Penn State Icers Dominate the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in the First of a Two Game Series

Story posted December 4, 2011 in Sports, CommRadio by June Dello Russo

The Penn State Icers (12-1) put on an offensive show Friday night, beating the Rutgers Scarlet Knights by a score of 13-2 at the Penn State Ice Pavilion.

The Icers began the game with a plethora of energy that greatly pushed the pace of the game, challenging Rutgers goalie Brandon DeLibero at many times. The Icers were relentless towards DeLibero, as they accumulated five shots on net barely four minutes into the first period.

Forward Dan Meiselman was the first one to begin the Icers scoring spree, as he positioned himself in front of Rutgers’ net to score off the rebound by forward Justin Kirchhevel. This offensive success continued throughout the period, with a lot of production out of various players. Forwards Chris Cerutti, Mike McDonaugh, Tim Acker, and Bryce Johnson all capitalized on the weak defensive showing of Rutgers, by all scoring goals in the first period.

Not only struggling to stop the Icers defensively, the Scarlet Knights also showed poor offensive effort, as they rarely put pressure on Icers goalie PJ Musico. Only forward Jason Adams was able to score for Rutgers off a rebound in the first period.

Adams at one point missed on a rare opportunity of having an open net. That was only one of a few missed chances for Rutgers, as Musico later robbed Ricky Hunt with an impressive glove save, reaching out to the top right corner of the net. The score at the end of the first was 5-1 with the Icers on top.

The second period was more of the first, as Penn State continued to score and play sound defense. They were outstanding all night on the penalty kill, killing all five Rutgers power plays.

“We really focus on not letting the other team set up their power play,” said defenseman Dan Loucks. “We try to play really aggressive in the zone. Whenever they don’t have control, we’re trying to jump them, and that’s something we’ve been working on. I think we did really well tonight, not letting them set up in our zone.”

During a penalty kill in the second period, Olczyk advanced the lead to 8-1 for the Icers with a breakaway goal, showing off some incredible speed. Olczyk had a productive night, and consequently so did his line, as forward Bryce Johnson and him formed a solid connection. Johnson set up Olczyk who, during a four on two rush, scored on a wrist shot right through DeLibero.

“Our first time together was in that first loss against Delaware,” Olczyk said about his line. “And it seemed in that game we were just an inch off on a lot of plays, but as we’ve practiced together more, we’re starting to know each other better as players, and it really showed out here tonight.”

Penn state also benefitted from goals by Loucks and forward Dom Morrone, giving the Icers a massive 9-1 lead at the end of the second period.

Even with such a sizeable lead going into the final period, the Icers still remained very aggressive. Michael Longo played strong defensively, as he blocked a couple of big shots off the sticks of the Scarlet Knights.

Justin Kirchhevel’s line also shined, as they produced several goals in the third. Morrone assisted Kirchhevel in a rocket of a goal, ripped past the high glove side of DeLibro. Soon after Kirchhevel, after skating fiercely up the ice end to end passed to Meiselman, who scored the games 11th goal. The game ended with two more goals from there, one from Olzyck that gave him a hat trick, and the other from defenseman George Sadd, who scored a crafty one hand – back handed goal.

The final score was 13-2 with the Icers dominating over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

Coach Guy Gadowsky was impressed by his team’s success on all phases of the game. He credited his players, most notably Tommy Olczyk, for doing all the little things that are necessary to win the game.

“Tommy does a lot of little things right,” Gadowsky said. “It’s really nice when you see guys that do little things get rewarded. I think you saw it with Tim Acker last Saturday night and you saw it tonight with Tommy Olczyk.”

Penn State played again on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. against Rutgers to finish their two game series. Check psucomradio.com for details on that game.

June Dello Russo is freshman majoring in Broadcast journalism. To contact her, email jld5691@psu.edu.