4-Goal Second Period the Key in 6-2 Win Over St. Thomas

Story posted October 21, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Josh Bartosik

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The nation’s hottest offense stayed hot, as No. 18 Penn State defeated the St. Thomas 6-2 at Pegula Ice Arena.

12 Nittany Lions found the scoresheet, with six different goal scorers throughout the contest for the blue and white.

Ture Linden got it started late in the first period on a one-timer right in the slot. Linden now has 10 points in five games on the season, tied for first in the nation.

Freshman forward Alex Servagno got the secondary assist on Linden’s goal to record his first career collegiate point to go along with a phenomenal all-around performance.

“He really was a catalyst tonight, huge forecheck on that first goal,” Guy Gadowsky said. “A couple big blocks and backchecks and the team really appreciates that.”

The Nittany Lions would take the one-goal lead into the second period, where the floodgates opened for Penn State.

Three goals scored in one minute and six seconds broke the game wide open, with goals from Simon Mack, Connor MacEachern, and Ben Schoen.

Mack’s tally was the first of his collegiate career, and one the sophomore defenseman will never forget.

“It was special for sure,” Mack said. “Anytime you score at Pegula, it’s a special environment.”

Schoen continued to build off the stellar week he had against Mercyhurst, as the Big Ten First Star of the Week extended his point streak to five games.

Late into the second period, Ryan Kirwan made it 5-0 off a beautiful play with Jimmy Dowd Jr. and Linden. Kirwan’s fourth goal of the season is good for second in the nation, and it’s easy to see why he’s so special.

“It’s just the way he shoots the puck,” Gadowsky said. “I mean, he’s just got an unfair advantage.”

St. Thomas scored with under one second left in the second period and then midway through the third period to make it 5-2, but Danny Dzhaniyev had other plans.
The sophomore forward lit the lamp less than two minutes after the second Tommie goal to secure his first tally of the season.

“It was long overdue. I think I’ve been playing well this season,” Dzhaniyev said. “It felt great to finally get that first one, full weight off my shoulders.”

Despite his team’s massive offensive output, Gadowsky wasn’t totally impressed with the performance from his squad.

Penn State took its foot off the gas after going up 3-0, which led to high-danger chances for the Tommies. Despite the defensive lapses, junior goaltender Liam Souliere was up to the task.

“We gave up a grade-A opportunity right in the slot and [Souliere] made a huge save,” Gadowsky said. “If that shot went in, this game would have been completely different.”

Special teams was once again an issue for the Nittany Lions, but not in the way it normally is.

The penalty kill was a perfect 3-for-3 on the night, yet the power play was 0-for-2 on the night and St. Thomas had some of its best chances all night shorthanded.

“Today we didn’t really seem very good,” Gadowksy said. “And that’s a big issue, it was disappointing.”

The Nittany Lions will look to improve their record to 6-0-0 along with improving their special teams performance on Friday night as these two teams play once again to complete the series.

Joshua Bartosik is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jsb6137@psu.edu.