STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — The build-up to Penn State’s second home game at the Pegula Ice Arena was much calmer, but once the puck dropped against RIT, the atmosphere took over, as overtime was needed to settle a feisty battle that ended tied at 3-3.
Despite both teams having several chances in the five-minute overtime period, neither could find the net. The game will count as a tie, despite RIT winning the shootout 2-0.
“That’s an interesting thing here in NCAA hockey, especially with nonconference games,” Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky said. “In [the Big Ten] conference, we will be having shootouts, so this is great to get used to it.”
After two quick penalties in the opening minutes, the teams were skating four-on-four.
The Nittany Lions took advantage of the extra ice when Patrick Koudys handed it off to Dylan Richard, who deked his way through traffic to score the opening goal at 6:15 of the first period.
RIT tied with a power-play goal from senior Adam Mitchell, who was waiting in the slot after going tic-tac-toe with Brad McGowan and Nolan Descoteaux just two minutes later.
Colovecchia gave RIT the 2-1 lead after his shot was initially stopped by Penn State goaltender Matt Skoff, but popped loose and into the net.
With 30 seconds on the clock, several bodies hit ice after Kenny Brooks elbowed a man, while David Glen collided knee-to-knee with Descoteaux. Glen was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for kneeing as a result. Descoteaux left the game and did not return.
By the time the first period horn sounded, Penn State had racked up seven penalties for 25 penalty minutes.
Before the start of the second period, Gadowsky spent several animated minutes talking to referee Peter Feola about his displeasure with the call after reviewing the play in the locker room during the first intermission.
“I had the luxury of seeing those penalties on tape and I just let [Feola] know my feelings that if those players don’t go down, neither [hit] is a penalty, let alone a five-minute [major],” Gadowsky said.
Even with the penalties, Gadowsky said he was pleased with the way his team played while five-on-five.
It was on their fourth power play that Penn State tied the game after freshman David Goodwin snapped a shot that beat RIT goaltender Jordan Ruby glove side after the Tigers failed to clear their zone.
The Nittany Lions retook the lead when sophomore Curtis Loik lobbed one towards Ruby, who was handcuffed by a knuckleball that sailed past his shoulder. The puck wound up in the roof of the net.
“It caught everyone by surprise,” Richard said, as the guys on the bench did not know immediately that the puck went in.
Goodwin added that the reaction of the student section helped them out.
There was still plenty of time for RIT to equalize. It came when Skoff was left on his belly when a rebound came to the stick of Brad McGowan, who scored his first goal of the season.
In the end, RIT remained winless at 0-3-2 while Penn State recorded its first tie in program history. The Nittany Lions record is now 1-2-1.
Penn State will travel to Philadelphia to participate in the second annual Philadelphia College Hockey Faceoff against Vermont at the Wells Fargo Center.
“I definitely haven’t played in front of that many people,” Goodwin said. “We’re really excited and ready to get on the bus and head to Philly.”
RIT players and coaches were not available for comment as they had left the building immediately following the game.