STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — David Glen scored two goals to lead Penn State over Buffalo State 4-2 at the Greenberg Ice Pavilion Saturday night to register its first home victory of the season.
After squandering an early power-play chance, Penn State could not keep Buffalo State’s potent man-advantage unit off the board.
Following an interference call on Nittany Lions’ defenseman Connor Varley, the Bengals went to work. Matt Bessing found a rebound at the side of Matthew Skoff’s cage and slammed it to the back of the net to make it 1-0 at the 10:52 mark of the first. It was the first power-play goal for a Penn State opponent since the Bengals tallied three man-up goals against the Nittany Lions on Oct. 19.
The Nittany Lions, however, would answer before the end of the first stanza. At the tail end of a power play, Glen located a loose puck to the right of Bengals’ goaltender Kevin Carr and backhanded it to the twine to even the score at 1-1.
After Buffalo State capitalized on countless Penn State infractions in the teams’ first matchup in Buffalo, Penn State did the same in the second period in State College. Bengals forward Nick Melligan’s two-hand slash on Jonathan Milley knocked the Penn State freshman out of the game and handed Penn State extended power-play time. The chop also abruptly halted a Buffalo State power play in the tie game.
Armed with the advantage, the Nittany Lions made no mistake, as Michael Longo one-timed a centering pass from Nate Jensen into the Bengal net to give Penn State the 2-1 lead at 9:52 of the middle frame.
For Penn State, the momentum of the power-play tally, coupled with motivational fire from a few controversial calls, carried throughout the second half of the period. Tommy Olczyk netted his first goal and point of the season to make it 3-1 at 13:05. Olczyk parked himself in the right circle and watched as Max Gardiner craftily fed a blind backhand pass to set up the Nittany Lions’ captain.
Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky commended his young team’s response in the second period.
“There’s always calls you can get frustrated with,” Gadowsky said. “I haven’t seen a lot of panic or frustration out of them.”
The Bengals would not bow out easily, though, as Mike Zannella found a loose puck between the circles and sniped a shot off the underside of the crossbar to cut the Penn State lead to 3-2 just 3:15 into the third period.
Buffalo State had no shortage of scoring chances in the third, but Skoff had the answers in goal for Penn State, stopping 23 shots and registering his first collegiate win.
Glen would add some extra insurance when he charged the net on a two-on-one and slid the loose puck under a sprawled Carr at the 16:36 mark in the third.
Glen’s timely goals caught the praise of his head coach.
“He excels in those tough areas,” Gadowsky said. “You saw why he has been a captain everywhere he’s been.”
On the losing side, Bengals’ head coach Nick Carriere made no secret as to what made his team fall short.
“We got into some trouble with discipline issues,” said Carriere. “We really needed to put together a grade-A effort to get the job done tonight, but we weren’t quite firing on all cylinders.”
Glen’s “garbage goals” were a point of emphasis for the Buffalo State coach, citing the simplicity of the sport.
“We had some guys swing away from the crucial part of the ice and that ended up being the difference,” Carriere said. “They don’t ask how [goals were scored], they ask how many.”
Unfortunately, the win came at a price for the Nittany Lions as defenseman Mark Yanis joined Milley on the shelf with an injury. Neither player returned to action.