Nittany Lions hold on for win in 4-3 thriller over Golden Knights
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Host Penn State (1-0, 0-0) opened their season with a nail-biting 4-3 victory over the visiting Clarkson Golden Knights (0-1, 0-0) at Pegula Ice Arena.
This year’s contest between the Nittany Lions and Golden Knights proved far more successful for Penn State, coming off a 2-1 defeat last season in Potsdam, New York.
After a scoreless first period, Clarkson kicked off the fireworks with an even strength goal at the 2:16 mark by center Nico Strum, assisted by right wing Haralds Egle and defenseman Aaron Throw.
Penalties would prove to be the downfall for Clarkson, as a too many players on the ice call and slashing by Aaron Throw gave Penn State a two-man advantage. A power play goal by right wing Sam Sternschein off assists by center Chase Berger and defenseman James Gobetz would ensue, tying the game heading into the third period.
A tripping penalty late in the second period by Clarkson defenseman Jere Astren would also play to the Nittany Lions’ advantage, allowing for another power play goal early in the third period by right wing Liam Folkes, assisted by right wing Brandon Biro and center Ludvig Larsson, and ultimately giving Penn State a 2-1 lead.
“He was awesome, he had a great debut, I thought he was huge to this line,” Biro said about Larsson, who assisted on two goals in his Penn State debut after having spent three years at Merrimack College.
Only 19 seconds later, Clarkson would tie it up on an even strength goal by right wing Haralds Egle, one of two points for him on the night. He was assisted by left wing Devin Brosseau on a goal that would tie up the game at 2-2 with over 18 minutes remaining.
Simultaneously occurring on the play was a slashing call on defenseman James Gobertz, but this would prove no matter for Nate Sucese, as the left winger had an unassisted, shorthanded goal at the 2:33 mark, giving Penn State a 3-2 lead.
“Huge, huge shorthanded goal,” Guy Gadowsky said of Sucese, whose goal all but seemed to guarantee victory for the Nittany Lions.
Yet the penalty on Gobertz remained intact, allowing for Clarkson to tie the game up at three on a powerplay goal by defenseman Greg Moro, assisted by defensemen Aaron Throw and center Nick Campoli.
The deciding goal would come off the stick of right wing Brandon Biro, shortly after a beautiful pass by Sucese that put the puck right in front of the net for Biro. Ludvig Larsson also assisted on the goal, giving Penn State a 4-3 lead that they would not relinquish.
Penn State was able to put up four goals on highly touted goaltender Jake Kielly of Clarkson, while Chris Funkey made a surprising start in net that would fuel the Nittany Lions to victory.
“The value that Chris Funkey has to this team, it's immense” Gadowsky said about his senior netminder.
Coach Gadowsky was also quick to give credit to an excellent Clarkson team in what was a thrilling victory. The Nittany Lions may have outshot the Golden Knights by a tally of 32 to 26, but the game featured two evenly matched teams, and these two should produce quite the rematch tomorrow night at Pegula Ice Arena.
Andrew Destin is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.