Penn State Takes Down Army in New Year’s Day Matchup
After a three-week layoff, Penn State started the new year in the win column defeating Army on Saturday evening. The Nittany Lions took down the Black Knights 5-3 on the road in West Point moving to 12-8 on the 2021-22 campaign.
The blue and white got off to a hot start when fifth-year defender Adam Pilewicz found the back of the net just 3:34 into the contest for his first goal of the season.
Penn State wasted little time extending its lead as just two minutes later junior forward Tyler Gratton gave the Nittany Lions a two-goal advantage.
Sophomore forward Chase McLane committed a costly tripping penalty as on the ensuing power play the Black Knights cut the deficit when junior forward John Keranen scored with just 3:26 left in the opening period.
After a back and forth opening period the blue and white looked to continue its scoring ways in the second period.
Playing in his first collegiate game freshman forward Dylan Lugris looked to make a big impact for the Nittany Lions. Just 3:43 in the middle period Lugris tallied his first collegiate goal after blasting a shot past sophomore goalie Gavin Abric.
Penn State continued to add to its lead when sophomore forward Tyler Paquette made a beautiful dangle to create space and fire a shot past Abric extending the Nittany Lion lead to three.
Junior forward Kevin Wall joined the goal-scoring party as he found the back of the net midway through the second frame giving the blue and white a 5-1 lead.
The Black Knights cut the four-goal lead to three late in the second period when senior forward Eric Butte tipped a shot past senior goalie Oskar Autio after a beautiful pass from senior forward Colin Bilek.
The third period was filled with both teams having quality scoring chances but not scoring until 3:34 remaining in the period when Army snuck a shot past Autio but it was too little too late for the Black Knights.
In the 5-3 victory, the Nittany Lions had five different goal scorers and 13 skaters record points while outshooting Army 37-32. However, Penn State struggled with the powerplay failing to convert on its three opportunities.
The blue and white will be back in action on Jan. 7 when it takes on Notre Dame at Pegula Ice Arena.
Alex Rocco is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com