A shorthanded goal as well as another pair of strikes within twenty-six seconds of each other were all part of a five-goal second period explosion from the home side as hungry Penn State overwhelmed visiting UConn 7-1 to win the 2014/15 NCAA season-opening series in convincing fashion.
Nittany Lions head coach Guy Gadowsky had stated the previous evening that his squad would clearly have to be more accountable to positive results this season and his players obviously took this message to heart. In a most direct response, six different skaters put their names on the scoresheet as Penn State scored seven goals in a single ice hockey game for the very first time in school history. Powering the attack with three points apiece in the lopsided triumph over UConn, the newest member of Hockey East who had defeated the Nittany Lions twice (4-3 and 4-1) two seasons ago in Storrs, were the senior two-goal scorer Taylor Holstrom as well as junior Casey Bailey in addition to sophomore David Goodwin.
Penn State’s first two goals came as a direct result of UConn netminder Rob Nichols‘ failure to control his rebounds. Canadian legionnaire David Glen, the 23-year-old junior from Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, who led the Nittany Lions with 16 goals in 27 NCAA games two seasons ago but slumped to just three goals in 32 appearances last term, pounced after Nichols kicked out a shot from Curtis Loik, the 21-year-old Canadian import from West Vancouver, British Columbia, in the opening period. Eric Scheid, the 22-year-old from Blaine, Minnesota, who paced Penn State with both 11 goals and 20 points last season, followed up his own shot and doubled the home side’s advantage only 43 seconds into the second session.
Penn State center ERIC SCHEID, the redshirt junior who scored six goals in 30 games as a freshman for the University of Alaska – Anchorage during the 2011/12 NCAA campaign, flips the puck past UConn netminder ROB NICHOLS early in the second period at the magnificent Pegula Ice Arena. =============================================================================
Penn State’s defense had come up large early in the first period after defenseman Connor Varley, the 22-year-old homegrown junior from Lansdale who had only six penalty minutes all of last season, was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct for checking from behind. With Canadian legionnaire and new team captain Patrick Koudys, the 22-year-old senior from Smithville, Ontario, who was the fifth round choice (# 147 overall) of the Washington Capitals at the 2011 National Hockey League Draft, already sitting in the box after being caught for interference, the Nittany Lions were forced to contend with a 5-on-3 situation but did so admirably. Also setting the stage for the forthcoming offensive fireworks was Penn State goaltender Matthew Skoff, the 23-year-old homegrown junior from McKees Rocks who stopped all 14 UConn shots he faced in the opening twenty minutes.
Skoff, who registered all eight of the Nittany Lions’ victories last season, enjoyed an excellent opening weekend series while stopping 54 out of the 57 Huskies shots that came his way in the two contests for an outstanding .947 save percentage.
Holstrom, the 24-year-old senior right wing from Yorba Linda, California, who has now scored 19 goals in 61 NCAA games for Penn State in his collegiate career, grabbed a stranglehold of the game for the home side in the second period by sandwiching a pair of strikes around UConn’s lone goal. Goodwin, the 22-year-old sophomore left wing from Des Peres, Missouri, who had the dramatic, game-tying goal for the Nittany Lions in the season opener against the Huskies the previous night, made certain there would be no way back for the visitors. Bailey, the 23-year-old from Anchorage, Alaska, put the finishing touches on the Penn State’s rout by notching his 24th career goal on his 60th career NCAA appearance.
Canadian legionnaire Jonathan Milley, the monstrous right wing (6’4″ 245 lbs) originally hailing from Gatineau in the Province of Quebec, also lit proverbial lamp on behalf of the irresistible Nittany Lions.
October 11, 2014
Pegula Ice Arena – State College, Pennsylvania
Attendance : 6,016
PENN STATE 7 – UCONN 1
13:24 … PSU – Glen (Loik)
20:43 … PSU – Scheid (Milley)
24:10 … PSU – Holstrom (Richard) – shg
26:02 … UCONN – Naas (Tyson, Segalla)
33:01 … PSU – Holstrom (Bailey, Goodwin)
33:27 … PSU – Goodwin (Holstrom, Bailey)
38:52 … PSU – Milley (Goodwin, Juha)- ppg
56:27 … PSU – Bailey (Juha)
shots-on-goal : PSU 42 ( 12 + 18 + 12 ) – UCONN 29 ( 14 + 8 + 7 )
penalty minutes : PSU 23 – UCONN 10
power plays : PSU 1/4 – UCONN 0/3
PENN STATE : Skoff – Koudys, Thompson ; Juha, Jensen ; Williamson, Varley – Bailey, Goodwin, Holstrom ; Richard, Scheid, Milley ; Loik, Glen, Brooks ; Robinson, Gardiner, Olczyk
UCONN : Nichols (Communale) – Pratt, Segalla, Huson, Poe, Austin, Kunnas – Naas, Pauly, Ronan, Norris, Smith, Tyson, Gerling, Richardson, Wight, Kirtland, Sharib, Ferriss
Note — Penn State’s previous school record for most goals in any single NCAA Division I game was established when the Nittany Lions defeated Sacred Heart 6-3 almost two years ago on October 27, 2012.