Penn State Gets Revenge in Win vs. Buffalo State

Story posted November 4, 2012 in Sports, CommRadio by Pat White

Goaltender Matt Skoff recorded his first win, and Penn State's (5-2-0) fourth in a row as the Nittany Lions defeated Buffalo State (2-2-1) 4-2 Saturday night at Greenburg Ice Pavilion. The win comes two weeks after a 3-0 road loss to Buffalo State.

It was a wild and physical first period between the two teams. Penn State would go on an early power play a little under a minute into the game. The Nittany Lions peppered Buffalo State goaltender Kevin Carr with some quality chances, but could not find the back of the net. Penn State freshman defenseman Connor Varley would go off on an interference penalty midway through the period, and Buffalo State would capitalize on the opportunity on a goal by Matt Bessing. Skoff fought off the initial wrap-around attempt, and Bessing found the loose puck in the slot and gave Buffalo State the early 1-0 lead.

The referees had a busy period, calling nine minor penalties between the two teams. Penn State defenseman Mark Yanis took a slashing penalty on Carr that got a rise out of the Buffalo State players. Nick Melligan would go off for roughing, but Yanis got two minutes for slashing and two minutes for roughing. Buffalo State would test Skoff, but Penn State went unscathed.

Penn State went on the power play with just four minutes remaining in the period, on a holding-the-stick penalty on Buffalo State defender Ben Kramer. After putting a plethora of shots on the Buffalo State net, freshman forward David Glen finally got Penn State on the board.

The line of Glen and fellow freshman Kenny Brooks and Curtis Loik worked the puck well in the zone and kept consistent pressure on Buffalo State. Glen’s initial shot was stopped by Carr, but his resilience paid off as he flipped the puck into the top right corner. The freshman line has a combined 18 points through seven games this season. The goal also extended Glen’s point streak to four games. Head coach Guy Gadowsky likes the way that Glen gets to the dirty areas to put himself in position to score.

“David Glen is a kind of guy that excels in tough areas and in today’s game,” Gadowsky said. The perimeter pretty plays are the minority. You need guys who can get to the net and grit it out and I expect you’ll see that the rest of the year.”

The Nittany Lions would control the tempo early in the second period. Buffalo State would go on an abbreviated power play until a scary moment, when Penn State forward Jonathan Milley was slashed as he crossed the blue line by Melligan. Milley lay on the ice for a few minutes, and Melligan was sent off for a major penalty. Penn State would go on a five minute power play, but Milley would not return to the game. Captain, Tommy Olczyk said the team persevered despite the injury.

“When guys go out with injuries its never good to see,” Olczyk said. “You have to man up. You’re going to have to go out and produce a little more. The guys regrouped and I think we did a good job with that tonight.”

Penn State would solve some of their power play woes while on the man advantage. With a minute left in the power play, defenseman Nate Jensen rushed the puck up the left wing and found Michael Longo trailing in the slot. Longo beat Carr between the legs for his second goal on the season.

Just over three minutes later, Penn State would find the back of the net, courtesy of Tommy Olczyk. Forward Max Gardiner charged to the top of the right circle and put a blind, between-the-legs pass on the stick of Olczyk, who one-timed the shot to the glove side. The goal was the first of season for Olczyk, who was glad to finally have a tally in the goal column.

“It was good getting the monkey off the back, but it doesn’t matter who scores,” Olczyk said. “We’ve been winning a lot of games lately and beating some pretty good teams. Who gets credit at the end of the day doesn’t matter as long as you get the [win].”

Buffalo State would cut the lead to 3-2 when Mike Zannella fired a wrist shot that went off the crossbar and past Skoff.

Despite the late surge by Buffalo State, Penn State would put the nail in the coffin off the stick of David Glen. After a flurry of shots, Glen found the loose puck in front and pushed it past Carr, sealing the game for the Nittany Lions.

“It was kind of just a big goal for the team,” Glen said about his last goal. “I was really happy to be able to get one and put the game out of reach.”

Penn State out-shot Buffalo State 49-25 and had a 56-22 advantage on face-offs. The Nittany Lions will play perennial powerhouse Air Force in a two game series next weekend at Greenberg Ice Pavilion. Coverage starts on ComRadio at 7:30.

Pat White is a senior majoring in journalism. You can contact him via email at pmw5072@psu.edu.