Recently in Men's Hockey Category
By Julie Bacanskas, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Eight games. Eleven goals. Fifteen assists. Seventy-nine
The line of David Goodwin, Taylor Holstrom and Casey Bailey has been dynamic
for the Nittany Lions. The trio, who are all atop the team's scoring leaders,
accounts for over 30 percent of Penn State's offense.
The line clearly has synergy.
"All three of them are working extremely hard," said head coach Guy Gadowsky. "I
really think that's the difference. All three of them have shown high levels of
skill, and they all have a high hockey IQ."
Success is nothing new for Goodwin, Holstrom and Bailey.
Last season, the forwards were ranked second, third and sixth on the team in
scoring, respectively. Goodwin led the Lions in assists, while Bailey's nine
goals were second to only Eric Scheid's 11 tallies.
Combining all this talent has generated positive results this season.
"I just think it's the chemistry," said Bailey of the early season success. "I
think like I talked about earlier, me and Holstrom played together all freshman
year. He kind of knows that I'm always looking to shoot. I think Goodwin knows
that too, and I think it's the chemistry on our line. He [Holstrom] played with
Goodwin last year. Things are clicking right now."
A key factor for not only this line, but also the entire team, has been shots
Penn State is currently outshooting its opponents, 345-236. With 109 extra
shots, the Blue and White are bound to have offensive success.
"I just think it's the way we're driving the net," Bailey said. "When we drive
through the middle it opens up a lot of area for us to get those shots off. It
makes it a lot easier, and I think we have a mentality that everybody's going
to do that. It's making everybody drive to the net, and I definitely think our
team is doing a lot better getting shots to the net this season so far."
These shots are greatly benefiting the Lions, who are also outscoring their
"We're working hard," said Holstrom. "We're getting pucks deep. We're doing
little things. We're getting some bounces here and there, but I think it just
comes down to getting pucks on net and going to the net."
Holstrom's 11 points have him tied for eighth in the country in scoring, and he
is also tied for seventh in assists with eight on the season thus far; however,
he credits his personal success to his line.
Right now, their chemistry seems to be unstoppable, and all three are playing
some of their best hockey.
"My linemates are playing well," Holstrom said. "They're putting pucks into the
net. Our team is working really hard, and the score sheet's working well for
me. There are other guys helping me out, and I can't do it alone."
Moving forward, Gadowsky knows this line is one he can count on. All three
forwards show dedication to the Penn State program day in and day out.
That dedication is directly related to their success.
"I think if you look to a man right now, I think Taylor Holstrom has been our
best backchecker, probably Casey Bailey has been best at getting the puck out
and David Goodwin's been working extremely hard," Gadowsky said. "I think for
them, their key is work ethic for sure."
Eight games. Eleven goals. Fifteen assists. Seventy-nine shots.
If these numbers are any indication of what is to come for the Goodwin,
Holstrom, Bailey line, the remainder of this season looks very bright.
By Julie Bacanskas, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - One weekend. Two comebacks. Two victories.
With minutes left in Friday's game against Bentley, fans at Pegula Ice Arena
watched intently as their team tried to bring the score to a tie.
The Lions, who were trailing, 2-1, fired off shot after shot in that third
period, desperately trying to avoid their first loss on home ice this season.
In a matter of seconds, the Lions completely turned their fate. Two late goals
helped the team edge out the Falcons, 3-2, for the second consecutive night.
"I really give the guys a lot of credit because for the third period, when
things weren't going well in the third period they really buckled down," said
head coach Guy Gadowsky. "I think our shots were 22-7 in the third, and we
looked a lot more like the Penn State hockey team that we expect. That was a
really, really big win."
With a little over four minutes remaining, the Lions found themselves on the
power play, which proved to be the catalyst for the team.
A power play goal by Taylor Holstrom, followed by a second even-strength tally
by Eric Scheid, propelled the team to victory.
