Lions Fall to Air Force, 5-2, in Weekend Opener
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Forward Eric Scheid (Blaine, Minn.) and defenseman Luke Juha (Mississauga, Ont.) both reached the back of the net, but the Penn State men's hockey team fell to Air Force, 5-2, at Cadet Ice Arena Friday night. The Nittany Lions fell to 1-1-0 with the loss, while the Falcons improved to 1-2-0.
Air Force jumped out to an early 2-0 lead within the first six minutes of the game before Scheid halved the deficit midway through the frame. The Falcons added two goals in the second period and another in the final stanza as they skated to the four-goal advantage. Juha, who scored for the first time since Penn State's 5-1 win against Air Force Nov. 10, 2012, added a power-play marker to account for the 5-2 final.
Freshman goaltender Eamon McAdam (Perkasie, Pa.) turned aside 27 shots in his collegiate debut, while Jason Torf made 26 saves. Air Force out shot the Nittany Lions by a 32-28 margin and went 1-for-5 on the power play, while Penn State finished 1-for-3 with the man advantage.
Air Force took a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal 4:46 into the game. Cole Gunner followed Chad Demers' failed attempt with a thwarted shot of his own, but Scott Holm capitalized on the rebound amidst the goalmouth scramble to give the Falcons the one-goal lead.
The Falcons doubled their advantage just 1:10 later with Tony Thomas' marker. Ben Carey entered the Penn State zone down the right-wing boards and hit Thomas trailing in the slot, where he wristed a shot to the back of the net.
With 11:04 remaining in the frame, the Nittany Lions closed the gap to 2-1. Mark Yanis' (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.) blue-line blast bounced off Jonathan Milley's (Gatineau, Que.) arm near the front of the cage, and Scheid found the loose puck and backhanded it past an outstretched Torf. Milley's helper marked the forward's first point since a three-point outing against Holy Cross Dec. 7, 2012.
In the second period, Air Force reclaimed its two-goal lead with 7:08 left in the stanza. Dan Weissenhoffer took a shot from the top of the right circle that Demers redirected past McAdam.
The Falcons extended their lead to 4-1 with 3:34 left in the period. McAdam denied Holm's wrister with a left-pad save, but Gunner netted the rebound.
Air Force added a marker in the third period to take a 5-1 lead. After forcing a turnover in the Penn State defensive zone, Thomas' shot through traffic eluded the Nittany Lion netminder as the Falcons skated to the four-goal advantage.
With 3:38 left in the game, Juha netted his first goal of the season to bring Penn State to within three. After Air Force failed to clear the puck, the Mississauga, Ont., native corralled the puck near the top of the right circle and sent a wrister to the back of the net.
The two teams will face off again Saturday night (Oct. 19) at 9:05 p.m. ET.