Penn State Narrowly Defeats St. Thomas 3-2 in Overtime Thriller
After a grueling 60 minutes of play, Penn State and St. Thomas headed to overtime where Connor McMenamin went coast to coast in the final minute to win the game for the Nittany Lions.
St. Thomas gave Penn State all it could handle as the Tommies stifled the Nittany Lions’ offense all night long. The Tommies had active sticks and played physical, holding Penn State to two goals in regulation time.
Penn State head coach Guy Gadowsky said “we didn’t get burned, but boy we have and I think we know it.”
Penn State got off to a much better start in comparison to Thursday night’s contest with Penn State dominating the puck and eventually scoring two goals in a span of 19 seconds.
Connor McMenamin and Ben Copeland scored the goals, each their first of the season. However, not long after Penn State took a penalty and St. Thomas capitalized.
St. Thomas carried the momentum into the second period outshooting Penn State 12-7 in the period and eventually scoring the game-tying-goal.
Penn State’s offense was frustrated all night, but one player that stepped up for Penn State was freshman goaltender Noah Grannan.
Grannan started his second career game Friday night making 27 saves on 29 shots and even added an assist on the overtime-winning-goal.
Grannan said of his successful night, “Every shot I get a little bit of rhythm and at that point come overtime, you just hope you’re in the zone.”
Grannan was in the zone come overtime as he made a couple of huge saves before McMenamin scored the winner.
The third period was a period of more frustration for the Penn State offense as it was held off the board and managed just nine shots. A mad scramble in the final nearly netted Penn State a regulation winner, but Tommies goaltender Aaron Trotter held strong.
In the extra session both squads exchanged big chances, but no one could find a winner until the puck found McMenamin’s stick. He took the puck off a Grannan save all the way down the ice making a nifty move and sliding it through Trotter’s five hole for the Penn State winner.
McMenamin said the key to the team having a better offensive outing is by “keeping our foot on the gas.”
He also added that they need to play a full 60 minutes of hockey “instead of, you know, a little bit here and a little bit there.”
Despite the struggles, the Nittany Lions still came away with the series sweep and are 6-0 on the season. They are the only undefeated team in the Big Ten and open conference play next weekend against Wisconsin.
It wasn’t pretty, but Penn State learned a valuable lesson about its hockey team Friday night. They have to play hard 100% of the time, especially when they start playing their Big Ten rivals.
Despite the adversity, the Nittany Lions also learned they have some veterans that can win them a game in dramatic fashion when they may not have deserved to win. McMenamin was that player tonight.
Maclain Young is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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Second Year / Broadcast Journalism