STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Penn State forward David Glen popped a hat trick to lead the Nittany Lions to an 8-3 defeat of Arizona State on Friday night at the Greenberg Ice Pavilion in the first of two exhibition matches between the Nittany Lions and the top-ranked ACHA Sun Devils.
Arizona State was unfazed early on, taking the play to Penn State’s defense early and often. Eventually, their ferocity paid off as Dan Styrna took a drop pass from Faiz Khan and fired a wrist shot past Matthew Skoff’s glove at 12:20 of the first to give the Sun Devils the 1-0 lead. It was the fourth time in five home games that the Nittany Lions allowed the game’s first goal.
Perhaps stunned by allowing the first goal to the underdog Sun Devils, the Nittany Lions used what had been a scuffling power play to claw their way back late in the period.
Michael McDonagh charged down the right wing boards and found a streaking Luke Juha at the far post for the tap-in at 18:45. In tying the game, Penn State tallied only its fifth power-play goal in 50 chances.
Following the intermission, the Nittany Lions’ brass faced a rude awakening in the locker room.
“I don’t think we played well at all [in the first period],” said Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky. “The message was to focus; our ‘D’ was struggling.”
“It was definitely a wake-up call,” said Nittany Lions’ forward Michael Longo. “The captains called us in and said, ‘We’re not playing our best’”
A trio of Nittany Lion goals in response to the leader’s messages in the first 5:31 of the middle period staked Penn State to a 4-1 lead.
First, Tommy Olczyk found a rebound sitting behind Sun Devils’ goalie Joe D’Elia and rammed it home while losing his stick to make it 2-1. Kenny Brooks followed up, spinning off the end boards and chopping away at the post before finally beating D’Elia to make it 3-1 at 4:20.
Then Glen, the team’s leading goal-scorer, joined the barrage, firing a spinning wrist shot through the legs of D’Elia at 5:31. Following the tally, Sun Devils’ coach Greg Powers took his timeout, relieved D’Elia of the net and inserted backup Kyle Dietriech.
The Sun Devils responded to their coach’s decision just 1:02 after Glen’s tally. Colin Hekle stole a puck below the goal line and found Khan, who one-timed the puck past Skoff to make it 4-2.
Both teams settled in defensively until the Nittany Lions’ man-advantage clicked again in the waning moments of the period. With just 15 seconds to go, the puck found its way into a pile of players and Glen found it and fired a wrist shot past Dietriech to make it 5-2 going into the second intermission.
“I got a couple lucky breaks,” said Glen. “I give credit to my linemates [because] they make it easy on me out there.”
Not to be outdone, the Sun Devils would not bow out quickly, as Styrna connected for his second goal of the night early in the third. He moved down the right wing side and fired against the grain to beat Skoff on the stick side at 2:26.
Finally, the Nittany Lions got the knockout punches as late tallies from Longo, Eric Steinour and Glen’s hat-trick goal rounded out the scoring. Steinour had the highlight of the night, toe-dragging past a Sun Devils’ defender before faking backhand-to-forehand on a breakaway.
Longo finished with a goal and two assists.
*No Arizona State representatives were made available to the media.