The Penn State men’s hockey team put up a solid defensive effort to earn its first win of the season, topping St. Lawrence 4-1 Saturday night at Appleton Arena.
Dennis Smirnov had a goal and two assists, and Liam Folkes posted one of each for the No. 10 Nittany Lions (1-1). Kris Myllari and Nate Sucese also scored.
In Friday’s season opener, Clarkson scored 14 seconds into the game to shock the Lions, but Myllari’s goal 9:33 into the game settled the team.
“We needed it,” Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky told the St. Lawrence media. “To get the first one, great play, a great goal by Kris Myllari (and) a real nice play by Alex Limoges — that was real nice to get the first one, for sure.”
Alex Gilmour scored on a third-period power play for the Saints (0-2), the only blemish on the night for Peyton Jones, who made 30 saves.
“I loved his demeanor,” Gadowsky said of his goalkeeper. “He was extremely calm when they were really coming at us, especially on the 5 on 3 (power play), and made some huge saves.”
Player of the Game
Smirnov scored his goal 3:37 into the second period, taking a long stretch pass from Trevor Hamilton for a breakaway. He assisted on Folkes’ score later in the second as the Lions peppered shots at Saints goalie Arthur Brey, who had 31 saves. Smirnov also fed Sucese for an easy empty-net tap-in with 1:03 left.
Late in the second period, Limoges was penalized for high-sticking, then James Robinson was whistled for goalie interference to give St. Lawrence a 5 on 3 power play for 1:19. During the ensuing stretch, Nikita Pavlychev had his stick broken and had to race to the bench, making it a 5 on 2 advantage for a few seconds, but the Saints could not convert on the opportunity.
“A great job by our killers, especially Peyton Jones,” Gadowsky said of the power play. “Otherwise that game would have been much different.”
Penn State stays on the road and begins Big Ten play at No. 3 Minnesota next Friday and Sunday.