BLOG: Goodwin and Thompson Having Early Success
Oct. 31, 2013
By Michael Renahan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERISTY PARK, Pa. - They haven't been Nittany Lions for too long, but it's easy to see the impact David Goodwin and David Thompson have on the ice and with their teammates just five games into the season.
In that time, these freshmen have skated hard. They have skated fast. They've developed an outstanding off the ice relationship, and they're making the opponents respect their ability on the ice.
Although Goodwin isn't the biggest player on the ice, he certainly doesn't shy away from a challenge or contact.
The Des Peres, Mo., native is already tied for first on the team with two goals and three points. Along with Eric Scheid and Zach Saar, he has been the most productive forward for the Nittany Lions in the early part of the season.
"I am confident in my abilities, but I've been playing with great teammates, great line mates and I have to give a ton of the credit to them," Goodwin said. "They've been giving me the easy job [scoring goals] and setting me up and I just have to [score]."
His stick handling, hockey instincts, playmaking ability and toughness make him a challenge for any opposing defense to take on and for any goaltender to stop. Goodwin isn't afraid to take the puck in front of the net or to play a finesse style to beat his opponent.
Coach Guy Gadowsky has been very high on the forward since he arrived on campus. At Tuesday's press conference, he praised his intelligence and the playmaking abilities of the freshman.
"He's always looking to make a play," said Gadowsky. "I think there are a lot of guys [playing really hard], but [David] is extremely cerebral, and he just has an ability to make plays out of not much. There are times that it might not look like he can create anything, but he does.
"He's a very intelligent hockey player and it's not by mistake. He's been doing this his whole life. He's put up great numbers everywhere he's been and that's because he's an extremely smart hockey player."
Goodwin said his coaches comments are good to hear because that is the type of player he tries to be.
"I think [coach Gadowsky's] comments are a compliment," said Goodwin. "I try to be a very smart player. I try to be a playmaker, so it's always good getting compliments like that. That's definitely the type of player I try to be."
In Friday night's game against the Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers, Goodwin played a major role for Penn State scoring a power-play goal 15 minutes into the second period to tie the game at two. His puck placement was excellent and a perfect pass from Scheid made it easy for the freshman to bury it past the Tiger's goalkeeper.
On the other end of the ice, there is another David helping the Nittany Lions in an entirely different way.
Thompson is a key freshman contributing early for Penn State, as well. He has already established himself as a solid all-around defenseman, playing on the penalty kill and power-play units. He is also not afraid to rip a shot when he has the opportunity.
Through the first five games he has already taken six shots, which should be no surprise after his 2012 season with Chilliwack Chiefs of the British Columbia Hockey League. Thompson was the captain of the Chiefs last season and led the defensemen with 27 points, including six goals.
"David [Thompson] has been great. He's one of my really good friends and we hang out a lot off the ice," Goodwin said. "He works very hard in the weight room. He's always preparing for games and each practice. He's a great athlete and he's a great defender for us."
The Glenn Mills, Pa. native has worked with alternate captain Nate Jensen for the most part this season and the duo has formed quite the pair for Gadowsky on the blue line. They're physical, fast, smart players who bring the best out of everyone on the ice.
Although Thompson is just three games into his career, the defenseman has already caught the eye of goalkeeper Matthew Skoff for his physical play and his tenacity on the ice.
"[Thompson] is a big, solid guy," said Skoff. "He's a physical player when he needs to be and he's a smart player when he needs to be smart. He has great stick on puck. I think he's tough in the corners. He's tough clearing the puck, too."
Having two younger players that exhibit the instinct and tenacity of Goodwin and Thompson will help Penn State as the 2013-14 season wares on, beginning on Friday with a trip to Pittsburgh to face Robert Morris.
The Nittany Lions will face the Colonials at 7:05 p.m. in the second game in program history. The two teams met last season in the Three Rivers Classic held at CONSOL Energy Center, home of the Pittsburgh Penguins, with the Nittany Lions dropping a 6-0 decision.