Guy Gadowsky’s team gave up an early goal and was unable to recover the lead for the rest of the night. The team skated well and played impressively in spurts, but Clarkson was able to make the early lead stand up.
Throughout the game it was clear that the Lions were the more talented team, dominating in every facet other than the scoreboard, but ultimately it was not enough for the win on opening night. Holding a 39-21 advantage in shots on goal at the end of the game, the Lions had chances to score but were turned aside by goalie Jake Kielly and the Clarkson defense time and again. There was a great deal of hitting going on during the game, with Clarkson beginning the assault and Penn State picking up on its end later in the game.
Penn State will travel to St. Lawrence on Saturday night for a 7 p.m. face-off. The game will be streamed live for free.
It didn’t take Clarkson long to get on the board. Just 14 seconds into the game Marley Quince took a pass on the initial rush of the season and put it past Peyton Jones. Five minutes later the Lions went on a penalty kill and escaped unscathed thanks to a couple of huge saves by Jones. With 12:27 to play in the first period a section of the glass came loose from the boards. The break in play allowed Penn State a few minutes to regroup from the initial shock of giving up an early goal combined with an intense start by Clarkson.
The Lions had a few scoring chances in the first period but were unable to break through. Late in the period Nate Sucese took a brilliant crossing pass from Denis Smirnov, but was turned away by Jake Kielly. The hitting favored Clarkson initially, with several Lions heading to the ice hard after sticking with an offensive play a little too long.
The Lions came out with a great deal of ferocity in the second period. Clarkson was forced to take a penalty in the early-going, and PSU had several scoring chances but were unable to get a goal.
With 6:36 left in the second period the Lions gave up the second goal of the game. Peyton Jones was screened on a shot from Kelly Summers and did not see it as it went past him. Moments after the goal, Devin Brosseau of Clarkson was sent to the penalty box for a vicious cross-check on Kevin Kerr. It didn’t take long for the Lion’s to cash in the chance, when Brandon Biro scored the first power-play goal of the season for Guy Gadowsky’s squad. Kris Myllari assisted on the play.
Penn State dominated the final five minutes of the second period, which ended with Clarkson unable to change lines for nearly two minutes of play. The tired Golden Knight skaters were able to hang on, like a weary boxer waiting for the bell, as time expired.
The Lions once again came out of the gate with a purpose, starting the final period with a huge advantage in momentum. Four minutes in, Clarkson was forced to take a penalty on a potential breakaway. PSU was unable to score but the man advantage allowed the team to dominate play.
The game then went back and forth down the ice, with some great skating and hitting, for the remainder of the game. With just over three minutes left in the game, Clarkson nearly got a third goal, when the puck slowly banked off the goal post of Peyton Jones. Penn State pulled Jones with just under two minutes to play in the game but was unable to get the tying goal.
Stars of the Game
First Star- Marley Quince, Clarkson. One goal. Quince score on his only shot on goal of the night but he was a constant force on the ice for the Golden Knights.
Second Star- Jake Kielly, Clarkson. Kielly got the win in net and made 38 saves. His play was solid throughout, and he turned away all but one power-play goal on the night.
Third Star- Brandon Biro, Penn State. Biro scored the lone Penn State goal, but even had he not, his play was noteworthy. The speedy sophomore showed a great deal of tenacity, and an overall growth in his game from last season.