"We got a chance on the power play, and we were looking to shoot," explained
Holstrom. "Jense [Nate Jensen] faked everyone out and made a play to Rocket
[Dylan Richard]. Rocket threw a pass in the middle, and I just shot as hard as
I could. I don't know where it went actually, but we were just trying to get
shots, and it went in."
Taylor Holstrom, who leads the Lions in points with 11, is also currently tied
for third in scoring and first in assists in the nation. His goal changed the
dynamic of the game, setting up the perfect storm for the second comeback-win
in team history.
Merely 16 seconds after Holstrom's equalizer, Scheid found the puck on his
stick and took a chance. He used his Penn State hockey mentality, and threw the
puck at the net, hoping for a positive result.
Positive was an understatement.
Scheid's shot hit the crossbar, bounced over the shoulder of Bentley's
goaltender and into the back of the net.
"It feels really good to be on the other side of one of these games," said
Scheid. "We've been part of a lot of games where we've kind of given up leads
in the third, and the third's really haunting us lately. To be able to come
back both nights and get a win, it feels pretty good. We're all pretty
The back-to-back third period comebacks highlight an increase in confidence for
the Lions, which they have struggled with in past games.
They are also signs of increased mental toughness in the team.
"We've asked the team to identify that we had some mental toughness issues
when we were up in the third, and this weekend we had two opportunities going
in down in the third," said Gadowsky. "I think they came through with flying
colors. This was our largest deficit of the year, and we were able to overcome
that and win in pretty dramatic fashion.
"It is a big, big win. I mean I give the guys a lot of credit, mostly for being
able to play a good, solid Penn State hockey when it mattered most, and then
obviously to win it is impressive as well."
Goaltender Matthew Skoff faced 61 Bentley shots
during the series, significantly less than the 103 his teammates fired off, but
his performance was yet again key for the Lions. He made kick saves, glove
saves and stick saves when needed but remained patient when the action in his
The junior's composure led the Blue and White to
two Halloween weekend victories, and the team's second sweep at Pegula Ice
"I thought it was a really, really tough game
for him," said head coach Guy Gadowsky of Skoff's Thursday performance. "I
really did. Getting 26 shots and letting in two, no one's going to say, 'Boy he
stole the show.' But I'll tell you what, that was a tough game to play because
he didn't get a ton of work, but he had to face a lot of different looks on the
power play and then a lot of really quality chances."
The Falcons' two Thursday goals came on the
power play, which is one of their team's biggest strengths.
The story was much the same the following evening as Bentley tallied both their
Friday goals on the man-advantage as well.
In multiple instances, Skoff bailed out the Lions with incredible saves,
keeping them in the game. His play speaks for itself, as he proves time and
time again his importance to this team.
"He's on," said Gadowsky. "These are very
important games for us. He deserves it [the starting position] through what
he's done this year and last year and how he is as a teammate, his work ethic.
He deserves it."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to GoPSUsports.com's live, interactive coverage of Penn State men's hockey. This evening, the Nittany Lions finish their series against Bentley.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to GoPSUsports.com's live, interactive coverage of Penn State men's hockey. This evening, the Nittany Lions take on Bentley.
By Julie Bacanskas, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - There's no "I" in team, which is a concept
goaltender Matthew Skoff is quick to recognize.
This season, Skoff has led his team to three victories, two draws and one loss.
He has stopped 163 shots and allows an average of only 1.96 goals per game.
Even with his impressive play, the junior credits his two 2014-'15 Big Ten
weekly honors, the second of which came following this past weekend's
performance, to the entire team.
"I think it's indicative of how well the team's playing right now,"
Skoff said of his third star honor. "The team is playing really well. When
individuals on a team have success it's more or less likely because the team is
playing really well."
Through the first six games, the Lions have scored 25 goals and allowed only 12.
The team is a cumulative plus-35, and 14 different Lions have found the back of
Penn State is clicking.
