added an assist in the Nittany Lions seventh consecutive win.

Sucese admitted that it was a bit unusual for him, at 5-foot-8, to play alongside the 6-foot-7 Pavlychev and 6-foot-6 Saar.

“It’s kind of weird, you’re skating down the ice and I’m looking at their hip the whole time,” he said after the game. Sucese added that he found it easy to play with the hulking forwards, as the two created space on the ice for Sucese to use.

Brandon Biro opened the scoring for the Lions with a power play goal early in the first period. In what has become a common play for the Lions’ power play, Biro took a pass near the goal line, then worked his way to the front of the net, reaching his stick around Olivier Mantha’s right pad and tucking the puck into the goal.

Neither side generated much offensive pressure throughout the first period. Aided by power plays in the second frame, the Lions began peppering Mantha as Peyton Jones experienced a lighter workload. Mantha was forced to stand on his head as his Seawolves were outshot 26-7 during the middle frame.

Eventually, the Lions broke through. A point shot by Derian Hamilton produced a glaring rebound for Nate Sucese. As Mantha sprawled to get across his crease, Sucese buried the rebound past the Seawolves’ netminder.

Gadowsky was quick to praise the play of not only Mantha, who stopped 53 of the 55 shots he faced, but also Peyton Jones, who, despite the lighter workload, made the important saves when his team needed him to.

The Seawolves cut the deficit in half five minutes into the third period. Matt Anholt found Tad Kozun open in the slot. The junior forward made no mistake, firing a wrist shot past the glove of Peyton Jones for his third goal of the weekend.

The Lions held onto the lead for the remainder of the third, and got an insurance marker when Sucese potted his second goal of the game on an empty net breakaway.

The win extended the Lions’ winning streak to seven games. The Lions haven’t lost since Oct. 7 against then-No. 16 St. Lawrence, an unbeaten streak of nine games. The Lions hope the confidence from their non-conference schedule will carry over when they open Big Ten play with a home series against Michigan in early December.

“I don’t think who we play changes the way we play,” Sucese said. “Obviously, Michigan is having a pretty good year, but so are we.”