Hockey Game Grades: Alaska Anchorage
Penn State improves their record to 9-1-1 after this weekend’s matches with Alaska Anchorage (UAA) and they extend their win streak to seven games. Even though it took Penn State a while to find their rhythm they still managed to pull out two victories against UAA, in what was a much tougher series for the Nittany Lions than they had originally anticipated.
Friday’s Game: PSU-6 UAA-3
Saturday’s Game: PSU-3 UAA-1
It can be very hard for a coach to keep their team motivated when their opponent isn’t at their skill level, although the struggle was evident, head coach Guy Gadowsky got the job done. The team really responded to Gadowsky in Saturday’s game; Penn State was firing out of the gates, which paid off when they were able to net an early goal.
Gadowsky also made some line changes after Friday’s game. In fact, the Berger, Goodwin, and Biro line was the only line on that went untouched throughout the weekend. The most notable change was putting Zach Saar and Nikita Pavlychev on a line together for Saturday’s game; it paid off big time for their line mate, Nate Sucese, who tallied two goals and an assist.
The defensive pairings, for the most part, went untouched, but Saturday’s game saw an absence of the defensive pairing of Kris Myllari and David Thompson. Myllari and Thompson were replaced by the pairing of Derian Hamilton and James Gobetz; the pair made the most of their ice time, each putting two shots on goal and Hamilton walked away with an assist.
Penn State’s defense had a quiet offensive outing this weekend. Friday’s game saw three defensemen record at least one point. Kris Myllari notched two goals and an assist on Friday, but was not called back in the lineup on Saturday.
Trevor Hamilton and Kevin Kerr continue to be outstanding for this defense. Not only do they eat up most of the minutes on defense but they also do a fantastic job running the power play.
Although Penn State’s defense did a good job stepping up on offense, they let a few chances for UAA slip by them late in both games. It may have been fatigue setting in late in the game, but UAA was able to penetrate Penn State’s usually tight defense and gave themselves a few opportunities, which they were able to capitalize on late in Friday’s game.
Even with the Penn State offense putting up nine goals this weekend it was evident that they were unmotivated, at least throughout Friday’s game. There was no flow and the team looked flat through most of Friday’s outing.
However, they were able to make up for it with their performance on Saturday. Even with the score being much closer than Friday, Saturday’s game held the more dominant performance for the Nittany Lions.
A lot of that could be attributed to the line changes made by Gadowsky, especially in the Saar, Sucese, and Pavlychev line. Putting those two giant bodies with and extremely skilled player like, Sucese, just opens up the ice for him to do his thing. Which he did netting two goals and an assist.
Carly Pendergast is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email email@example.com.