Down on one knee, helmetless and with a wide grin on his face, David Glen battled to find his own rebound in the crease to bury his second goal of the game.
As he rose to his feet, Glen was greeted by Kenny Brooks and breathed a sigh of relief after getting knocked to the ice mid-goal, as his third period tally helped lead the Penn State men’s hockey team past Division III Bufallo State, 4-2, at the Greenberg Ice Pavilion Saturday night.
“That’s the kind of goals you have to get. That’s really where they come from,” Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky said. “The pretty perimeter plays are the minority now. I expect you’ll see (tough goals) the rest of the year.”
Penn State goalie Matt Skoff turned aside 23 shots and improved to 1-2 on the year. His last start came three games ago in a 3-0 loss to Buffalo State – P.J. Musico has played the Nittany Lions’ last three contests. Glen scored his fourth and fifth goals of the season — both in Bufallo State’s paint — while Tommy Olczyk buried his first and Michael Longo scored his second. The Nittany Lions outshot the Bengals, 50-25.
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The two teams combined for 33 penalty minutes and plenty of physical play, including a few scraps in front of each net.
Glen said the coaching staff emphasized getting more traffic to the net during practice last week, and it paid off Saturday.
Despite outshooting the Bengals 20-9 in the first period, Buffalo State struck first about 10 minutes into the game, when Drew Klin tried to stuff in a wrap-around. The puck then squirted loose to the far side of Skoff, and Matt Bessing buried it on the doorstep to put the Bengals up, 1-0.
About five minutes later, Buffalo State goalie Kevin Carr made a lunging save with his right pad on Curtis Loik’s second effort after Brooks’ shot was turned aside, and both teams slowed down because the puck was not visible. Glen, however, found it and used his backhand to flip the loose puck past Carr and tie the game at 1-1.
It was the first of Penn State’s two hard fought goals on the night, and Buffalo State coach Nick Carriere said that proved to be the difference.
“They don’t ask how. They ask how many,” he said. “They’re aggressive jumping on pucks in front of the net.”
Three minutes after Longo’s second period goal gave Penn State the lead for good, Max Gardiner got tied up in the slot, but got his stick free and slid a pass behind the back to Olczyk. The captain one timed a shot past a sliding Carr on the glove side. Buffalo State added a goal in the middle of the third, but Glen’s second of the night with 3:24 remaining sealed the victory.
The Nittany Lions are riding a four game winning streak, and their last lost came at the hands of Buffalo State on Oct. 18. The team is 5-2 overall and 4-1 against Division I teams. Glen said the team didn’t need to prove anything to the Division III Bengals after the loss two weeks ago.
“We just really had to prove it to ourselves more than anything,” Glen said. “We wanted to get back to our game and we’d be successful.”
The Nittany Lions will look to extend their four game winning streak when they welcome Air Force to University Park for a two game homestand Nov. 9 and Nov. 10. The team will then play at Union Nov. 24 and Nov. 25.