Penn State’s nation-leading offense paved the way to victory on Saturday night, scoring the most goals in program history. The shots came from all angles and many of them found the back of the net. The Lions (8-1-0) will host Michigan next weekend to open the conference schedule.
The first period was very competitive, with the teams matching goal for goal. The Lions took control from there.
Early in the second period the Colonials made a change in net to try to slow down the Penn State scoring onslaught. Twelve minutes and three additional goals later, starter Francis Marotte came back in the game after being pulled. By the end of the period Penn State scored 5 goals.
After giving up two more goals early in the third period, Marotte was relieved once again. It wasn’t the goalie’s fault; the Lions were skating downhill all night.
How It Happened
Liam Folkes scored on a one on one break a minute into the game. The shot hit the post and then bounced in the net off goalie Francis Marotte’s back.
A couple of minutes later a game misconduct was called on Alex Robert. The Lions gained a 5-minute power-play. Unfortunately Robert Morris got two early short-handed chances, scoring on the second to tie the game with 3:36 off the game clock.
Liam Folkes had a breakaway as the penalty expired and the Colonials were called for a two-minute minor, giving Penn State 7 minutes of continuous power-play. It wasn’t enough, as the advantage came and went with the game tied at one apiece.
Less than a minute later the Lions took a penalty when Alec Marsh was called for interference. Just a few seconds into the power-play, Robert Morris grabbed a 2-1 lead when Alex Tonge beat Peyton Jones on the short-side.
Nikita Pavlychev took a pass from Cole Hults in the slot and finished to tie the game at 2 with 7:28 before the first intermission. A minute later Penn State went back on the power-play for two minutes when Folkes was hit away from the play by Grant Hebert. Evan Barrett took a sweet pass just inside the right circle from Alex Stevens and got the puck past Marotte for a 3-2 Penn State lead with five minutes to play.
Peyton Jones misplayed a puck and it squirted out to Robert Morris, and just like that the game was tied. Jones was behind the net and the puck ended up on the stick of Nick Prkusic, who had nothing but open net in front of him. It would have been harder for Prkusic to miss the net had he been challenged to do so.
Jones made a nice blocker save a minute later to preserve the tie. As the period ended, Jones made a flurry of saves, including one off the back of his head, as Robert Morris threatened to take the lead. It was a great effort by the junior goalie who had already let in three goals in the period.
Just a few seconds into the second period Nikita Pavlychev retrieved the puck behind the net and used his long reach to wrap-around his second goal of the night for a quick 4-3 lead. A minute later Penn State was called for a penalty, giving the Colonials a chance to tie, which they did on the first shift of the power-play. Alex Tonge got his second goal of the night, just getting the puck over the left shoulder of Peyton Jones.
Chase Berger was called for slashing and the Colonials went back on the power play just five minutes into the period. With some solid defense and a couple of saves by Jones, the penalty was killed. Shortly after an interference call on Alex Stevens gave Robert Morris another power play. Midway through the penalty RMU was called for one of their own, and the teams skated 4 on 4. An additional penalty on the Lions was called and the teams were 4 on 3 momentarily before going back to 4 on 4.
Kris Myllari took a nice pass from Alex Stevens and finished to give the Lions a 5-4 lead. Nate Sucese scored 19 seconds later to make it a two-goal lead midway through the game. Sam Sternschein added a third goal two minutes later on a long shot from the point and just like that it was 7-4.
Max Sauve added goal number 8 to the tally, his first in a Penn State uniform, and with four minutes to play in the second period the air went out of the home-ice crowd.
Kris Myllari and Cole Hults added goals in the opening minutes of the final period. Alex Limoges added another with 12:43 to play in the game. Alex Tonge got the hat-trick for Robert Morris midway through the final period, a small positive point for the home team. With 19 seconds to play, the Colonials added the final goal.