New players seem right at home in 5-2 Win for Nittany Lions

Story posted October 8, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Josh Bartosik

After several long months and a busy offseason, Penn State kicked off its 2022-2023 campaign at Pegula Ice Arena against Canisius.

The Nittany Lions sent their fans back home with a smile on their faces after a dominant 5-2 win.

Penn State came out buzzing early, yet faced the same physicality as last year when they battled the Golden Griffins, and nearly let it get the best of them.

“We’re a little disappointed that we didn’t match their physicality right from the start,” Guy Gadowsky said. “We kinda had to be invited into it.”

Despite being outbodied at the beginning of the contest, Penn State never faltered and eventually capitalized on a power play goal from North Dakota transfer Ashton Calder at the 8:21 mark of the first period.

Just a few minutes later, Ryan Kirwan cashed in on a beautiful feed from RPI transfer Ture Linden to extend the Nittany Lion lead to 2-0.

The line of Linden, Kirwan and Kevin Wall combined for six points Friday night and were easily the most explosive line for Penn State.

“We got off the ice a couple of times and just kind of looked at each other to say ‘that was a lot of fun,’” Linden said. “It’s pretty exciting when you have a line like that.”

While Penn State didn’t score in the second period, it kept up the pressure throughout, outshooting the Golden Griffins 34-19 through the first two periods.

Despite being put in a corner, Canisius never backed down, scoring early in the third on the power play from graduate student J.D. Pogue to cut the deficit in half.

Even after back-to-back goals from Jimmy Dowd Jr. and Connor MacEachern to make it 4-1, the Golden Griffins scored another power play goal to keep it close until the late stages of the third.

“[Canisius] is a very aggressive team, that’s how they are successful,” Gadowsky said. “They’re always very good and they are going to be good again this year.”

Wall potted an empty netter with 23 seconds left in the game to seal the deal for the Nittany Lions.
Even with the opening night win, the penalty kill was a glaring issue for the blue and white Friday night, going 1-3 against Canisius. Gadowsky referenced it’s something he and the coaches need to work on.

“The failed clears were a huge problem, it’s very frustrating and you need those clears to change,” Gadowsky said. “That’s one aspect we were very poor at but I think there were probably a few others that we’ll see on tape.”

Even with the disastrous penalty kill, junior goaltender Liam Souliere put on an absolute clinic, stopping 34 of 36 shots and cementing himself as the No. 1 goaltender for the Nittany Lions.

“We gave up a couple grade-A opportunities early but [Souliere] was sharp,” Gadowsky said. “He was awesome from the start.”

All the questions surrounding the vastly different blue line seemingly vanished at puck drop, as both Carter Schade and Jarod Crespo were phenomenal on the back end.

Schade played a massive role late into the third period, stopping a dribbling puck right on the goal line and keeping the score at 4-2.

“That was a big time play,” Gadowsky said. “He’s the guy that gives you confidence and guys like that make plays like that.”

Saving goals wasn’t all Schade did on the back end, however. Midway through the third period, he leveled a Canisius player in the defensive end, sending both the crowd and the Penn State squad into a frenzy.

“Oh it fires me up, I like to see him getting aggressive,” Dowd Jr. said. “I love how he has that confidence in him to go play the hard defensive style he plays and make plays with the puck.”

Overall the vibes were good from Penn State, especially from the new additions in their first taste of Hockey Valley.

“I don’t think I’ve ever played in front of a crowd that loud or that big before,” Linden said. “So it was just a lot of fun and I’m excited we got to do it.”

Penn State will go for the sweep Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. at Pegula.

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