Penn State Hockey: St Lawrence Enjoys Fast Start En Route To 6-3 Victory
Penn State hockey had plenty of chances, but if such a thing as hockey gods exists they didn't look too fondly on a team that gave up three goals within the first five minutes of play.
Predictably No. 16 St. Lawrence opened the game with far more intensity than the night before scoring quickly, knocking Penn State on its heels. A Eric Sweetman wrap around was followed up by a Joe Sullivan tap in and then a turnover and a Ryan Garvey breakaway put the finishing touches on a near perfect opening five minutes for the visitors. Peyton Jones was pulled from the net and replaced by Chris Funkey, but in truth the issue was far more than simple goaltending.
Penn State would regain some solid footing on the ice and had a good push in the final minutes of the period but as what became the theme of the game, failed to find the back of the net. David Goodwin in particular had one good chance in front of goal but couldn't finish the play as Penn State headed to the intermission frustrated, but with momentum.
The second period was a bit more of the same but Jacob Pritchard's goal just 3:30 into the frame put a damper on a seemingly still competitive 3-0 lead. Down 4-0 it took just two minutes for Vince Pedrie to finally locate the net as Penn State went on to out shoot St Lawrence 16-5 in the middle period. The Nittany Lions would only score once more though despite an abundance of chances, Andrew Sturtz scoring with 38 seconds to go in the period ripping a shot high over the glove of Kyle Hayton.
Down 4-2 Penn State seemed to have a chance but couldn't find the net despite even more chances in the third period. An empty net goal made it 5-2 before Nate Sucese cut into the lead with just under two minutes remaining. One final empty net goal settled the score at 6-3 as Penn State and St Lawrence split the series.
By the game's end Penn State had the better run of play with far better chances, but a slow start and stout defense by St Lawrence proved to be the factor that mattered the most on Friday night.