The Penn State men’s hockey team got into too deep of a hole to climb out of Friday night.
No. 4 Massachusetts Lowell proved to be just too difficult to contain in a 5-3 victory at the Paul E. Tsongas Arena.
Casey Bailey, Tommy Olczyk and David Goodwin all scored for the Nittany Lions (5-2-2), who were facing their first top-10 opponent of the season and saw their four-game win streak halted.
Robert Francis scored a pair of goals, with one each from Zack Kamrass, John Edwardh and C.J. Smith to pace the River Hawks (7-1-2).
“You have to give UMass Lowell credit,” coach Guy Gadowsky said. “They out-worked us in our zone and deserved the victory. It will be nice to come back (Saturday) night and get another chance.”
The teams meet again at 7 p.m. Saturday.
The Nittany Lions outshot the River Hawks 37-30, including 15-9 in the third period as they tried to rally.
Lowell built a 5-1 lead by early in the third before the goals from Olczyk and Goodwin.
Bailey scored his goal just 17 seconds into the second period, with Penn State down 2-0 at the first intermission, but two River Hawk goals answered Bailey’s sixth tally of the season to put the hosts firmly in command.
The game marked the first appearance of the season of sophomore goalie Eamon McAdam. Matthew Skoff got the start and made eight saves before he was pulled after allowing the fourth goal. McAdam finished the final 31:13 and made 17 saves, allowing just one score.
Taylor Holstrom assisted on two of the three Nittany Lion goals, giving him a team-leading 10 assists and 13 points on the season. Bailey and Loik also picked up assists.
Lowell goalie Kevin Boyle made 34 saves for the win, and each team was 0 for 1 on the power play.