Penn State suffered their first loss in their first road trip of the season late Friday night against Air Force, losing the contest 5-2. The Falcons jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first six minutes of the opening frame, a lead the Nittany Lions could never come back from, despite pulling within one goal in the middle of the first.
Air Force jumped on the Nittany Lions early, tallying their first goal off the power play at 15:14 in the first, then a minute and ten seconds later, the Falcons made it 2-0 on an even strength goal from senior Air Force forward Tony Thomas. Thomas had 2 goals for the Falcons on the night, both at even strength. Red-shirt sophomore Eric Scheid netted his second goal of the season to cut the Air Force lead to 2-1 just under 9 minutes into the first frame. However, Air Force scored two more goals of their own in the second and one in the third to widen their margin to 5-1. Penn State did get one back on a Luke Juha power play goal – his first of the season – with 3:38 left in the game but by that point it was too late for the Nittany Lions to mount a comeback.
Eamon McAdam got his first collegiate start in goal for the Nittany Lions Friday night, saving 27 of 32 Falcon shots. Penn State, on the other hand, were outshot by Air Force, as they only totaled 28 shots on Falcon netminder Jason Torf. Each team had a power play goal – Air Force’s extra man goal being their first goal of the night and Penn State’s their last – yet the Nittany Lions were shorthanded seven times to the Falcon’s five. However, Penn State did win in the face-off circle 35-30 thanks to David Glen’s 10-2 face-off record for the night.
Penn State will rematch Air Force again tonight at 9:05 p.m. in Colorado Springs as they look to split the series against the Falcons before returning home next weekend to play RIT.