Penn State 3 – Bentley 2


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From the perspective of the faithful at the Pegula Ice Arena, the atmosphere certainly was rather spooky throughout most of this Halloween night after the visitors had notched a pair of power play goals inside the first sixteen minutes but the home side rallied to tie the contest with roughly three minutes to go in regulation and then grabbed the game-winner only sixteen seconds later as the streaking Penn State Nittany Lions overcame the Bentley Falcons 3-2 for the second evening in succession.

The visitors from New England bolted to an early lead on the power play just nine minutes in when Canadian legionnaire Alex Grieve, the 24-year-old senior captain from Calgary, Alberta, who paced the Falcons with 25 goals in 37 NCAA games last season, tapped home a fine pass from fellow countryman Max French, the 22-year-old sophomore center from Westbank, British Columbia. Bentley soon doubled its advantage, again with the benefit of a power play, only six and a half minutes later when French scored his second goal of this series with Penn State by tipping a point shot from defenseman Matthew Blomquist, the 23-year-old junior from Blaine, Minnesota, who had 24 assists in 31 NCAA games last term. All four of the Falcons’ goals scored in their two games at the Pegula Ice Arena on Thursday & Friday came with a Nittany Lions skater in the penalty box.

Bentley goaltender Blake Dougherty, the inexperienced 24-year-old senior from East Amherst, New York, who had made only seven appearances for the Falcons in his first three collegiate campaigns coming into this season, was in excellent form and pitched a shutout for the first 29 minutes or so. But then Penn State cashed in on a power play opportunity of its own midway through the second period when Scott Conway, the 19-year-old freshman originally from England, one-timed his sharp-angle shot past Dougherty to score his third goal of this 2014/15 NCAA season. Nittany Lions left wing Ricky DeRosa, the 22-year-old homegrown sophomore from Aston who had a goal and four points in the two-game set with Holy Cross the previous weekend, created the chance with a pass from behind the net.

Metaphorically speaking, the Falcons sought to park the team bus in front of their own net for the final period at the Pegula Ice Arena and the strategy very nearly paid off, as well. However, Blomquist was escorted to the sin bin for an elbowing offense and Penn State center Taylor Holstrom, the 24-year-old senior from Yorba Linda, California, who leads the Nittany Lions with 11 points (three goals) this season, brought the hosts level on the subsequent power play. Holstrom squeezed the puck through Dougherty’s five-hole at close range after taking a pass from Canadian legionnaire Dylan Richard, the 21-year-old sophomore forward from Sherwood Park, Alberta, who now counts 17 assists in 38 career NCAA games.

Shortly after the ensuing drop of the puck at center ice, Penn State right wing Eric Scheid, the 22-year-old redshirt junior who was high school hockey teammates with the Bentley defenseman Blomquist, took a hopeful shot from the right faceoff circle in the Falcons’ end. Somehow, the elusive puck bounced off of Dougherty’s shoulder as well as the crossbar before finding its way into the net to give Scheid his fifth strike of the season and the Nittany Lions a most stunning victory. So then, as matters played out, the trick was on Bentley and the treat was for Penn State.

“When things weren’t going well in the third period, they really buckled down,” stated PSU head coach Guy Gadowksy after the game, “We looked a lot more like the Penn State hockey team we expect.”

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Eric Scheid (19), the undersized forward (5’9″ 174 lbs) from Blaine, Minnesota, who led the Nittany Lions with 11 goals in 36 NCAA games last season, has scored one goal in four of Penn State’s last five games this fall.
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October 31, 2014
Pegula Ice Arena – State College, Pennsylvania
Attendance : 5,974

09:01 … BEN – Grieve (French, Gladiuk) – ppg
15:32 … BEN – French (Blomquist, Gladiuk) – ppg
29:14 … PSU – Conway (DeRosa, Autio) – ppg
57:01 … PSU – Holstrom (Richard, Jensen) – ppg
57:17 … PSU – Scheid (unassisted)

shots-on-goal : PSU 49 ( 16 + 11 + 22 ) – BEN 35 ( 14 + 14 + 7 )

penalty minutes : BEN 12 – PSU 8

power plays : BEN 2/4 – PSU 2/6

PENN STATE : Skoff – Juha, Autio ; Koudys, Varley ; Jensen, Williamson – Goodwin, Holstrom, Bailey ; Robinson, Conway, Scheid ; Loik, Richard, Brooks ; DeRosa, Gardiner, Friedman

BENTLEY : Dougherty – Weinstein, Blomquist; Eiserman, Donners ; O’Brien, Maher – Switzer, Grieve, Schmidt; McDonald, French, Gladiuk ; Russo, Kubiak, Reardon ; Bacon, McMurphy, Suter

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