Liam Folkes scored a natural hat trick, netting the first three goals of the game. Alex Limoges had 3 assists and Evan Barratt totaled 4 points. Penn State (11-3) continues to play well, getting a win on the first night of a two game road trip.
From beginning to end, the Lions controlled the game. Oskar Autio got the win in net, giving Peyton Jones a night off. Autio recorded the first shutout of his career, making 16 saves.
Penn State will travel to Lowell for the second game of the split series. The game starts at 6 p.m. and is available streaming through CBS Sports.
How It Happened
Sophomore goalie Oskar Autio got his second start of the season for Penn State and he hardly broke a sweat. Merrimack seemed ready for the speed that the Lions bring and in the opening minutes the teams skated evenly.
Tyler Gratton made a nice hit while forechecking which led to a Liam Folkes goal. Gratton made the hit that forced a weak clearing pass. Alex Limoges kept the pass from exiting the zone, then Connor MacEachern tapped the puck to Folkes.
Penn State had the first 8 shots on goal and kept Autio from facing his first shot until halfway through the first period. At the end of the period, with the Lions holding a 12-1 edge in shots on goal, Liam Folkes got another goal on a play that he failed to actually get a shot off.
The puck never stopped bouncing but it worked out for Folkes, who touched it enough to guide it into the net.
Folkes nearly scored a third goal before the end of the first period and Oskar Autio made a nice save on his end to hold the 2-0 lead at the break.
A few minutes into the second period Penn State committed the first penalty of the game, which they were able to kill off easily. Midway through the game Liam Folkes scored to collect a hat trick. It was a team effort with the pass going from Evan Barratt to Alex Limoges and then to Folkes.
Sam Sternschein almost added another goal on the next possession. Momentum was tilted toward the Lions and Merrimack had all that they could do to hang on.
Kris Myllari snapped a shot through a crowd and into the net with a few minutes left to go in the period, which the Lions thoroughly dominated.
The onslaught continued as Evan Barratt added a goal before the second intermission. With the score, the Lions had 5 goals on 28 shots while Merrimack had just 10 shots.
With five minutes off the clock in the final period, Denis Smirnov added a goal to the total off an assist from Sam Sternschein.
After killing a Clayton Phillips penalty, Penn State went on an extended advantage when Merrimack was called for a hitting from behind major penalty. The power play helped both teams allow the clock to wind out as it was clear that the outcome was no longer in doubt.
Alex Stevens added a power-play goal on a pass from Evan Barratt to conclude the scoring on the day.