Penn State Hockey

Penn State hockey: Freshmen help Nittany Lions throttle American International

Penn State's Andrew Sturtz scores a goal past American International's Jacob Caffrey during the Friday, October 23, 2015 game at Pegula Ice Arena. The goal was Sturtz's first in his Penn State career, and helped the Nittany Lions to an 8-3 win.
Penn State's Andrew Sturtz scores a goal past American International's Jacob Caffrey during the Friday, October 23, 2015 game at Pegula Ice Arena. The goal was Sturtz's first in his Penn State career, and helped the Nittany Lions to an 8-3 win. CDT photo

Freshmen were supposed to have a big impact on this year’s version of the Penn State hockey team.

But maybe not like this.

The first-year guys accounted for half the scoring Friday night at Pegula Ice Arena.

Newcomers Chase Berger and Andrew Sturtz scored two goals apiece as the Nittany Lions drubbed American International 8-3.

Tommy Olczyk, Curtis Loik, Erik Autio and Kenny Brooks also scored while Matthew Skoff made 22 saves for Penn State (3-1), which dominated the shot count 57-25.

Lucas Bombardier, Chris Porter and Johno May scored for the Yellow Jackets (0-4).

It took just 3:16 of action to get the first goal, with goalie Alex Murray trying to handle the puck behind his net, but Curtis Loik stripped the puck from the sophmore and fed it out to Berger in the slot, and the freshman hit the wide open net.

Olczyk made it 2-0 just over five minutes later, firing a wrist shot from the boards at a tight angle through a maze of players past Murray.

Berger scored again late in the first, sliding in on his belly and poking the puck under Murray after taking Derian Hamilton’s feed from behind the net.

Loik started the second-period scoring, tapping in a rebound of a puck behind Murray in an open crease.

The goals for Autio and Sturtz rival for the prettiest of the night.

Autio scored with a backhand flip from the circle just under the crossbar to make it 5-0 midway through the second. A few minutes later, Sturtz raced in from the side and flew across the front of the net and slid the puck in.

Brooks kept the run going 32 seconds into the third with a goal before Bombardier ruined the shutout about two minutes later. Porter then knocked in a rebound from the slot off the post for the Yellow Jackets’ second goal.

Sturtz then scored his second a few minutes later with his own rebound from the slot.

May slipped the puck between Skoff and the post not long after to close the scoring.

Returning to action Friday after missing games because of injury or illness were forward Eric Scheid and defenseman Luke Juha, who assisted on Olczyk’s goal. Missing from action was forward David Glen.

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