Lions in Deep Freeze at Pegula

Penn State was shutout by UMass Lowell in a Thursday night tilt on campus. The teams are back at it Friday night.

Penn State knew it wouldn't be easy to topple No. 16 UMass Lowell when it arrived for the first of two skates in as many days Thursday night. And it fknew the visitors wouldn't help them achieve that goal.

The Riverhawks certainaly didn't in front of 5,998 at Pegula Thursday night. They capitalized on every easy chance the Lions gave them and kept the hosts from creating any easy opportunities of their own. On this night, that was all they needed.

UMass Lowell got a pair of goals from Derek Arnold to sink the Lions' 4-0 Thursday night. The second game in the series is slated for Friday night at 7 p.m.

"I think they're better. I think they play a tremendous game, they really do, and they don't give you much," Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky said. "[Lowell's first goal] turned out to be an easy goal because of a simple mistake, and I think that they're a very good team so they took advantage of that.

"At the same time, as a whole, they played a much better all-around game. This is a tremendous scheduling opportunity for us to play a team like UMass Lowell, to really understand it's going to get tougher."


Play of the Game

It came early for the visitors. They entered Penn State's defensive zone facing a 1-on-4, and left it with a goal before the game was two minutes old.

The Riverhawks entry seemed harmless as they worked along the half board, but when Scott Wilson swung a pass behind the net to Scott Wilson, Penn State's defense all went with it for the most part. That left Adam Chapie wide open between the face-off dots. He buried it behind Lions' netmidner Matthew Skoff (24 saves) to give the visitors the only goal they would need.

"The way I look at it that was a gimmie," Gadowsky said. "A good team doesn't give that up, and I felt like that what I mean by they are an excellent team. They're not giving us that.

"They are a much better team right now, and this is a good lesson."


Three Stars

1. G Connor Hellebuyck, UMass Lowell: Simply put, he didn't have to make many difficult saves. But when he did, the Riverhawk netminder was excellent. Hellebuyck turned away 37 Penn State shots, and the only time he was beat, he received some help from the right post, which rejected a slap shot from defenseman Nate Jensen at the top of the zone.

2. F Derek Arnold, UMass Lowell: Arnold was creative for most of the night. His first goal came courtesy of a juicy Skoff rebound, and so did his second. The Riverhawks gained the rebound battle all night, and no one did it better than Arnold, who finished with four shots on net.

3. F Scott Wilson, UMass Lowell: The only things separating him and Arnold on this night were a pair of penalties, because otherwise, Wilson was spectacular as well. He scored when Skoff couldn't corral a second-period shot, and was the passer that led to Chapie's first period goal.


Looking Ahead

The Lions are anxious for another crack at UMass Lowell Friday night.

"It's always nice to come back the next night and show who we really are," Jensen said. "If we come back tomorrow night and get a win, that's a big building step for our team. We just got to be ready and prepared mentally.

"It's a tough loss," he added. "We have another crack at it tomorrow, and I think tomorrow will be the game that is the eye-opener for us, to see how well we bounce back. When we play great teams like Minnesota and Michigan, if something goes wrong one night we play them the next night, so we have to see how we bounce back."


Quote of the Night

The honor in this space usually don't go to the visitors, but Lowell head coach Norm Bazin summed up this tilt pretty well.

"I thought it was an excellent hockey game," Bazin said. "I thought it was a great opponent. They threw a lot of pucks to our net, and I'm thankful our goalie was on tonight.

"From a penalty-kill standpoint, they did an excellent job, so we needed our five-on-five to be exceptionally strong and thankfully it was. We got some timely goals, and we scored first,which is always key on the road."


Notes

• Neither team was successful on the power play, as the Riverhawks failed to score in five tries with the man advantage. Penn State didn't capitalize on four skates with the extra man.

• The shutout was the first time all year State has failed to score a goal. It was the first time the program was shutout since Feb. 24, where it lost to Wisconsin 5-0. The next night, the Lions upset a then ranked Badger squard 3-2 to close its 2012-13 season.

• A pair of Lions, winger Max Gardiner and defenseman Luke Juha, left the game with injuries. The former left after trainers checked his shoulder in the first period. Gadowsky said he likely wouldn't play Friday. He didn't have an update on Juha, who was injured near the end of the game.


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