Saturday, February 16, 2013

M: Penn State 3 vs. Oklahoma 0

Penn State, in the final Ice Pavilion game ever for the Icers/NCAA men's team, rode a third-period surge aided significantly by a boarding major to Oklahoma's Nic Power, to a 3-0 victory over the Sooners. With the win, PSU improves to 18-15-0 in all games, while remaining 12-13-0 in NCAA games and 10-11-0 against NCAA Division I.

Here's the recap - its incredible depth undoubtedly reflecting the respect the writer has for the tradition built at the closing venue prior to this season - followed by the live blog from the game.

Jamie Hettema, the Nittany Lion, Joe Battista (out of frame in the first picture) doesn't get much more symmetrical than these photos, of the first and last ceremonial faceoffs in Ice Pavilion history. In a nice touch, Matt Glass - the first goal scorer at the rink - and John Dufford joined the latter version.

After two scoreless periods, the Penn State men's hockey team tallied three third-period goals as it garnered a 3-0 exhibition victory against the ACHA's Oklahoma Sooners in the team's final game at Greenberg Ice Pavilion. The Nittany Lions competed in front of a sellout crowd for the 14th time this season.

Freshman Curtis Loik (North Vancouver, B.C.) opened the scoring, while classmate Kenny Brooks (Las Vegas, Nev.) and senior Michael Longo (Allison Park, Pa.) tallied a power-play goal each. Defenseman Connor Varley (Lansdale, Pa.) collected two assists and freshman goaltender Matthew Skoff (McKees Rocks, Pa.) turned aside 26 shots for the shutout.

Penn State outshot the Sooners, 51-26, and went 2-for-8 on the power play. Oklahoma went 0-for-4 on the man advantage, while goaltender Colin Fernandes made 48 saves.

After two scoreless periods, Loik tallied the game's first goal at 3:24 of the third. Varley sent a pass to Loik, who skated above the circles near the blue line before sending a shot through traffic for the marker.

Brooks doubled the advantage while the Sooners were defending a five-minute major. Sophomore forward Max Gardiner (Deephaven, Minn.) passed to Brooks, who went around the net before sliding a shot past the goal line. Freshman David Glen (Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.) also collected an assist on the play.

The Nittany Lions needed just 14 seconds to take a 3-0 lead. Freshman defenseman Joseph Lordo (St. Louis, Mo.) sent a pass to Varley at the blue line, where his shot was stopped by Fernandes. The rebound fell to the goaltender's feet, where Longo quickly knocked it in for the goal.

Penn State will conclude the 2012-13 season when it travels to Madison, Wis., for a two-game series against No. 18 Wisconsin Feb. 24-25. Opening faceoff Sunday, Feb. 24 is set at 8 p.m., while the game Monday, which will air on BTN, is set at 8:30 p.m.

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