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It wasn't really the catharsis most wanted after the embarrassment in Buffalo, but this one still got the job done.
Penn State (5-2-0, 4-1-0 NCAA DI), despite the somewhat tight result, did get a measure of revenge for that shutout at the hands of the NCAA Division III Buffalo State Bengals (2-2-1, 1-1-1 SUNYAC) on October 19th via a chippy 4-2 win at the Ice Pavilion Saturday night. And - oh yeah - won a fourth straight game since then, in addition to notching a first NCAA home victory.
This contest, at the start, actually mirrored the events of two weeks ago. Despite the Nittany Lions carrying the play early on, the Bengals capitalized on the power play with an ugly goal to go up 1-0. Then, it Nick Melligan trickling one through Matt Skoff. Saturday, it was Matt Bessing hammering a rebound past Skoff 10:52 into the game.
Unlike that previous game, the Nittany Lions had an answer. And, of no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention this year, that answer was David Glen. His line (which usually includes Kenny Brooks and Curtis Loik) tends to be on the ice in big situations, and it's largely because they do things like erase early 1-0 deficits. This time around, and just after a late first period power play expired, Glen took a pass from Loik and circled to the front for a stuff attempt. BSC goalie Kevin Carr was up to that challenge, but not to the Alberta freshman's batting in of his own rebound. He would add a second goal to seal the win with 3:24 remaining when a turnover at the Bengal line led to a shorthanded 2-on-1 with Brooks. Glen attempted to slide across to Brooks for the finish, but the pass was blocked. No worries - it bounced back to Glen, who decided he wanted the goal after all.
In between those two goals, Michael Longo connected on the power play and Tommy Olczyk made the score 3-1 through two periods with his first of the season, which was set up by a nifty between-the-legs pass from linemate Max Gardiner. Before the Nittany Lions could think about a cruise to the finish line, Mike Zanella sniped from the circle 3:15 into the third period to cut the lead to one. The Bengals would get no closer however, thanks in part to a vital kill of a late Mike McDonagh penalty that ended just as Glen was considering passing to Brooks in transition leading to the final goal.
The result was marred by injuries to both Jonathan Milley, felled by a Melligan slash in the second period, and Mark Yanis. Their statuses are not yet known for what will probably be PSU's biggest NCAA test so far: two home games against 2012 Atlantic Hockey champ and NCAA tournament participant Air Force next weekend.