Penn State men’s hockey coach Guy Gadowsky was rather blunt in describing the mood of his team Monday afternoon, the first time they had practiced since a stunning loss to Minnesota on Saturday.
“Practice wasn’t bad (Monday),” Gadowsky said at his weekly session with the media. “Absolutely the mood in the locker room was extremely pissed off. I can’t lie to you.”
Saturday’s 4-3 overtime loss was one that can have lasting effects, both good and bad. The Nittany Lions twice lost a lead in the final 2:11 of regulation. The Gophers tied the game at that mark, then Penn State went ahead again on a Denis Smirnov penalty shot 45 seconds later, only to see Justin Kloos score with 3.5 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.
“There’s games that you’ll remember,” Gadowsky said. “This will certainly be one of them. You really want to remember the ones that end up on a positive result for yourself, but I’ll tell you what, it’s a definite learning experience for our players presently, the coaching staff and the program.”
A learning experience is how the team, which dropped to No. 11 in all the major polls, has to approach the result, playing well essentially for the first 57 minutes. The answer was echoed by captain David Goodwin and assistant captain Ricky DeRosa, who face the obstacle of getting the team to shake off the tough loss.
“It was more just getting back to work (Monday), the mood in the locker room,” DeRosa said. “Just really learning from that experience.”