For the first time this season, Penn State won after trailing.
The Nittany Lions improved to 4-2-1 Thursday night at Pegula Ice Arena, scoring twice in the first period and holding off a late Bentley charge to beat the visiting Falcons 3-2 at Pegula Ice Arena.
“I don’t think we started out very well in terms of hunger," Penn State head coach Guy Gadowsky said. "We had to respond and I think we responded pretty well. But we got whacked pretty good at the start.
“I like how we responded and the amount of chances we had.”
How they won
Bentley scored first and last Thursday night, but Penn State made sure that didn’t matter in between.
Casey Bailey pulled Penn State even at the 13:41 mark of the first after Bentley’s Matt Maher scored his second goal of the year to give the Falcons an early 1-0 lead. PSU forward Curtis Loik then added a goal with three minutes to go in the opening frame, and some fine tic-tac-toe passing led to David Goodwin’s (Goodwin is shown in the photo above) even-strength game-winner in the second period.
“On the second goal, [defenseman] Luke [Juha] made a beautiful cross-ice pass, and I knew that Goodwin and Bailey were in front, so I just threw it there hoping it’d hit someone and go in,” forward Taylor Holstrom said of the pass that equaled his second assist of the night.
Bentley (3-3) would pull within one, 3-2, on a late power play goal. But the visitors hardly threatened again as Penn State won its third in a row.
“It was good that we pulled out that win,” goalie Matthew Skoff said. “It was good.”
Stat to Know
Goodwin’s game-winner came in the second period. Penn State is now outscoring its opponents 13-3 in the middle frame.
“It’s a little different in terms of the changes,” Gadowsky said, referring to both teams’ bench being at the opposite end of the ice from their goalie.
“We really had to improve on it, so we did address that,” the coach added. “We did a much better job of changing in the second period.”
Playing with fire
If PSU wouldn’t have held off Bentley’s late charge, the story undoubtedly would have been about careless penalties.
Penn State knew it couldn’t do that, what with the Falcons entering the night with the nation’s ninth-best power play. But it did anyway, and Bentley made it pay with two power-play goals on four chances.
“We had to stay away from their power play,” Gadowsky said. “It’s excellent. That percentage they have isn’t by accident. But a win’s a win.”
Junior forward David Glen has three goals so far this season. He probably won’t add to that total Friday night when the two teams meet for the second tilt of a two-game series.
He sustained an undisclosed upper body injury in the first period Thursday, left the ice and did not return. He is not expected to be back for Friday's action.
JAMES FRANKLIN WEDNESDAY PRESS CONFERENCE