Penn State Falls to UMass Lowell Again
After being shutout 4-0 the night before, Penn State men’s hockey bounced back with a stronger effort, but still dropped the last game of their two game set with UMass Lowell, 3-2.
The curse of the uncontrollable rebound haunted the Nittany Lions, as the River Hawks scored three first period goals, two of which were off second chance opportunities, that couldn’t be controlled by Penn State freshman goaltender, Eamon McAdam.
The first goal of the game was scored by UMass at even strength, on a slap shot from the blue line. The puck could not be controlled by McAdam and was tapped in by center Joe Gambardella, to put the River Hawks up to a 1-0 lead, 4:26 into the game.
After left winger A.J. White was sent to the box for elbowing, the Nittany Lions responded with urgency, scoring a goal 20 seconds into their powerplay attack. They evened things up by virtue of a quick wrist shot from the right circle, by center Nick Gordon, that was able to beat River Hawk goaltender Doug Carr on the glove side at 10:25.
From there, UMass, a team that made it to the Frozen Four last season, turned up their game and showed why they were the preseason #1 team. The River Hawks continued their success on the powerplay, coming into the game 11 for 57 (19%) success rate with the man advantage. That percentage went up when center Stephen Buco netted a PP goal, that hit off the skate of McAdam on a wraparound which put them up 2-1.
The River Hawks finished the period on a Josh Holmstrom slap shot from the point, that couldn’t be controlled in front of the net and was put in by a Adam Chapie wrist shot, that was created by rebound second shot opportunity at 17:50.
The second period took a turn for some unusual events.
The River Hawks came out with the momentum to start the period but about half way through, a fan put up a sign that pointed out the refs that one of the glass panels behind the Penn State net was cracked which stopped play for approximately 15 minutes to repair the glass.
From there the last 30 minutes of the game the tides turned and the momentum shifted to the home team.
Penn State ended the period with their second line almost stuffing one in, but Carr came up big once again to keep the period completely scoreless.
The Nittany Lions took that energy into the final period, as left winger David Goodwin caused a crucial turnover in the River Hawk defensive zone, which led to wicked forehand to backhand move that beat Carr five-hole, to bring Penn State to within one goal, with a little over seven minutes left.
Penn State continued to press and keep the River Hawks on their heels, but even after they pulled McAdam for the extra attacker at 18:57, the Nittany Lions could not even the score.
After the game, McAdam recognized that besides a rocky first period, there were definitely positives to take away from his performance.
“I thought improved as I went along. I think the last two periods I was getting more into my groove,” said McAdam. “Hopefully I can start putting in complete games like that and shut teams down.”
Head coach Guy Gadowsky backed his goaltender.
“He (McAdam), is a freshman and he’s playing in a great building against a Frozen Four team and a preseason number one of course there is nerves but this was a great step for him.”
Even though this was one more to tally up in the loss column, Gadowsky felt that it wasn’t a loss for the team looking down the road ahead.
“We played an excellent hockey game,” said Gadowsky. “I thought we learned a lot and if we can continue that it’s definitely a step forward.”
The Nittany Lions will be off for two weeks, before they take on Union at Pegula Ice Arena.
Zachary Lacher is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.