UNIVERSITY PARK — Over and over it got shown, most of the night and into the next afternoon.
It may have happened before for other Penn State sports like football, basketball and volleyball, but it was a first for hockey.
David Goodwin made ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays of the day.
The freshman made the daily highlight reel, which is usually shown a few minutes before the top of the hour nearly every hour the show appears on any of the various family of networks, thanks to stealing the puck and breaking away for the game-winning overtime goal at Michigan last Friday.
The score came with 43 seconds left in the extra period, and delivered the Nittany Lions their first Big Ten road win against the nation’s No. 10 team.
It took a while for Goodwin to see himself on ESPN, but he certainly knew every time it was shown — even at 4 a.m.
“I didn’t see it until the following day, until like 3 or 4 o’clock in the afternoon,” Goodwin said of the 5-4 win. “… Every time at the top of the our I was getting like four or five text messages, and wait about 55 minutes and get another bunch of text messages. It was definitely neat. I think every college hockey player dreams of being on Top 10, so it was pretty cool.”
The Nittany Lions were still savoring the experience Tuesday, after another watershed victory for the young program, and not just because it was the first conference road win or came against a ranked team.
They also rallied from a two-goal deficit, which turned the tables on losing a two-goal lead against Ohio State a month earlier. It also came in one of college hockey’s most historic venues, Yost Ice Arena, where championship banners and trophies are everywhere along with pictures of so many stars who went on to greatness in the NHL and Olympics.
“It’s fantastic. It’s awesome,” coach Guy Gadowsky said. “That’s one of the best wins we’ve ever had. To come back and tie it with four seconds to go and win it in overtime, those are the things you dream about, especially at Yost Ice Arena, against a program like Michigan, it doesn’t get much better than that.”
The goal was Goodwin’s second of the game, and while the winner delivered the celebration, television stardom and text messages, it was his first that made the win possible.
Michigan had just scored two goals in the span of 1:01 of the first period and seemed on a roll, but Taylor Holstrom sent the puck from behind the net to Goodwin 26 seconds after the second Wolverine goal to halt the momentum.
The big goals, and the rest of his play for the weekend, also landed the freshman the No. 3 star for the weekend from the Big Ten — the hockey version of the players of the week.
“He was tremendous well before he scored the overtime winner,” Gadowsky said. “He did get us going when we were down 2-0. That was a big goal. He just played so well. He cared for the puck so well. He was a very productive player without being a risky player. He won battles as well. He had his best game by far. Even if he didn’t have any goals, he had his best game of the year.”
Bumps and bruises
The Nittany Lions will not have Max Gardiner for this weekend’s series at No. 2 Minnesota, denying the junior forward the chance to face his former team in Mariucci Arena for the first time. Gardiner played for the Golden Gophers as a freshman before transferring to Penn State.
Gardiner sustained an injury to his left ankle six minutes into the second period of Saturday’s 5-2 loss to the Wolverines and was helped to the locker room. Gadowsky said there were no broken bones, but Gardiner would not play this weekend.
Defenseman Mike Williamson suffered an undisclosed injury Friday, missed Saturday’s game, and Gadowsky said he was possible for this weekend.
Also definitely out with concussions are defensemen Luke Juha and Nate Jensen, who were knocked out of the 4-0 win against Michigan on Feb. 8.
Forward Kenny Brooks will continue to play on the blue line, and the defensive corps will be heavily stressed by the nation’s No. 4 scoring offense, averaging 3.53 goals per game.
“Your role increases a little bit more, your time on the ice,” defenseman Connor Varley said. “When you’re called upon you’ve got to do your job. It’s fun being able to play that much, (but) you never want to see guys get hurt.”
Gadowsky remains upset that he lost two players to major head injuries, but no discipline was given to those who gave the hits, but other penalties and suspensions have been given for similar plays.
“We have two guys with concussions because of high hits and crosschecks to the back going into the boards,” Gadowsky said. “I think it’s confusing to the team at times as to how hard we’re trying to work to stay out of the box, and then what’s happening sustaining injuries without penalties I think is quite confusing.”
Penn State and Minnesota meet at 9 p.m. Friday (TV: BTN) and 7 p.m. Saturday (NBCSN).
Looking for a favorable matchup, Nittany Lion fans? The Big Ten tournament will be played March 20-22 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., and Penn State is pretty well assured of being the No. 6 seed for the tournament. The bracket has that seed opening the tournament against the No. 3 seed. Who is in that position today? Michigan.
Going to the Garden
The game may not be until next season, but tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday for “The Frozen Apple” game between Penn State and Cornell at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Tickets are only available through the MSG ticket office or Ticketmaster.com, and adult prices range from $25 to $250. There is a special section for Penn State fans through a drop-down menu online. Student tickets for $15 go on sale on campus later.
Gadowsky said he has not been to the historic rink as either a player or coach, and is looking forward to the contest.
“It will be a great atmosphere,” Gadowsky said. “You’re going to have two excellent crowds. I know Cornell travels extremely well and they have a great student body as well. I’m hoping that a lot of our students will be able to see that. I think it would be a real fun atmosphere.”