"I think everyone believes in each other a lot more," explained the goalie. "Everyone
came back basically. We are playing well, and I think the reason being is last
year we really started picking up at the end of the year."
"Then this year, I think we're kind of rolling into the next season. Right now,
we're taking it one game at a time, and it's worked so far. We just have to keep
Skoff's team mentality was a driving force in his offseason preparations.
The junior took all the necessary steps to put himself in a position to succeed
by both working with the team's strength coach throughout the summer months and
by attending an NHL development camp with the San Jose Sharks.
"He obviously put in the work both physically and mentally to be able to play
at a very high level out of the gates," head coach Guy Gadowsky said. "We're
very happy to see that. We're not at all surprised to see it because of how he
ended up last year but very happy to see it."
Despite his efforts this summer, Skoff feels there is always room for improvement.
"Every summer I try to prepare the same way, no matter what," the goalie said. "We
all had a good summer. A lot of us stayed back here and worked with each other,
but I'm not going to say I'm playing outstanding. I can always get better and
the same with the team."
Looking forward, Penn State (3-1-2) is ready to take on Bentley (3-2-0) this
The game, which comes just four days after their last contest, gives the Lions
a limited amount of preparation time. Nevertheless, the Blue and White are on a
roll, and they want to keep things moving.
"I think the team's playing well, and I think when you're playing well
it's important to get more and more games under your belt," Skoff said. "Hopefully,
like I said earlier, we're just going to hopefully keep this rolling because
the more and more games you play, the more and more you get comfortable with
Bentley is fresh off an
away sweep of Rensselaer, where the team scored a total of nine goals and held
RPI to only two.
Even with Penn State's early offensive explosion, the team knows these games
will be hard fought.
"I know they score a lot of goals," said Gadowsky. "They don't
necessarily pepper the net, but they score a lot of goals. We're scoring quite
a few ourselves. I think we're right around four, and they're at 3.8, something
like that. They're just behind us. So they score a lot of goals and they just
swept RPI at RPI, which is a tough place to play. I know they're playing very
well right now."
Knowing Bentley's strengths will help the Lions in their final home series of
the fall semester.
"They had some good teams the past couple of years, so we're not going to take
them lightly," Skoff said of Bentley. "We're going to treat it like every other
game. We're going to come in and do our best to put up a W."
By Julie Bacanskas, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - As the clock wound down and the horn sounded Sunday
afternoon, the Penn State men's ice hockey team jumped onto the ice in celebration.
The Lions had not only just emerged victoriously over Holy Cross, but they also
earned their first series sweep at Pegula Ice Arena.
Friday night, the Lions (3-1-2) came away with a 3-1 win over the Crusaders
(1-4-1). Following a day of rest, the Blue and White turned in an even more
dominant performance in the second game, defeating Holy Cross, 7-1.
"Both of these, we came into the third in a tight game and ended up pulling
away," said head coach Guy Gadowsky. "I thought that's a big step. Obviously,
you don't get a grade for mental toughness on two games alone, but it certainly
is a nice step to show the guys they can have confidence and they can do it."
Over the course of the weekend, the Lions saw goals from seven different
student-athletes. Casey Bailey, Eric Scheid and Scott Conway accounted for six
of the 10 goals scored.
"They don't write up
how the goal is on the score sheet, so pretty much just getting your name on
there is good, but I think having those pretty ones definitely gives you confidence,"
Bailey said following Sunday's game. "I think, for our line, that was a full
line goal. It gives our line confidence. I mean, obviously to get that one off
Conway's back is huge for him, and Loik's power play goal was probably a good
step in the right direction."
Richard - No Goal
Even with an array of scoring, the Lions had a tough break Friday evening.
As the first period was coming to an end, Dylan Richard made a beautiful play,
kept his focus on the net and beat the Crusaders' goalie, appearing to break up
the scoreless game.
Moments later, the officials reviewed the call, disallowed the goal and sent
Richard to the box for goaltender interference.
