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College Hockey:
Three-goal third lifts Lions over Sooners in Greenberg finale

— The Penn State Nittany Lions broke a scoreless tie with three goals in the final period to knock off ACHA foe Oklahoma, 3-0, on Saturday inside Greenberg Ice Pavilion. It marked the final game for Penn State inside the Pavilion before making its move to Pegula Ice Arena next season.

The game began with a much faster pace than Friday’s proceedings, as both teams were able to generate scoring chances. Penn State outshot Oklahoma, 20-9, in the first, but Colin Fernandes was spectacular in the net for the Sooners.

Fernandes brought the house to a gasped silence late in the first period, robbing Michael McDonagh on a redirection before sliding post to post to snatch a McDonagh rebound.

At the other end, Penn State freshman goalie Matt Skoff had a quieter 20 minutes, turning aside nine shots. Among them, Skoff stoned former teammate Bryce Johnson while Penn State had a power play on two occasions. Johnson roared in down the wing and Skoff knocked the puck to the corner before getting to the post to stop a bank-shot attempt.

Finally, after some early pressure in the third, Curtis Loik picked up a puck off a pass from Connor Varley and skated toward the high slot. He turned from the right wing side and fired through traffic in the form of a Kenny Brooks’ screen. Fernandes could not locate the puck, and Loik gave Penn State the 1-0 lead at 3:24.

The Sooners never recovered, and 26 penalty minutes doomed Oklahoma. Among the infractions was a five-minute major and a game misconduct on Chad Liley for spearing Nittany Lions defenseman Mark Yanis.

Armed with a five minute power play, the Nittany Lions sent their building out with a bang. At 11:34, Kenny Brooks picked up a puck below the goal line, walked to the edge of the left circle, and wristed one off the far pipe past Fernandes to extend the Penn State lead to 2-0.

Just 14 seconds later, senior Michael Longo capped his Greenberg Ice Pavilion career by picking up a loose puck off a Varley point shot and sliding it between Fernandes’ five-hole.

Despite the loss, Fernandes’ 48 saves won the admiration of his head coach, Peter Arvanitis.

“Colin (Fernandes) is a big part of why we were successful this year,” said Arvanitis. “He’s the type of goalie that keeps us in the game and gives us a chance to win. Unfortunately, offensively, we couldn’t help him out.”

Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky may have only coached Penn State for the final two years inside the Ice Pavilion, but he was quick to recall some of his favorite memories.

“When I think of Greenberg (Ice Pavilion), even the first time I came out and saw the student section and how much support we had, it was fantastic,” said Gadowsky. “This year, you saw them standing and chanting and making it such a fun place to play.”

Penn State will open the Pegula Ice Arena on Oct. 11 against Army.

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