The Penn State offense has come back to life
The Nittany Lion men’s hockey team ignited in the Arizona desert for five third-period goals Friday night, burning Arizona State 7-0 at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Ariz.
Evan Barratt scored the first two goals of his college career, Sam Sternschein also scored his first goal and Chris Funkey collected his second shutout for the Nittany Lions (6-7).
Nate Sucese and Brandon Biro each added a goal and two assists in the third seven-goal game for Penn State this season.
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The Nittany Lions dominated the action, outshooting the Sun Devils 49-15. After a fairly even and scoreless first period, Penn State racked up a 39-8 shot advantage in the final two periods.
In three games between the nation’s two youngest Division I hockey programs, Penn State has throttled Arizona State by a combined 22-4.
Player of the Game
Barratt had picked up two assists in his first seven games this season, but finally registered his first two collegiate goals in the second period, both on power plays. His first came at 9:00 of the second, knocking home a rebound in a quick strike by the Lions off an offensive-zone faceoff. The second came late in the period, knocking in a rebound from a Trevor Hamilton attempt.
Barratt nearly completed the hat trick in the opening minutes of the third, ringing a shot from the faceoff dot off the post.
Funkey made 15 saves for the shutout, including just eight stops over the final 40 minutes. The junior goalie’s other shutout also was against the Sun Devils, an 8-0 Lion win at Pegula Ice Arena last season.
The Nittany Lions started scoring in bunches in the third. Sternchein registered his first college goal at 6:37 of the third, scoring in the fifth game of his career and set up by Biro. Biro then netted his goal as Penn State netted four scores in the final eight minutes. Nikita Pavlychev, Erik Autio and Sucese all added their goals to provide the comfortable margin of victory.
Trevor Hamilton and Andrew Sturtz each had two assists, giving them nine assists apiece to join Cole Hults as the team leaders in that category.
The Nittany Lions and Sun Devils close their series at 9 p.m. Saturday.