Penn State Sweeps Sacred Heart

Story posted October 13, 2019 in Sports, CommRadio by Matt Noah

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State men’s hockey held onto an early lead to beat Sacred Heart 5-4, winning for the second time in two consecutive matchups. No. 13 Penn State now moves to 2-0 on the season.

Junior Cole Hults put the Nittany Lions on the scoreboard early, scoring a shorthanded goal to grab a 1-0 with 11 minutes left in the first period. Nearing the end of the period, senior captain Brandon Biro found the back of the net on the assist by senior Nate Sucese and Hults.

Goalie Peyton Jones allowed the team to pull ahead with his unstoppable performance in net. There was a risky play, however, as  a turnover behind the net caused Jones to dive on the puck and sacrificed a penalty to prevent a wide open shot.

In the second period, Penn State kept on the attack scoring again on a tip in Sucese. The power play kill has been very strong, leading to goals and shutting down the Sacred Heart offense.

The rest of the period went back and forth between the two teams until a little more than five minutes left in the period. Sucese set up his fellow linemate Biro for his second goal of the day.

Penn State, overall, had better accuracy with passing and shooting, outpacing Sacred Heart with more shots on net in each of the first two periods.

However, after a quiet start to the third, Sacred Heart finally brought the intensity they had been lacking all game and scores two goals in just a matter of 80 seconds. 

“Our mentality, I think, we have struggled with for a little while now when heading into the third period with a lead,” Penn State head coach Guy Gadowski said.

Penn State responded with freshman Mason Snell who scored his first goal as a Nittany Lion.

Just as people thought the game was wrapped up, Sacred Heart’s offense proved themselves with two hustle plays allowed for a flurry of two scores in six seconds, making it a one score game heading into the final minutes.

Despite an intense last minute of play with the goalie Josh Benson pulled from net, the Pioneers could not capitalize. Penn State was dominated in the last period playing just to maintain their lead being outscored 4-1 in the period and outshot 15-5. Pioneers had a good performance compared to the 8-2 thrashing of Friday’s game.

This game became competitive only in the last five minutes but turned out to be a nailbiter. Both captains scored two goals for their teams respectively.

“There is not too much adjustment yet because it is the first two games of the season,” Biro said. “We all want to take chances offensively.”

Coach Guy Gadowski gets his 300th win as a college hockey coach and continues to keep Penn State as a top threat in the country. Biro was the game’s first star, linemate Sucese was the second star, and Pioneers captain Jason Cotton won the third star.

Penn State will play again this Thursday Oct. 17 versus University of Alaska-Fairbanks at Pegula Ice Arena at 7 p.m.

 

Matt Noah is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email matthewnoah29@gmail.com.