Five Lions Score in 5-4 Victory vs. Robert Morris
PITTSBURGH - Sophomore Matthew Skoff (McKees Rocks, Pa.) turned aside a career-high 48 shots and five Nittany Lions reached the back of the net as the Penn State men's hockey team snapped its four-game winless streak with a 5-4 victory against Robert Morris at 84 Lumber Arena Friday night.
Penn State, which produced five unique goal scorers for the first time since Nov. 10, 2012, improved to 2-3-1 with its first victory against the Colonials (0-5-1) in three tries. Eleven Nittany Lions recorded at least one point with juniors Taylor Holstrom (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Nate Jensen (Shorewood, Minn.) pacing Penn State with two assists each. Skoff also improved to 8-3-1 in his last 12 games.
After Robert Morris took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission, the Nittany Lions netted three straight second-period goals to take a 3-1 advantage. Redshirt sophomore Eric Scheid (Blaine, Minn.) evened the game 2:01 into the second before defenseman Luke Juha (Mississauga, Ont.) scored on the power play and forward Tommy Olczyk (Long Grove, Ill.) added his second goal in as many games.
The Colonials answered with a marker in the second and a penalty-shot goal in the third to even the game, but sophomore Casey Bailey (Anchorage, Alaska) and freshman Mike Williamson (Leduc, Alta.) each netted power-play markers to give Penn State a 5-3 lead. With the goalie pulled, Robert Morris closed the gap to 5-4 with 12 seconds remaining.
Penn State, which scored more than one power-play goal for the first time in its young NCAA history, went 3-for-7 on the power play, while Robert Morris, which out shot the Nittany Lions by a 52-41 margin, finished 1-for-6 on the man advantage. Cody Wydo scored all four Robert Morris goals, while netminder Terry Shafer made 36 saves.
Robert Morris, which out-shot the Nittany Lions by a 19-8 margin in the first period, connected on the game's first power play to take a 1-0 lead. Skoff made a save on Zac Lynch's shot, but Wydo located the rebound amidst a goalmouth scramble and scored with 14:41 left in the opening frame.
The Nittany Lions stormed back in the second period as they scored three straight goals en route to a 3-2 advantage after 40 minutes.
Scheid started the scoring spree with his team-leading third marker 2:01 into the frame. With the faceoff in the Penn State defensive zone, freshman Ricky DeRosa (Aston, Pa.) pushed the duel toward the point, allowing Scheid to skate down the ice two-on-one before beating Shafer with a top-shelf shot.
While on the power play, Juha gave the Nittany Lions a 2-1 lead. Freshman Dylan Richard (Sherwood Park, Alta.) won the offensive-zone faceoff to classmate David Goodwin (Des Peres, Mo.), who found Juha at the point. The Mississauga, Ont., native then sent a shot through traffic for his second marker at 8:44.
Olczyk skated Penn State to a 3-1 advantage 1:09 later. Jensen thwarted a Robert Morris clearing attempt at the blue line and found Olczyk in the slot, where he wristed a shot past Shafer with 10:11 remaining in the stanza.
Robert Morris closed the gap to 3-2 with 1:49 left in the frame. Ben Robillard skated into the RMU offensive zone and found Wydo crashing the net for his second marker of the contest.
In the third period, Wydo tied the game for the Colonials when he connected on a penalty shot with 16:51 left in the frame.
At 5:10 of the period, Bailey netted his first marker of the season as the Nittany Lions reclaimed the lead. Jensen, who collected his first two-assist game since Dec. 16, 2010, denied another Colonial clearing attempt in the left circle and fed Bailey in the slot, where his initial shot was stopped by Shafer. With the loose puck in front of the cage, Holstrom got a stick on the rebound before Bailey made no mistake with his second attempt for the 4-3 Nittany Lion lead.
Penn State capitalized on the power play for the third time with 1:49 left in the game. Williamson pinched from the blue line during an offensive-zone faceoff, took a step toward the cage and roofed his first career goal. Holstrom and junior Max Gardiner (Deephaven, Minn.) collected assists on the play.
With 12 seconds remaining, Wydo notched his fourth goal of the contest to account for the 5-4 final.
The Nittany Lions will return to action Friday, Nov. 8 when they host Sacred Heart at Pegula Ice Arena. Opening faceoff is set at 7 p.m.