Offensive Explosion Propels Nittany Lions to Weekend Sweep
Everything was clicking for Penn State men’s hockey Sunday afternoon, as they dominated on the way to a 7-1 victory over the Holy Cross Crusaders to sweep the weekend series.
Six different Nittany Lions got on the goal sheet, led by two from freshman Scott Conway.
“I’ve been trying to put the puck on the net as much as I can,” said Conway, who added two assists to a game in which he recorded his first goal as a Nittany Lion.
Penn State distinctively got the better of the first period, outshooting the Crusaders 15-5, although they were not able to get on the board.
After taking a few penalties to start the second period, Penn State killed both off. It wasn’t until late in the period, that David Goodwin got the puck to Penn State point leader Taylor Holstrom. Holstrom rifled a beautiful pass across the crease to Casey Bailey who lifted the puck top shelf and put the Nittany Lions up 1-0.
“It started with a good play by Goodwin, he made a tough play to get it to Holstrom, Holstrom made a tough play to get it to me, and it that situation you’re trying to put it over the goalie and hope it goes in,” said Bailey.
The Penn State power play struggled in Friday night’s matchup, only converting once on eight attempts. They started out Sunday’s matchup 0-2 on man advantages, and with under five minutes remaining in the second, Brett McKinnon took a penalty for a knee on knee collision.
The Nittany Lions then found their touch on the power play, as Conway found Curtis Loik wide open in the slot, and he fired a wrist shot past goalie Matt Ginn.
“On mine it was an overall effort, Conway and DeRosa were battling, and Autio and Koudys did a good job of keeping the puck in, and Conway was able to find me with a good pass,” said Loik.
From there the flood gates opened. The third goal was highlighted by another beautiful effort by Conway. He stripped the puck away from a Holy Cross defender to create a two on one into the zone. From there he fed one across to Eric Scheid who buried it.
“I was thinking pass the whole way,” said Conway.
Only a minute later, Loik fired a pass through the legs of a defender and David Glen beat the goalie through the five-hole.
After a Holy Cross goal from defender Jake Bolton with Matthew Skoff screened, Conway scored his first career goal. He dangled through 2 defenders, deked out the goalie, and roofed one off his backhand.
Conway was not the only player to score his first career goal. Senior Jacob Friedman found the puck in a scrum off of a DeRosa shot, and he put it in the net.
“The bench was so pumped for him, he is such a tremendous teammate and such a terrific person, and I guarantee you everyone on the team was more excited for him then they are when they score,” said Penn State head coach Guy Gadowski.
With the game already out of reach, McKinnon got into it with Connor Varley behind the Penn State net, and he was assessed two penalties and a game misconduct, giving Penn State another power play. McKinnon had 18 total penalty minutes in the game.
On the ensuing power play, Holy Cross backup goaltender Paul Berrafato lost sight of the puck in the crease during a scrum, and Conway capitalized, putting it in the net for the cherry on top of a truly dominant weekend.
The win gave Penn State its first home sweep of the season, and moved them to 3-1-2 on the year.
Michael Katz is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.