No. 7 Penn State Holds off Late Surge From Alaska-Fairbanks
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. –No. 7 Penn State held off a comeback from Alaska-Fairbanks on Tuesday to win 3-2 and take game one of the two-game series. The Nittany Lions came off of a 7-3 loss to Michigan State and needed a bounce back game, they got one here.
13 minutes into the game, Penn State would jump out to an early 2-0 lead over Alaska-Fairbanks. Tyler Paquette got the first goal for the Nittany Lions and a couple minutes later Ryan Kirwan would get his fifth goal of the season.
The blue and white dominated the opening period after winning 18 of the 25 faceoffs against Alaska. The Nittany Lions would also hold the Nanooks to just five shots compared to their 13 shots and two goals in the first period.
“I liked what I saw in the first half,” Penn State’s head coach Guy Gadowsky said. “Didn’t like the play in the second.”
Penn State would stay on fire coming out of the first intermission and score their third goal of the game. Xander Lamppa would be credited with the short handed goal for the Nittany Lions, his fourth of the season.
Half way through the game, Alaska would start to get some momentum going their way with a goal by Harrison Israel. After being held to just five shots in the first period, the Nanooks would start to get their offense going with some good looks and close the Nittany Lions lead down to two.
The Nanooks would ride that momentum to score another goal in the third period and put the pressure on the Nittany Lions. However, the blue and white would step up on defense and hang on to win the game 3-2.
“We adjusted to have our defensive game match the intensity of our offensive game,” coach Gadowsky said. “It takes a little bit of time for it to really sink in. When you have a good group of guys it can work.”
The Nittany Lions went quiet on offense after scoring their third goal half way through the second period. They got five power play opportunities throughout the game but couldn’t capitalize on them.
25 saves from Penn State’s goalie Liam Souliere, who didn’t need to do much in the first period after the defense allowed just five shots to get by them. After that Souliere struggled towards the end of the game but was able to hold off the Nanooks offense for his 10th win of the season.
The Nittany Lions will improve to 12-3 while Alaska falls to 5-6-2 on the season. Penn State and Alaska will continue their two game series on Wednesday in Pegula Ice Arena at 5 p.m.
Micheal Bolger is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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