Penn State Shuts Out Alaska Fairbanks in Game 1
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State men’s hockey came out strong in the first of a two-game series at Pegula Ice Arena, defeating Alaska Fairbanks 7-0 and improving their overall record to three wins.
Tyler Gratton scored the first goal of the game only 32 seconds into the game. The scoring didn't stop there for the, however, as Aarne Talvitie scored the second goal of the game at the 6:37 mark with an assist from Denis Smirnov. Smirnov is now at the 100 total points mark for his Penn State career.
“It’s a good accomplishment I couldn’t have done it without teammates and coaches," left-wing Denis Smirnov said.
Denis has had a couple of up-and-down years at Penn State, after a strong freshman campaign followed by two years were he struggled. Hitting this milestone has helped him feel that he is getting back to what he once was.
To finish out the first period, Penn State tallied goals from Liam Folkes, his first of the year, and from Paul DeNaples, also his first of the year, to make the score 4-0 to end the first period.
The second quarter was the complete opposite of the first period for Penn State, they did not score at all. It seemed at many times that Alaska had several chances to score and keep it a closer game but never did fully convert thanks to Peyton Jones 16 saves in the second period.
“I thought they came out and tried to play a much more aggressive and a faster game on pucks," coach Guy Gadowsky said. "It’s hard to shut out a good team like Alaska completely and they were gonna get their chances and they did and Peyton was obviously perfect."
At the beginning of the third period, it took Penn State some time to get going but, Brandon Biro scored a goal at the 6:36 mark to make it his third goal of the year. This was just the beginning of the scoring in the period as Nikita Pavlychev tacked on another goal just two minutes later for his first of the year. The final goal was an absolute beauty from Denis Smirnov which would end the game at 7-0 in favor of Penn State.
After the game, Gadowsky said he was very pleased, more than usual, with something that always helps Penn State hockey: the roar zone.
“I was wondering at the start of the game what they [Roar Zone] were thinking because it is a Thursday night," Gadowsky said. "They were great. They are always great and they deserve so much credit for the success of this program.”
Penn State looks to keep this momentum going for Friday night's game versus Alaska Fairbanks. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.
Dale Ostrander is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.