Penn State Drops Series Finale to Alaska Fairbanks 4-0
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State came up short in the series finale, as Alaska Fairbanks handed Penn State its first loss of the season, 4-0, anchored by a lackluster performance by Penn State.
Penn State got outworked and out-hustled right as the puck dropped. Immediately, Alaska Fairbanks made it evident that it was out for revenge after losing 7-0 on Thursday night, as forward Colton Leiter blasted a top-shelf one-timer Oskar Autio on a bouncing puck 72 seconds into the first period.
Alaska Fairbanks forward Justin Young would continue the onslaught, as he scored two goals in the game. The first of Young’s goals came off a rebound right after Penn State had killed its first of seven shorthanded possessions just 29 seconds into the second period. Young was then able to increase Alaska's lead by three after scoring on the doorstep of the net as the puck was centered by Didrik Henbrandt just three minutes, 50 seconds into the third period.
"If you look at the heart, mentally, commitment that UAF had… When you're playing against opponents like that, you often need to match that heart and commitment to score goals," Penn State head coach Guy Gadowsky stated. "It's not just fancy hockey anymore."
Both teams exhibited a lack of discipline on the ice, as 15 penalties were called, accounting for a total of 49 penalty minutes. The Nittany Lions and the Nanooks tried and failed to convert on these power-play opportunities, as Penn State recorded zero goals on four power-play attempts, while Alaska Fairbanks failed to convert on any of its seven power-play opportunities.
Penn State drastically failed to take advantage of two elongated power plays. In the first period, Leiter was assigned a two-minute penalty for interference as well as a 10-minute misconduct, sending him to the showers early. Steven Jandric would follow his teammate, as he too was assigned a five-minute penalty for contact to the head following another 10-minute game misconduct.
As the Nittany Lions failed to cash in on their man advantages, Alaska Fairbanks iced the game in the middle of the third period when forward Max Newton scored to increase the Alaska Fairbanks lead to 4-0 during even strength.
"I think it would be really disappointing if every individual on our team and coaching staff doesn't learn a lesson," Gadowsky stated after the game.
Saturday's shutout at Pegula Ice Arena is only the second time that Penn State has failed to record a goal at home. The other was a 2013 loss to UMass Lowell.
Penn State will look to rebound from Friday night’s loss as it hosts Robert Morris at Pegula Ice Arena on Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.
Jordan Hession is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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