"That was a weird
play, but I guess I got it around our blue line," explained Richard. "It was
nice back pressure by Rick [DeRosa] and Scooter [Conway] there. I mean, I just
chipped it by the D-man, made a slip passed him, opened the net and tucked it
around the goalie.
"I didn't think I interfered with him enough to cause a penalty and disallow
the goal, but I know that's a point of emphasis this year with the refs. It's a
tough break, but we managed. I was just laughing because it's a tough break and
you can't do much about it."
Gadowsky's thoughts on the disallowed goal were clear. The coach was very
animated when discussing the play with the referees as he tried to understand
why his team was suddenly on the penalty kill for what he believed to be a
was that right now in the NCAA, a point of emphasis is goaltender interference,"
Gadowsky said. "The explanation was that Dylan Richard interfered with the
goaltender. I don't agree with that at all, and I'm very anxious to see what
the league says about it after they see the tape. To me, that was probably the
prettiest goal we've scored all year."
Conway - First NCAA Goal
Quickly skating into the offensive zone during the third period of Sunday
afternoon's game, Scott Conway had the puck on his stick and determination on
The forward, who had already notched two assists, was hungry for his first
He skated at the defender, pushing the puck left while moving right, and then
took off toward the Holy Cross net. Conway placed the puck perfectly in the
upper corner, giving Penn State a four-goal lead.
"I remember getting the pass from [Eric] Scheid as I tried to split the D
there," explained Conway. "I didn't quite do it, so I just tried to beat the
guy so I could just try to push it forward. Then he got confused, I think, and
couldn't find the puck.
"I ended up on the puck side. The goalie slid over a little too far, so I
brought it back to the other side and luckily it went in."
Mere minutes later, the freshman buried a second goal on the power play,
sealing Holy Cross's fate and the series sweep.
In a game filled with impressive goal scoring by all, Conway's first NCAA goal
did not disappoint.
"That was actually a big time goal," said Gadowsky. "He's got such quick hands
and a real hunger to score. You saw it on that play. That was a big time goal."
Conway turned in a four-point performance in the series' second game, giving
Penn State fans a glimpse of his skill level and hockey sense.
Friedman - First Goal Against an NCAA Team
Senior Jacob Friedman laced up his skates and took the ice Sunday for his first game
of the season.
He was sure to make the most of his ice time.
Just over two minutes after celebrating Conway's tally, fans in Pegula Ice
Arena once again rose to their feet to applaud another goal, Friedman's first against
an NCAA Division I team.
"You can't find a better locker room guy, and I think there's not a guy on the
team that doesn't love him," said Bailey of his teammate. "I think when you see
a guy like that who is always working hard, he does everything the coach asks
and he finally gets one in after all these years of trying. I think he's had
all the opportunities, plays well, and I think it gets the guys excited for
Friedman's last Nittany Lion goal came during the 2012-'13 season. Last year,
he posted two assists.
Holding the puck Friedman scored with in his hands, Gadowsky could not say
enough about the team's excitement for the senior.
"It's not often the
bench goes nuts in a 5-1, 6-1 game, but the bench was so pumped for him,"
Gadowsky said. "He is just such a tremendous teammate and such a tremendous
person. I guarantee every guy on the team was so excited for him, more than
even when they score themselves.
"The whole team was just so pumped that he scored. He's such a great person.
He's such a great teammate. That was awesome to see."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to GoPSUsports.com's live, interactive coverage of Penn State men's hockey. This afternoon, the Nittany Lions close their series against Holy Cross.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to GoPSUsports.com's live, interactive coverage of Penn State men's hockey. Tonight, the Nittany Lions open their series with Holy Cross at Pegula Ice Arena.
By Julie Bacanskas, GoPSUsports.com
Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Pressure is nothing new for David Goodwin.
Ending last season second in scoring for the Nittany Lions, the sophomore knows
expectations for this season are high, but he wouldn't have it any other way.
