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Oct. 27, 2012
MILFORD, Conn. - Six different Nittany Lions scored as the Penn State men's hockey team skated to a 6-3 victory against Sacred Heart at Milford Ice Pavilion Saturday evening. The Nittany Lions improved to 4-2-0 with their third straight win.
Senior forward Michael Longo (Allison Park, Pa.) and junior defenseman Nate Jensen (Shorewood, Minn.) notched their first goals of the season, and junior forward Michael McDonagh (Wilmington, Mass.) tallied a game-high three assists. Sophomore Max Gardiner (Deephaven, Minn.) and freshmen Curtis Loik (North Vancouver, B.C.), Jonathan Milley (Gatineau, Que.) and Mark Yanis (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.) also scored.
The Nittany Lions fell behind, 1-0, early in the first period before scoring three goals in a 5:06 span to take a 3-1 lead. The Pioneers tallied later in the frame before the teams traded goals in the second period as Penn State skated to a 4-3 second-period advantage. The Nittany Lions added a pair of goals in the final stanza as they defeated their fourth Atlantic Hockey opponent of the season.
Penn State outshot the Pioneers by a 31-19 margin. The Nittany Lions were 0-for-5 on the power play, while Sacred Heart finished 0-for-5 with the man advantage. Sophomore goaltender PJ Musico (Orange, Calif.) improved to 4-0-0 with 16 saves, while Sacred Heart netminder Andrew Bodnarchuk turned aside 25 shots.
Penn State found itself down 1-0 just 5:03 into the game before the Nittany Lions responded with their three-goal run. Following Josh Phillips' marker, Longo knotted the game at 1-1 with his first career tally just 32 seconds later. McDonagh passed to freshman defenseman Joseph Lordo (St. Louis. Mo.), who fired a shot from the blue line that Longo tipped in for the goal.
Gardiner gave Penn State a 2-1 advantage 1:07 later. Freshman defenseman Luke Juha (Mississauga, Ont.) sent a pass across the blue line to classmate Yanis, who found Gardiner near the edge of the crease. The Deephaven, Minn., native's first attempt was stopped before he took the puck around the cage and slipped it to the back of the net.
With 9:19 left in the period, Milley extended the Penn State lead to 3-1. Freshman defenseman Connor Varley (Lansdale, Pa.) passed to classmate Casey Bailey (Anchorage, Alaska), who recorded a point in his third straight game, along the half boards. The Anchorage, Alaska, native found Milley near the bottom of the left circle, where he put a shot toward the goal that went past Bodnarchuk.
Sacred Heart closed the gap to 3-2 with 2:24 left in the opening frame. The Pioneers skated through the neutral zone on an odd-man rush before Brian Sheehan wristed a shot that was caught in Musico's pads before trickling in for the goal.
Both teams scored once in the second period as Penn State secured a 4-3 lead. With 11:51 left in the frame, Jensen gave the Nittany Lions a 4-2 advantage. Lordo passed up the boards to McDonagh, who raced down the right-wing boards before sending a backdoor pass to Jensen for the goal.
Drew George tallied for the Pioneers with 7:27 left in the period to make it a 4-3 game. George received a pass from Eric Delong and finished the tic-tac-toe play for the marker.
In the third period, Yanis extended the Penn State lead to 5-3 with his second goal of the season. McDonagh passed to Yanis at the blue line, where the defenseman rifled a slap shot high to the blocker side. Senior forward Eric Steinour (Carlisle, Pa.) also recorded his first assist of the season.
Loik added his goal 1:15 later. Freshman David Glen (Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.) passed to Jensen, who took the puck into the slot. Loik then batted the puck out of mid-air and into the back of the net. Glen extended his point-scoring streak to three games with the helper.
Penn State will return to action Tuesday, Oct. 30 when it visits Fredonia State. Opening faceoff is set at 7 p.m.