A shorthanded goal three minutes into the third period and an insurance tally nine minutes thereafter essentially settled the issue as upstart PENN STATE survived numerous trips to the penalty box but still was able to christen its brand new facility properly with a 4-1 victory over visiting ARMY in the very first college hockey game ever played at the Pegula Ice Arena.
Army did well to hold Penn State’s top two scorers from last season, first line left wing CASEY BAILEY (27 ga, 14 go, 27 pts) and second line center DAVID GLEN (27 ga, 16 go, 25 pts), off the scoreboard for the duration of the contest. However, the Nittany Lions were lifted by goals from a veteran defenseman who is one of the handful of remaining players from PSU’s club hockey days, a sophomore transfer as well as a newcomer to college hockey. Meanwhile, Penn State goaltender MATT SKOFF (18 ga, 2.48 avg, .921 save pct) picked right up where he left off at the end of his freshman campaign by providing quality performance between the pipes.
It did not take long, three mintues and two seconds to be exact, for Penn State to score the historic first-ever goal at the impressive Pegula Ice Arena. A blast from the blue line by junior rearguard NATE JENSEN eluded Army netminder ROB TADAZAK and ensured that it was the native of Shorewood, Minnesota, whose name will live forever in the annals of Nittany Lions hockey history. The well-traveled Jensen, of course, made his NCAA debut with Mercyhurst University (36 ga, 2 go, 16 pts) during the 2010/11 season but later transferred and spent the following year playing “club hockey” in the ACHA for Penn State.
United States Military Academy right wing JOE KOZLAK (14), a sophomore from Duluth, Minnesota, has his shot blocked by Penn State junior defenseman PATRICK KOUDYS (3), the Canadian import from Smithville, Ontario, who was picked in the fifth round (# 147 overall) of the 2011 National Hockey League Draft by the Washington Capitals, during the historic first-ever NCAA college ice hockey contest in front of the sellout crowd of 6,370 spectators at the brand new Pegula Ice Arena in State College, Pennsylvania … the good-sized Koudys (6’3″ 210 lbs) impressed with his rugged play and was credited with blocking five Army shots on his NCAA collegiate debut for the Nittany Lions.
Shortly after taking the lead, Penn State saw third line center KENNY BROOKS, the sophomore from Las Vegas who scored the Nittany Lions’ first goal in last season’s 5-0 victory at West Point, assessed a five-minute major and the accompanying game misconduct for checking from behind. In all, Army would have a full 18:47 worth of ice time with the man advantage as a result of Penn State conceding ten power play opportunities to its visitors. The Cadets, much to their demise, were unable to capitalize until late in the third period — well after the Nittany Lions had already built a 3-0 lead.
Third line right wing CURTIS LOIK, the sophomore from North Vancouver, British Columbia, who tallied five goals in 25 NCAA games as a freshman for the Nittany Lions last season, netted an all-important second goal for Penn State against Army while killing a penalty early into the final frame and fourth line left wing DAVID GOODWIN, the unheralded freshman from Des Peres, Missouri, who had assisted on Loik’s shorthander, registered his first collegiate goal nine minutes later to close the door on the Cadets.
Out of the 18 Penn State skaters dressed in uniform for the historic contest against Army at the Pegula Ice Arena, only three players — left wing TOMMY OLCYK, right wing TAYLOR HOLSTROM — are holdovers from PSU head coach GUY GADOWSKY’s last American Colleigate Hockey Association squad (one that played its 2011/12 schedule in the small but faithful Greenberg Pavilion) … this fact, along with signature victories over former NCAA national champions Michigan State and Wisconsin during the Nittany Lions’ inaugural NCAA Division I-A season, are the clearest indications of how far, how fast the Penn State ice hockey program has been able to progress thus far.
Nittany Lions left wing DAVID GOODWIN (9), the newcomer from Missouri who was teammates with Penn State goaltender Matt Skoff on the Sioux City Musketeers in the United States Hockey League before arriving on campus in Happy Valley, leads the all-freshman fourth line which includes center DYLAN RICHARD (12) and right wing ZACHARY SAAR (17) up ice against the visiting Army Black Knights in the historic first-ever NCAA contest at the sold-out Pegula Ice Arena in State College, Pennsylvania.
October 11, 2013
Pegula Ice Arena – State College, Pennsylvania
Attendance – 6,370
PENN STATE 4 – ARMY 1
03:02 … PSU – Jensen (Holstrom)
43:24 … PSU – Loik (Goodwin) – shg
52:27 … PSU – Goodwin (Saar)
55:39 … ARMY – Lalor (Faust, Gehrt) – ppg
59:35 … PSU – Scheid (Glen) – eng
shots-on-goal : PENN STATE 35 (5 + 14 + 16) – ARMY 26 (7 + 12 + 7)
penalty minutes : PENN STATE 23 (plus game misconduct) – ARMY 6
PENN STATE : Skoff – Juha, Yanis ; Koudys, Varley ; Jensen, Thompson – Bailey, Gardiner, Holstrom ; Scheid, Glen, Milley ; Olczyk, Brooks, Loik ; Goodwin, Richard, Saar
ARMY : Tadazak – Gehrt, Lalor ; Pomarico, Peterson ; Costello, Jenkins – Schultz, Alvarez, Zaremba ; Faust, Carlisle, Kozlak ; Reuschlein, Heller, Richards ; Bruckler, Hearn, Roberts
Penn State’s historic goal-scoring defenseman NATE JENSEN (24) watches as Nittany Lions shot-stopper MATT SKOFF (31), the homegrown sophomore from McKees Rock, squeezes the puck and denies a rebound opportunity to Army center THANE HELLER (22), the sophomore from Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, who finished as the Cadets’ second-leading goal-scorer last season having lit the lamp on nine occasions.