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Penn State Hockey: Nittany Lions Roll Alaska-Fairbanks 7-0

by on October 17, 2019 10:20 PM

Alaska-Fairbanks traveled halfway across the world to play Penn State hockey for a two-game series and was rewarded with a 7-0 thumping by a potent Nittany Lion offense on Thursday night.

The scoring happened early and often, Tyler Gratton picking up his first in Hockey Valley just 32 seconds into regulation. Aarne Talvitie added his second of the year six minutes later while Liam Folkes' breakaway gave the Nittany Lions a commanding 3-0 lead midway through the opening frame.

Peyton Jones added 29 saves to his career in the shutout effort with seven coming in the first 20 minutes of play. Penn State would get a fourth goal from defenseman Paul DeNaples to make it 4-0 after the first frame.

Fairbanks would answer the call with a much better effort in the second period while outshooting the Nittany Lions 16-11 but failing to find the back of the net in the process. Fairbanks committed 11 penalties over the span of the evening with Penn State scoring on two power play opportunities. 

The first, a scramble in front of goal by Nikita Pavlychev and the second a snipe from high in the zone by Denis Smirnov who recorded his first goal of the year on a three point night. Nate Sucese also picked up a team-high three assists as he continues to click with longtime lineman Brandon Biro who scored the first of the three, third period goals.

After the game coach Guy Gadowsky said he was pleased with the Nitany Lions' third period effort, which came just five days after Penn State gave up a handful of goals to turn a comfortable win over Sacred Heart into a one goal victory.

"We were able to come in between periods and say hey we spoke a lot [about the letdown]" Gadowsky said. "Let's see if we meant it or if it was just words."

The response, a three-goal final period and a shutout on the books. So message received?

"I mean, I think we responded pretty well, don't you?" Jones added with a slight smile postgame.

Penn State finishes out the series on Friday evening at 7:00. The Nittany Lions have on out of conference game remaining before facing Wisconsin to open Big Ten play.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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