Canales, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
PARK, Pa. - Following Friday night's loss at Ohio State, the Nittany Lions had
to regroup before Saturday's second game of the series. The Nittany Lions, who
stuck to their guns, came home to Happy Valley with a split, victorious in
more than 30 days off from competition, having last laced up for a matchup
against Michigan Dec. 2, 2016, head coach Guy Gadowsky took positives from the
pair of road performances.
we get back on the 26th and play on the 28th [of
December], so I actually liked it, but we did have an extra week off," Gadowsky
noted that a split on the road against another highly ranked Big Ten team is a
good jumping off point for the second half of the season, one that will challenge
the Nittany Lions with nine additional road games looming.
emphasized that although the result Friday night was a loss, the Nittany Lions
played better in that game than they did on Saturday.
have rust, things just weren't clicking," Gadowsky said of Friday's game. "I
think we actually probably played better on Friday than we did on Saturday. I
think we were pressing because we knew we didn't quite have it and we had to
press a little harder and we made some mistakes with the puck that cost us on
the other end."
Lions were unable to put up any points Friday night, but thanks to freshman
forward Brandon Biro the team got on the board first on Saturday. Biro found
the back of the net during the second period, while senior forward David
Goodwin and junior defenseman Trevor Hamilton earned the assists.
The line of
Goodwin, Biro and sophomore forward Chase Berger kept the offensive momentum
pulsing even later in the game, a performance Gadowsky said didn't go
unnoticed. Berger netted the fourth and final goal for the Nittany Lions,
assisted by freshman forward Denis Smirnov and Biro, who tallied his first
career multi-point game.
"I just try
to do everything I can to help the team win," Biro said. "I guess that night I
was just fortunate to get on the scoreboard a couple times. I just try to do
the right things whenever I'm on the ice and good things will happen."
Lions scored four times in their 4-2 victory against the Buckeyes Saturday, but
Gadowsky also noted that freshman goaltender Peyton Jones and junior defenseman
Erik Autio have made countless contributions to the team's consistency on the
often flies under the radar, scored the second goal of the night for Penn State
on Saturday, his second of the season.
all with Erik Autio specifically, that goal was a culmination of more than 20,000
shots in our shooting room," Gadowsky said. "This kid works extremely hard and
right from day one he identified he wanted to improve his shot."
concluded his praise of Autio noting the young Finn's ability to break the puck
out of the zone is on par with any other defenseman in the Big Ten.
saw time between the pipes both Friday and Saturday, now has a .919 save
percentage. Jones made 18 saves Friday, totaling an impressive 24 Saturday.
sophomore forward Andrew Sturtz, the type of weekend split involving a team's
ability to come back from an earlier loss, is something truly huge, especially
in terms of perseverance under pressure.
"For us to
battle the adversity and then even late in the game to go and take two
penalties and give up two goals and battle our way to the end to get the win, I
think that shows what kind of team and what kind of character we have in that
dressing room right now," Sturtz said.
The Nittany Lions are eager to keep their
momentum rolling, set to host Michigan State in back-to-back outings Friday and
Saturday evening at Pegula Ice Arena.