Glen Nets Three as Nittany Lions Blank Alabama-Huntsville

posted February 9, 2013 in Sports, CommRadio by Pat White

In a battle of two independent teams, Penn State prevailed defeating Alabama-Huntsville 4-0 at the Greenberg Ice Pavilion.

It was a sloppy first period with giveaways on both ends of the ice. Penn State established some offense in the zone, but all 10 shots were turned aside by UAH goaltender John Griggs. Max Gardiner had the best opportunity for Penn State staring at a wide open cage, but put the shot wide.

The Nittany Lions reversed their recent trend of allowing goals in the opening minutes of periods by scoring one themselves. Kenny Brooks won a battle behind the net and fired a pass across to David Glen at the left circle, who beat Griggs to give Penn State a 1-0 lead.

The second period featured 18 combined penalty minutes for both teams. None were more costly than UAH forward Graeme Strukoff's tripping penalty with five minutes remaining. Penn State would cash in on the power play.

The dynamic trio of Casey Bailey, Max Gardiner and Taylor Holstrom continued their offensive success. Penn State moved the puck well around the perimeter on the power play.

Bailey and Holstrom worked along the perimeter and Gardiner parked himself in front of Griggs. Holstrom found the puck in the slot, made a touch a pass to Mark Yanis who fired a slap shot that Gardiner redirected for his third goal of the year.

The goal ended a 17 game goal drought for Gardiner, who hadn't scored since Oct. 27 against Sacred Heart. Gardiner third goal goes along with his team-leading 16 assists. Gadowsky said that Gardiner is one of the best on the team in front of the net and deflecting shots. Tonight the bounce went Gardiner's way.

"It was fitting that he got the power play goal," Gadowsky said."He does a great job in front, he's a big body and takes his job very seriously."

Despite Gardiner's big goal, David Glen stole the show offensively for the Nittany Lions.

Glen extended the lead to 3-0 on another great play started by Brooks. He made a great pass to defenseman Peter Sweetland, who found Glen in the left circle. Glen shook off a defender and sniped a turnaround wrister short-side just under the crossbar.

Glen put the icing on the cake late in the third when he found a Michael McDonagh rebound in the slot and finished off his hat-trick, the first in Penn State Division I hockey history. Gadowsky said the great thing about Glen is the ways he scores goals from everyone on the ice.

"It's exciting and a really great honor," Glen said. "All the credit to my teammates. they made great plays all night and I was lucky enough they went in."

Despite Gardiner and Glen's play, Kenny Brooks was the best forward on the ice tonight for the Nittany Lions. He won battles and set up goals in the offensive end, he broke up plays in the neutral zone and blocked shots on defense. He got the team's ceremonial hard hat for the hardest working player on the ice.

"He's always done the little things well," Gadowsky said. "In the box scores he may look a little forgotten, but the team definitely does not forget him. The kid's a winner."

Glen echoed his coaches thoughts and credits him as a big part of his hat-trick.

"I couldnt ask for more in a line mate," Glen said. "He makes room and makes plays on both sides of the puck and that makes it easy for me to get open. He's a heck of a player."

Gadowsky dressed only five defensemen for the game and lost Joseph Lordo midway through. That was when Brooks' play came to the forefront. Brooks took a few shifts on defense to make up for the loss of Lordo and didn't miss a beat.

Along with the stellar defense, goaltender Matt Skoff recorded his second shutout of the season and looked phenomenal between the pipes. Most notably, he made a big save on a breakaway as Doug Reid was released from the penalty box.

"We lost Joseph Lordo, so I give the defense a lot of credit," Gadowsky said, "I give Skoff credit. He only had to face 23 shots, but had to come up with some big ones. He looked pretty sharp all night."

Penn State outshot UAH 43- 23 and got the overall advantage in quality chances.

Penn State and UAH play again tomorrow night at 7:30 at Greenberg Ice Pavilion in the second game of Tommy Olczyk's coined "Independent League Mega Bowl."

Pat White is a senior majoring in print journalism. To contact him, e-mail pmw5072@psu.edu.