"I'm looked upon to put the puck in the net and to help other people put
the puck in the net," the forward said. "I think there's always, at whatever
level or whatever age I am, there's going to be pressure, but I like it. I like
being one of the guys that's looked upon. Hopefully I can have another good
To prepare for his second year donning the Blue and White, the sophomore put
forth the extra effort during the offseason, working on the little things that
will help to further elevate his level of play.
With four points in four game this season, Goodwin has not disappointed.
"My conditioning was probably my biggest thing," said Goodwin of what he needed
to improve. "Obviously with playing consistently, you need to be at your best
shape you can, so that was a big point of emphasis for me and on my shot.
"I want to be able to score from further out. I feel like I'm pretty good
around the net, making quick plays and banging home rebounds, but I want to be
able to score from father out and hopefully get a few more."
The forward will look to add to his scoring this weekend, as the team returns
home to take on Holy Cross.
Playing at Pegula Ice Arena brings excitement to the entire program,
student-athletes and coaches alike, and it seems to add an extra spark to
Goodwin's game. Of his 18 points last season, 11 were earned at home in front
of Penn State fans.
This year is no different, as the sophomore has already racked up two goals and
two assists while playing in Happy Valley.
"All those points have come from playing here at Pegula, so I love playing
here," Goodwin said. "There's no secret. Last year, a good chunk of my points
came from playing here in front of our fans.
"I just think trying to be consistent, whether it be at home or on the road,
just trying to play consistently and just being a good linemate and trying to
make plays out there is the key."
Friday, Sunday Holy Cross Series
As Goodwin and the Nittany Lions (1-1-2) prepare to take on Holy Cross
(1-2-1), they know they have to account for an unusual schedule.
Instead of the typical Friday and Saturday evening games, the two teams will
face off on Friday night and Sunday afternoon due to Penn State's home football
"We actually offered a Thursday, Friday scenario, and Holy Cross, under the
reason of academics, wanted it to be a Friday, Sunday," explained head coach
Guy Gadowsky. "They actually made the move."
While the Lions are looking to bounce back from their draw and loss in Alaska,
the Crusaders are looking to build off last weekend's success. Holy Cross is
fresh off its series with AIC, games in which the team went 1-0-1.
The added day of rest in this series may be a blessing in disguise for the Lions,
who have recently been battling a string of injuries, the most serious of which
include the laceration David Thompson sustained in Alaska and a back injury
that will leave Jonathan Milley out indefinitely.
To succeed this weekend, the Lions will not only need to battle through these
losses, but they will also need to stay confident, composed and mentally tough.
"There are certain things that we do that are our objectives that when it comes
down to the most crucial times, we have to know 100 percent that those things
are going to happen," Gadowsky said. "Right now, and I'm not going to go into
the people that aren't there yet, but quite honestly that's not happening at
the most crucial times.
"We're doing them for a longer period of time, but when it matters most we have
to know 100 percent that those objectives are gong to be met. Right now,
they're not, so it's not just a matter of winning. I think it's really coming
up with a plan that in those crucial times X, Y and Z are absolutely going to
Even with some of the team's mental blocks, Goodwin knows he and his teammates
can overcome the issues with time. The Lions are hopeful they can begin taking
the necessary steps this weekend.
"I think the confidence is there," said Goodwin. "It's just mental toughness,
and those few little mistakes can creep up whenever. I just think it's
something we're going to work on, and I'm sure we'll get better."
The Lions and the Crusaders will open their series 7 p.m. Friday night at
Pegula Ice Arena.
By Julie Bacanskas, GoPSUsports.com
Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions arrived in Fairbanks last
Wednesday, after traveling 4,160 miles, ready to compete in the Brice Goal Rush
tournament against Alaska Anchorage and Alaska for the first time in program
Friday night, Penn State (1-1-2) and Alaska Anchorage (3-0-1) reached a 3-3 tie
following overtime, and after allowing two third-period goals in the final minutes
of Saturday's game, the Lions were defeated, 4-3, by Alaska (4-0).
