In a rather cleanly played ice hockey game that saw both sides amass a combined total of only four penalty minutes for the duration of the contest, the home team opened up a three-goal lead midway through the second period before settling in to protect what had already been gained as the # 4 ranked UNIVERSITY of MASSACHUSETTS – LOWELL RIVER HAWKS skated to a 5-3 victory over the visiting PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS in the first of this weekend’s non-conference set.
The River Hawks, who now sport seven wins and two ties from their first ten games of this 2014/15 NCAA season came, entered into this latest Big Ten Conference versus Hockey East engagement as the only Division I team in the entire country to be currently averaging more than four goals scored per contest. UMass/Lowell, who swept the Nittany Lions on the road in State College last season, demonstrated its offensive potential this term by scoring four goals on its first dozen shots of the game.
Penn State goaltender Matthew Skoff, the 22-year-old homegrown junior from McKees Rock who, on the whole, has been in good form this fall, was recalled to the bench after the River Hawks notched their fourth goal almost eight and a half minutes into the second period. Sent out onto the ice for a first appearance of this 2014/15 NCAA campaign was Eamon McAdam, the 20-year-old homegrown sophomore from Perkasie whom the New York Islanders picked in the third round (# 70 overall) of the 2013 National Hockey League Draft but struggled during what was, for the most part, a disappointing freshman season (10 ga, 4.09 avg, .882 svpct) last term. McAdam had not played since early last February (a 7-3 loss to the Michigan Wolverines) but gave a good account of himself while stopping 17 of 18 shots from UMass/Lowell in nearly thirty-one minutes of game time.
The Nittany Lions halved their deficit just seventeen seconds into the middle frame when right wing Corey Bailey, the 22-year-old junior from Anchorage, Alaska, who has clearly rediscovered his old scoring touch, netted on the backhand to notch his team-leading sixth strike of the season. Penn State center Taylor Holstrom, the 24-year-old senior from Yorba Linda, California, made a tremendous play to keep the puck in the offensive zone at the right point, it should be noted. UMass/Lowell stormed straight back, however, and soon re-established its two-goal lead when the diminutive (5’8″ 175 lbs) left wing Robert Francis, the 23-year-old junior from San Diego, California, who transferred from Western Michigan University, found the back of the net for the second time on the night.
Penn State pulled a couple of goals back in the third period to salvage a measure of pride and, perhaps, build some momentum for Saturday evening’s return encounter with the River Hawks. Tommy Olczyk, the 23-year-old senior right wing from Long Grove, Illinois, who had been out of the line-up for the Nittany Lions’ last four games, celebrated his return by scoring on the backhand after a nice pass from behind the net by Canadian legionnaire Curtis Loik, the 21-year-old junior left wing from West Vancouver, British Columbia. And David Goodwin, the 22-year-old sophomore left wing from Des Peres, Missouri, scored his fourth goal of this season on a one-timer after taking a slick backhand feed from the influential Holstrom, who leads the Nittany Lions this fall with both ten assists and thirteen points.
Penn State right wing Casey Bailey (25), who now counts 29 goals in 68 NCAA career games for the Nittany Lions, collides with UMass/Lowell River Hawks defenseman Dylan Zink, the 22-year-old sophomore from Madison, Wisconsin, in front of the net during the NCAA non-conference clash in New England.
November 14, 2014
Paul E. Tsongas Center – Lowell, Massachusetts
Attendance : 4,314
UMASS/LOWELL 5 – PENN STATE 3
11:13 … UML – Francis (Chapie)
18:46 … UML – Kamrass (Maniccia, Mueller)
20:17 … PSU – Bailey (Holstrom)
21:57 … UML – Edwardh (Gambardella, Smith)
28:47 … UML – Francis (Maniccia)
48:21 … UML – Smith (Zink, Edwardh)
51:12 … PSU – Olczyk (Loik)
58:45 … PSU – Goodwin (Holstrom, Bailey)
shots-on-goal : PSU 37 ( 11 + 11 + 15 ) – UML 30 ( 9 + 12 + 9 )
penalty minutes : UML 2 – PSU 2
power plays : UML 0/1 – PSU 0/1
UMASS/LOWELL : Boyle – Kamrass, Mueller ; Zink, Kapla ; Panico, Suter – Francis, Maniccia, Chapie ; White, Campbell, Wallin ; Smith, Gambardella, Edwardh ; Fallon, Colantone, Hough
PENN STATE : Skoff (McAdam 28:47) – Koudys, Thompson ; Juha, Autio ; Jensen, Sweetland – Goodwin, Holstrom, Bailey ; Robinson, Conway, Scheid ; Loik, Brooks, Olczyk ; DeRosa, Gardiner, Friedman