Brandon Biro Earns 100th Point as Nittany Lions Top Robert Morris 2-1
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A toe save by Penn State’s Peyton Jones, a 5-on-3 stop for the Nittany Lions and Brandon Biro’s 100th career point on the game-winning goal—Hockey Valley had a lot to cheer about Friday night despite an early defensive battle, as the No. 12 Nittany Lions (4-1, 0-0 Big Ten) defeated the Robert Morris Colonials (3-4, 3-1 Atlantic Hockey Conference) by a score of 2-1. The two-game home-and-home series will continue in Pittsburgh on Jan. 11.
Coming off an unexpected 4-0 loss to Alaska Fairbanks last Friday, Penn State was looking for momentum heading into its Big Ten schedule, and they found it late in Friday’s game.
The defense showed up on both sides early, as the game remained scoreless after the first period. Neither team had many scoring opportunities, as the Nittany Lions put up just eight shots to just six for the Colonials.
The pace of the game changed quickly after the first intermission as the score was even at 1-1 after the second period. Penn State freshman forward Connor MacEachern broke the scoreless tie just three minutes in with his second collegiate score, but just two minutes later, Robert Morris sophomore forward Grant Hebert evened up the score from an assist by junior Nick Prkusic. Both players returned to the ice for the first time since Oct. 11 when they suffered injuries against Bentley.
After an even first two periods, the Nittany Lions showed their dominance in the third. Seven minutes in, Penn State senior Brandon Biro recorded his 100th point as a Nittany Lion when he gave them the 2-1 lead.
Later, Penn State was put in a tough position when questionable foul calls on junior Alex Limoges and senior Nikita Pavlychev gave the Colonials a two-minute, two-man advantage. Penn State senior goalie Peyton Jones faced scoring pressure during the penalty kill, but he and the defense did their job by forcing the puck to the other side, and the Nittany Lions finished the kill off strong when they shot the puck across the ice right before the power play ended. And with three minutes to go, Hockey Valley erupted in cheers when Jones stopped a game-tying slapshot off the tip of his foot to solidify Penn State’s fourth victory of the season.
Penn State head coach Guy Gadowsky was frustrated at times with the way his team played, but he was also impressed with the team’s resilience to get the win.
“It was a goal of ours at the start of the season to improve on defense,” Gadowsky said. “But obviously we don’t want to do it at the sacrifice of our offense.”
Despite being one of the most important pieces to the puzzle in his four seasons at Penn State, the humble Biro would only credit and praise his teammates for his 100 career points.
“I was definitely the beneficiary of a great play,” Biro said, referencing the crisp, clean passes from teammates Nate Sucese and Evan Barratt to set him up for his goal. “I was just kind of standing there.”
Penn State will begin conference play next weekend against No. 6 Wisconsin. With three players with at least seven points or more on the season, the Badgers will be a real test for the Nittany Lions.
Jack McCune is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.