A tie is not a loss. And on a night filled with sloppy play and plenty of turnovers, Penn State will take that.
Lions forward David Goodwin scored with 48 seconds to play, negating a Connecticut goal four minute earlier and leading Penn State to a 2-2 tie with the visiting Huskies in both program's season-opener.
"Thought we played really well in the first and didn't have that jump in the second," Penn State head coach Guy Gadowsky said. "There wasn't a lot of flow or tempo, but I thought we did some good things.
"That feels pretty good."
It didn't seem likely that history would repeat itself with just under five minutes to play in the third. The Lions won their season-opener last year, but it appeared out of hope this year when UCONN winger Gerling tipped a Johnny Austin blast from the point passed PSU netminder Matt Skoff (26 saves) at the 15:04 mark of the third.
If Gadowsky's club has anything, though, it's a love of late-game goals. Goodwin made that true with Skoff pulled, bashing home a loose puck in front of UCONN goalie Rob Nichols (33 saves).
"I was just kind of there whacking and grinding in front,and honestly, I saw the [student section] put their hands up before anything," Goodwin said, "and then I put my hands up and I scored.
Penn State had its best chance in overtime when Goodwin nearly recreated his third-period marker, but this time, Nichols was ready for the shot and pushed it aside.
UCONN scored first when Patrick Kirtland blew a wrister by Skoff midway through the second period. The lead stood for all of four minutes, as winger Tommy Olczyk scored on a penalty shot at the 14:27 mark of the second.
"It’s nice to score a goal in the first game," Olczyk said. "Definitely get a little monkey off the back. It’s nice to get one there."
Gadowsky hopes his team plays with more flow in the second game of the series Saturday afternoon. Olczyk hopes his team is able to get more pucks on net.
Both will be necessary if the Lions hope to secure their first win of the season.
"I don’t think there was as much tempo as we would have liked," Gadowsky said. "I thought in the first-period we did some basic things very very well.
"We did generate some chances. We got a tie out of it. Lot of positives."