Men’s Ice Hockey Loses in Overtime in First Division I Game

Story posted October 13, 2012 in Sports, CommRadio by Tom Zulewski

Although the Penn State men's ice hockey team (0-1-0) fell 3-2 in overtime to American International (1-0-0) Friday night at the Greenberg Ice Pavilion, it was a historic night in Happy Valley.

It marked the first time in 65 years that Penn State had a varsity men's ice hockey game. Because of that, Penn State head coach Guy Gadowsky was thrilled after the game.

“I loved the offense that we created and the student section,” Gadowsky said. “To come out and see the crowd and the student section, it was fantastic. That’s why I came here. That's why my staff and the recruits came here.”

American International opened up the scoring just three minutes into the first period, as Nathan Slwiniski beat goaltender Matthew Skoff after a Mark Yanis roughing penalty. The Nittany Lions would then take another penalty after a Jonathan Milley boarding call a little over a minute after the Jackets goal. Fortunately for Penn State, they were able to kill off the minor penalty without any harm.

One of the biggest questions coming into the game was how Penn State would adjust to the style of play found in Division I ice hockey, especially the speed of the game. Right from the opening faceoff, it was clear that the Nittany Lions would not be intimidated.

Penn State outshot American International 63-29 for the game, but credit must go to American International’s goaltender Ben Meisner. Meisner turned away 61 of the 63 shots that were thrown at him. His 61 saves are an Atlantic Hockey conference record.

“We knew they were going to come out flying,” Meisner said. “I thought I played well. Obviously with the two goals, there is always something I could do better.”   

Gadowsky’s team came out hitting, fighting for loose pucks and showing an overall tenacity in their game. Penn State controlled most of the play in first period over American International, outshooting the Jackets 20-12 in the first period.

The Nittany Lions top line of Jonathan Milley, Max Gardiner and Casey Bailey would even the score early in the second period. After Meisner stopped a high rising Joe Lordo shot, Casey Bailey was there to put home a rebound to tie the game at one apiece.

Milley, Gardiner and Bailey average out to 6-foot-3 and 201 pounds. Having a line with such size can cause problems for opponents, and it did for American International.

Penn State outshot the Jackets 22-8 in the second period for a grand total of 43-20 after two periods of play. However, they still found themselves on the other side of the score, down 2-1 after a Chris Markiewicz 4-on-4 goal put American International back in the lead.

Gadowsky made an interesting decision in goal, starting freshman Matthew Skoff over last year’s starter P.J. Musico. Gadowsky said after the game that his coaching staff has been impressed with the play of Skoff in practice.

“He’s a guy with a great work ethic and he really impressed out goaltending coach,” Gadowsky said. “He is a freshman, but over the last three years he’s played more games and has more wins than anybody else we have. He has experience for a freshman.”

Penn State’s 55th shot they would tie the game 2-2 with six minutes remaining on an absolute rifle from Taylor Holstrom in the slot.   

Jon Puskar would end the game for American International with 21 seconds remaining in overtime after tipping Jake Williams’ shot from the point.

Penn State will return home to Greenberg Ice Pavilion on November 3rd when they take on Buffalo State. Listen to that game live on ComRadio.

Tom Zulewski is a senior majoring in Journalism. You can contact him at