Penn State Takes Pegula Opener From Army
Guy Gadowsky had a simple way to describe to the grand opening of Pegula Ice Arena.
“A tremendous night.”
The first goal in Pegula Ice Arena history was almost the game-winner.
Up until the final four minutes and 21 seconds, Penn State led 3-0 before Army scored on a 5-on-3 powerplay by Mac Lalor.
The Nittany Lions led 1-0 off of that Jensen goal through the first two periods in front of a 6,370 standing-room only crowd before erupting for two goals in the final period.
Matthew Skoff got the start in the net after a stiff competition between the three goalies on Penn State’s roster. Skoff played well all game with 25 saves and a big one on a point-blank shot just before the second intermission.
“He proved he can be successful in stressful and intense situations,” Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky said. “He was flawless other than the 5-on-3 goal where there was nothing he could do about that.”
The Pegula family was in attendance for the grand opening of the arena that they donated $102 million to and Terry Pegula spoke to the team before the game as well as being introduced before the puck drop at center ice.
“Something I’ll never forget is Mr. Pegula addressing the guys,” Gadowsky said. “The guys were absolutely ready to tear through metal for him.
Gadowsky said Mr. Pegula told the team about the importance of work ethic, how he achieved what he has in life, and his love for Penn State.
“What they’re going to build here is going to be something that is truly amazing,” Army head coach Brian Riley said. “I told Mr. Pegula on behalf of all college hockey, I certainly thanked him.”
After allowing Army to stay in the game and control the puck for most of the second period, Penn State came out in the final period with more focus and intensity, Gadowsky said.
With 16:36 left in the third period, Penn State got on the board again to take a 2-0 lead that Gadowsky said really helped the team calm down. Curtis Loik scored on a short-handed lefty wrist shot on a 2-on-1 fastbreak.
The Nittany Lions finished with two more goals in the third period. David Goodwin put scored on another fastbreak with 7:55 left to go on a one-on-one with Army goalie Rob Tadazack, who finished with 31 saves.
The final goal came in the final minute from Eric Scheid on an empty net.
Gadowsky said that special teams was something his staff wanted to address early. Penn State killed nine penalties.
“Anytime you get 10 power plays on the road, you have to cash in on that,” Riley said.
Army was also beat 48-32 by Penn State on faceoffs and outshot 35-26.
With the grand opening of Pegula Ice Arena now behind them, the Nittany Lions take the ice again Oct. 18 at Air Force in Colorado Springs, Colo.
“I’m pretty bummed it’s out of the way,” David Goodwin said, “I wish we could do it again.”
Patrick Woo is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.