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Penn State Completes Sweep Of LIU With 5-2 Win

The Nittany Lions rediscovered their identity against the Sharks.

Heather Weikel | Black Shoe Diaries

Goals By Period

Team 1st 2nd 3rd OT Final
Team 1st 2nd 3rd OT Final
LIU 1 0 1 x 2
Penn State 2 2 1 x 5

Guy Gadowsky wasn’t thrilled with his team’s offensive output on Sunday night. He wanted to see more of the Penn State Hockey brand he’s become so accustomed to over the years.

NInety shot attempts later, Gadowsky is much more pleased.

“It felt more at home, that’s for sure,” he said.

The Nittany Lions completed the series sweep with a much more convincing, 5-2 win over Long Island University on Monday night, and in the process, put together a classic Penn State Hockey performance.

The shot chart, as it so often has for Penn State, indicates reckless abandon. Gain the zone, fire a shot on net, hope for the best, rinse, repeat. That recklessness isn’t always net positive for the Nittany Lions, however.

Over-aggressive play from defensemen, which is something the Nittany Lions preach, has allowed opposing teams to take advantage of odd-man rushes and torch Penn State goaltenders.

That wasn’t the case on Monday.

Oskar Autio faced just 19 shots during the contest, with barely more than a handful coming from high-danger areas. Autio’s light workload was the result of the Nittany Lions determination to regain control of the puck as quickly as they had just lost it.

“It’s retrievals, it’s sustaining that pressure, and I think that’s what we did a really, really good job of,” Gadowsky said.

One of the catalysts for that mindset was freshman Danny Dzhaniyev, whose hard work paid off as he scored his first career goal late in the second period, capping off a three-point series. That trio, with center Chase McLane and winger Ryan Kirwan, made its case as Penn State’s best of the series, combining for three goals and seven points.

“Leading up to this game, at practice, we were all together and it clicked right away,” Dzhaniyev said.

How It Happened

Much like yesterday’s contest, the Nittany Lions opened the scoring with a power play goal from a player netting his first career tally. Tonight, that player was Christian Berger, whose wrist shot deflected off a Shark stick and through the legs of Kris Carlson.

Just a couple minutes later, Xander Lamppa doubled the Nittany Lions lead. After a battle for the puck along the boards, Christian Sarlo found Lamppa alone in front of the Sharks net. Lamppa quickly put Carlson in a blender and lifted a backhand shot into the net.

Once again, the Sharks bullied their way back into the game and cut Penn State’s lead in half, this time before the first period had ended. On a man advantage of their own, Jordan Di Cicco blasted a juicy rebound past Oskar Autio.

Before the first minute of the second period had elapsed, the Nittany Lions regained their two-goal lead. Christian Sarlo stepped out of the penalty box and onto a breakaway, making no mistake as he buried the puck past Carlson’s blocker.

Late in the second period, another Nittany Lion recorded his first career goal. Danny Dzhaniyev collected the puck in the left circle and fired a wrist shot on net. Carlson got a piece, but not enough as the puck slid past the goal line.

Midway through the third period, the Nittany Lions extended their lead to four goals. As Clayton Phillips was creeping in from the blue line, Kevin Wall sent a gorgeous pass from the goal line. Phillips stepped into the one timer and beat relief goalie Vincent Purpura.

Just a few minutes later, the Sharks got one back as Max Balinson took a cross-crease feed and one timed a shot into the open net.