Hockey Game Grades: Mercyhurst

Story posted October 16, 2016 in CommRadio, Sports by Alissa Devine

The first away game for Penn State men’s hockey proved to be successful as the Nittany Lions won by a big margin, 7-0 against the Mercyhurst Lakers. Penn State came out firing as 11 Nittany Lions recorded points, with six players having a multipoint game. Here are this week’s game grades. 

Offense: A 

On Friday night, Penn State’s offense found the back of the net seven times against a Mercyhurst team that had no answers. For coach Guy Gadowsky and hockey valley fans, the team’s showing on offense is an optimistic one. The Nittany Lions had a complete game from the first puck drop to the last, especially on the offensive end. To shine an even more positive light on Penn State showing, the new faces of the team proved their skill on another level Friday night. Just four minutes into the game freshman Nikita Pavlychev used his big stature to drive into the Lakers net and score a shorthanded goal. In the second period, what really sealed the deal was a pair of goals to give the Lions a 4-0 lead. Another freshman, Denis Smirnov netted his first goal of his career on collegiate ice, sniping a power-play goal. In addition, the two-way defenseman, Trevor Hamilton found the puck in front of Mercyhurst’s goal to give Penn State a 6-0 lead. Chase Berger also notched a goal and Andrew Sturtz extended his goal streak to three games on the season. 

Defense: A-

Despite not seeing much action on the defensive end as a result of Penn State dominating in the possession category, The Nittany Lions still held the Lakers to zero goals and only 20 shots on goal throughout three periods of play. This marks the first shutout for Penn State since last November and their first road shutout since 2012. When Mercyhurst had the puck in the Nittany Lions zone, Penn State shut down the forwards in an impressive fashion to help shut out the Lakers.

Goaltending: A

Payton Jones who was pulled last Friday night after giving up three goals on eight shots picked up his first collegiate shutout, stopping 20 shots. Jones, who was known for aggressive play in the United States Hockey League, showed his edge during the game when he speared a Laker standing at the side of the net in the second period. For a goalie that has only had a little over two games of playing time in regular season play at the collegiate level, it is impressive to see the freshman goalie have enough confidence to prove his aggressive play this early in the season.

Special Teams: A

Penn State showed a lot of skill on special teams, both with a player short and with a man advantage. Nikita Pavylchev notched the one short-handed goal of the game early in the first period. Chase Berger scored a power-play goal for their second goal of the game, and Denis Smirnov also found the back of the net on the power-play to give Penn State a 5-0 lead. There were a couple plays on special teams, that were near misses and could have made the score margin even larger. With one man-advantage in the opening period of play, Vince Pedrie fired a shot from the right circle, hitting the cross-bar. Smirnov also had a chance on a 5-on-3 man-advantage in the second period and Sturtz intercepted a pass racing up the right slot during a 2-on-1 shorthanded attempt. Based on the amount of chances for the Nittany Lions on Friday night, it is safe to say Guy Gadowsky was pleased in that category.


Alissa Devine is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email