Penn State Defeats Canisius 5-2 in Game 2
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa - Penn State found its rhythm Saturday afternoon against Canisius in a 5-2 victory over the Golden Griffins. A night after being defeated 4-1, the Nittany Lions stifled the visitor’s offense with solid team defense and exceptional goaltending.
“I thought it was a really gritty win. Guys blocked a lot of shots and played hard defensively,” said head coach Guy Gadowsky in the aftermath of the victory.
Penn State refused to be out-toughed in the series finale, imposing its will early and often. The Nittany Lions were forced to the penalty kill in the opening seconds of the contest. A solid kill kept the game scoreless, but the blue and white faced multiple infractions in the opening 20 minutes.
Danny Dzhaniyev scored on a sensational individual play, deking through the Canisius defense and beating goaltender Matt Ladd. Dzhaniyev continued to show his prowess and electric play-making abilities throughout the entire game.
The Nittany Lions maintained the 1-0 advantage heading into the locker room after the opening period.
In the second, each team found multiple chances on a power-play opportunity to kick off the frame. The Nittany Lions scored 30 seconds into the period on a Connor MacEachern wrister from the point to get his first goal of the year. Ben Schoen and Christian Berger marked their first assists on the MacEachern tally.
The Nittany Lions turned the advantage into three goals following a Christian Sarlo lamplighter through a screen in front of Ladd at the 3:06 mark of the third. Schoen helped with the primary assist with the secondary being assigned to Jimmy Dowd Jr.
Canisius cut the deficit to two goals as Keaton Mastrodonato netted a short-handed goal, his second goal of the series. His goal was assisted by Melaragni at the 10:38 point of the period.
Less than a minute later, Tyler Gratton found the back of the night for the first time in the 2021 campaign. The junior from Pottstown, Pennsylvania, was assisted by Dzhaniyev and Chase McLane. The goal allowed Penn State to push the score to 4-1 with less than nine minutes remaining in regulation.
The offense was not finished, however. Canisius left-winger Max Kouznetsov tucked home his inaugural goal of the young season.
MacEachern sounded the goal horn one last time for the Nittany Lions in the final minute to polish off the 5-2 victory.
Liam Souliere made the start for the Nittany Lions in goal. He racked up 36 saves on 38 shots in the contest. Matt Ladd turned away 39-of-44 Penn State shots on target.
“We recognized that yesterday, we did not play Penn State hockey. Today we stepped it up,” said McEachern.
Penn State went 6-for-6 on the penalty kill, perfecting the penalty kill in the series going 10-for-10.
Penn State will play next on Thursday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. at Pegula Ice Arena against Niagara University.
Evan Popalis is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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