Although the team made the 4,160 mile journey back home with a tie and its
first loss of the season in hand, head coach Guy Gadowsky is happy with the overall
"For the most part, I thought we performed well," Gadowsky said. "We were ahead
in the third both nights. In one we let them come back, and in the other game
we lost. That's certainly a maturation process that we have to go through, but
I'm very optimistic that we'll get it quickly because we had to go through that
Moving forward, the Lions will need to dig deep and find ways to hold off the
opposition in the final minutes of play, which is a not a new concept for the
"I thought we played pretty well until the last five, ten minutes of both
games," said senior Max Gardiner. "We have to find a way to win those games.
Come Big Ten play, we're going to be playing good teams every night. Those are
the types of games we're going to be in. To be successful in the Big Ten, we're
going to have to find a way to win those games."
While the results were not what the Lions were striving toward, the team once
again found success on the power play. The Blue and White scored three goals
with the man advantage throughout the course of the weekend, two against Alaska
Anchorage and one against Alaska.
The team also received its first five-minute power play, which it took full
"I think one of the goals is to always score on a five-minute major," Gadowsky said.
"That's the first five-minute major power play that we've had. We've given up
eight. When you get a five-minute power play, it certainly looks good.
"I think it's a little bit of a factor of we're focused more on it than we were
last year because we're further in our process, and I think we're putting
ourselves in better positions by just making better decision all around. We're
on the power play instead of killing, which is very much opposite last year."
Gardiner, who had not recorded a point since November of last year, scored the
Lion's goal on the five-minute penalty.
"It was a beautiful goal, and it's funny because he was playing extremely well,
very well in his own end," Gadowsky said of Gardiner. "He made really good
decisions, so to see him score a goal, and such a beauty, was really great."
Bailey and Scheid Return to Alaska
While this trip was the first to Alaska for the majority of the Lions, Casey
Bailey, an Alaska native, and Eric Scheid, a former student-athlete at Alaska
Anchorage, both made their returns to the state.
Even with the bit of added pressure, both forwards did their best to
"I actually thought they both played very well," Gadowsky said. "Casey
scored, and Eric Scheid led our team in shots Friday night. I thought both of
them played extremely well."
Against his former team, Scheid won eight of his nine faceoffs and tallied six
shots. His lone goal of the weekend came the following night when the team took
on the Nanooks.
Bailey, who had the opportunity to play in front of his family and friends, scored
Friday night, which allowed him to settle in and focus on the games at hand.
"It was definitely a lot of fun," Bailey said of playing in his home state.
"It was a little bit nerve wracking the first night, but I think after the
first period or so I calmed down. I was excited to be able to see all my family
and friends. They were pretty enthusiastic about being able to watch me play,
so it was a good weekend."
Friday evening also marked a scary experience for the Lions, especially for
defenseman David Thompson. With 3:32 left in the overtime period against Alaska
Anchorage, Thompson required medical assistance for an abdominal laceration and
was ultimately take off the ice on a stretcher.
Luckily, the defenseman's injury could have been much worse. Thompson was taken
to the local hospital for stiches, but Gadowsky is confident he will be back on
the ice shortly.
"Yeah, he's going to be great," said Gadowsky of Thompson. "He's going to
be fine. They took really good care of him. It was scary at the start, and we
took every precaution, but he's going to be back at 100 percent very soon."
When not at the rink, the team made the most of exploring Alaska and
experiencing all Fairbanks had to offer.
The Lions took a trip to Eielson Air Force Base and were given a private tour
by Penn State hockey alumnus Maj. Joe Bassett.
"I think every one of our student-athletes won't forget their Alaskan experience,"
Gadowsky said. "I think it opened their eyes a little bit. I think it was
"We had a chance to meet one of our hockey alumni that works as a fighter pilot
at Eielson Air Force Base, which was a great experience. Overall, obviously we
would have loved to have won, but the overall experience I think was