Men’s Hockey: Penn State Splits Series with Ohio State
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lion men’s hockey team split the weekend and season series with the Ohio State Buckeyes after winning one of two this weekend at Pegula Ice Arena. On senior weekend, Penn State started off fast with a 6-1 victory on Friday, netting six or more goals for the seventh time this season.
With the victory, Penn State moved to 19 wins on the season, marking a new program high. The Nittany Lions also welcomed back Curtis Loik to the lineup, who had missed the last two series but played a strong game for Penn State. Eamon McAdam was the goalie of record on Friday and maybe lost in the 6-1 victory was a very solid performance by the junior.
“Eamon was great all game,” said head coach Guy Gadowsky. “It’s funny in a 6-1 game because his performance probably gets a little bit lost in all the scoring, but he really kept us in this one at time and gave us a chance to win when we weren’t playing our best.”
McAdam staved off a Buckeye attack that was buzzing all first period and then, Penn State got their legs under them, picking up the pace in the second period with four goals.
“Even though we had one goal I think the guys felt like we almost didn’t deserve it,” said Gadowsky. “I think we wanted to change the momentum and just get back to the basics of our game. I think they were hungry and it definitely showed in that second period.”
The Nittany Lions scored an empty-net, shorthanded goal to close out game one and secure at least a series split with Ohio State. Game two was much different for Penn State as they honored the first four-year senior class to ever leave the program. The pregame ceremony saw many Penn State players hold back tears and the emotions seemed to carry over to the game as Ohio State jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead just 10 minutes in.
“This would have been a nice one to win for sure,” said Gadowsky. “Obviously we didn’t come out well and I’m not sure what to attribute that too, but you have to give the guys credit for coming back we just couldn’t hold on at the end of the day.”
Penn State mounted a furious comeback. Chase Berger struck first with just over two minutes left to play in the first period. In the second, Penn State came out guns-a-blazing. Andrew Sturtz score his team leading 15th of the season with just under 10 minutes to play and then David Goodwin evened things up on the power play. Penn State continued their hot play in the third on a goal by Kevin Kerr. However, just after the Nittany Lions grabbed the lead, Ohio State tied it and scored the go ahead goal in a span of two minutes.
“It was a tough start an obviously there are a lot of emotions involved in that but I think we did a good job coming back, just credit to Ohio State for playing a little bit better that third period,” said senior captain David Glen.
For the Nittany Lions seniors, it was their last time skating at Pegula Ice arena in a game setting. After the series Gadowsky explained why this group meant so much to him and the staff and even the university as a whole.
“When they came here, Pegula was a blue print and there was a lot of uncertainty around this program,” said Gadowsky. “It’s really a credit to them for believing in Penn State hockey and having the courage to say yes and the drive to make this a better program during all four years that they played here.”
Penn State has two more away series on the slate as they now sit third in the Big Ten, just three points back of Michigan.
Jack Milewski is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.