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Penn State Hockey: Nittany Lions Sluggish In 4-0 Defeat To Alaska-Fairbanks

by on October 18, 2019 10:55 PM

Penn State men's hockey fell 4-0 to Alaska-Fairbanks in a game that was as much a philosophical defeat as it was a upset on the ice.

The Nittany Lions were out-worked, out-hustled, and beaten at their own high-energy game on Friday night as Penn State split the series following a 7-0 victory on Thursday night. Alaska-Fairbanks scored just 1:12 into the game via a spinning shot over Penn State goalie Oskar Autio who was in net for his first start of the year.

The visitors added another 29 seconds into the middle period and padded that two-goal lead even further with a goal 3:50 into the final period. Penn State failed to capitalize on multiple power play chances including a nearly five-minute long power play in the second period with Alaska-Fairbanks ahead 2-0.

For the Nittany Lions the nature of the defeat, a disjointed effort full of miscues and misconnections prompted a players-only meeting in the minutes following the game. Head coach Guy Gadowsky was blunt but confident in his postgame media session.

"I am," Gadowsky said when asked if he was surprised by the effort from a team not short on veteran players. "I'm hopeful it's a lesson that everyone in the room will learn without having to say anything."

“If you look at the heart, mentality, commitment that UAF had...when you’re playing against opponents like that, you often need to match that heart and commitment to score goals,” Gadowsky said. “It’s not just fancy hockey anymore.”

Penn State did not make players available following the game.

The loss marks just the second time Penn State has been shutout at home, the first coming against UMass-Lowell in 2013, just the third game at Pegula. For the Nittany Lions on the current roster, it will mark a small watershed moment, one where lessons can be learned, lessons that will help turn a talented roster into the team it can be.

"When things aren't clicking the way you want them too, good teams find a way," Gadowsky said "In the past when we've behind the eight-ball we've found a way."

On Friday night the Nittany Lions couldn't find a way.

Penn State will look to bounce back against Robert Morris next week during a single-game series before opening the Big Ten slate against Wisconsin to close out October on the 31st and November 1st.

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