Penn State Men’s Hockey: Freshman Conway’s 4 Points Help Lions Beat Crusaders 7-1


Freshman Scott Conway’s four-point afternoon lifted the Nittany Lions to a 7-1 win against Holy Cross Sunday, giving Penn State their first home sweep in Pegula Ice Arena history, knocking off the Crusaders twice in three days. Conway led the team with his two goals and two assists in Sunday’s win, also totaling a career high in points through his first five starts this season for the Nittany Lions

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The freshman got on the board for Penn State (3-1-2)  at 13:15 of the third period that gave the Nittany Lions a 5-1 lead over Holy Cross (1-4-1). Conway slipped by the defense and went forehand-backhand-forehand and flipped the puck over Crusader goaltender Matt Ginn for the score.

“The first one’s always the hardest one,” Conway said. “I was trying to put pucks to the net as much as I could during the past five games and it finally went in.”

His second of the night was the team’s final tally of the game with 1:37 to play in the contest that came unassisted for the 7-1 final score.

Conway also had four penalty minutes in the game, but seemed to cause trouble with the Crusaders every time he was on the ice.

“That’s who he is. I don’t think he sets up to really play an aggravator type of game, but it seems that he does that very well,” head coach Guy Gadowsky said. “I think that motivates him, he gets into it.”

“I try to get under their skin as much as I can and get them pissed off,” Conway said. “Hopefully they get a lot of penalties.”

The freshman put up two assists in the contest as well, getting his first on Curtis Loik’s goal with 2:56 to play in the second period on the power play that gave Penn State a 2-0 lead. Freshman defenseman Erik Autio also added his first collegiate point with a secondary assist on Loik’s tally.

“It was a tremendous night, not only on the numbers, but the way [Conway] did it,” Gadowsky said. “The power play goal to get us going, Loik’s goal, was a tremendous play by Autio and Conway. That was a great vision play.”

Penn State outshot Holy Cross 15-5 in the first period, but had nothing to show for it. Taylor Holstrom hit the crossbar on a breakaway with 9:55 to play in the period, as he had goaltender Ginn beat, but the puck would not go for the senior. David Glen had another great chance for the Nittany Lions on the power play with a wide open net in front of him, but the puck got lost in skates with traffic in front and he couldn’t pull the trigger.

Holy Cross had pressure early in the second, gaining a power play on Connor Varley’s interference penalty at 1:13 of the middle frame. The Crusaders held a 7-0 lead in shots through the first eight minutes of the period.

Casey Bailey gave the Nittany Lions the 1-0 lead at 14:49 of the second period on pretty passing between linemates David Goodwin and Holstrom. Goodwin carried the puck through the zone and fed it to Holstrom streaking up the left wing. A no-look pass by Holstrom to Bailey in front of the net set up the junior for an easy tap in that he roofed past Ginn’s glove side.

Loik’s goal came with 2:56 to play in the second that put Penn State up 2-0 with assists from Conway and Autio. The junior’s one-timer from the slot was a low shot that snuck through the right post between Ginn’s skate and the iron.

Conway picked up his second assist of the game on a 2-on-1 break against Holy Cross with 3:33 gone in the third period. The freshman was streaking down the left side and looked to shoot on net, but fired a slick puck to Eric Scheid cross-ice, who buried it past Ginn on a one-timer for the 3-0 score. The goal was Scheid’s second in as many games over the weekend.

Less than a minute and a half later, Glen picked up his second tally of the season for the 4-0 Penn State lead. Glen slid the puck through the five-hole of Ginn under the pads from a sharp angle after a Loik pass came in front to the junior as he was all alone in front.

Jake Bolton spoiled goaltender Matt Skoff’s shutout on a goal at 7:01 of the third period. The 4-1 tally from the left circle came during a 4-on-4 opportunity with Penn State’s Conway and Holy Cross’s Jake Youso in the box each for high sticking.

After Conway’s first of the season at 13:15 of the final period, Jacob Friedman picked up his first tally of the year and his first in the NCAA two minutes later. The senior found Ricky DeRosa’s rebound in the crease and put it in past Ginn for the 6-1 score, chasing the senior captain goaltender for freshman netminder Paul Berrafato.

Berrafato gave up one goal, Conway’s unassisted tally to finish the game 7-1, and saved three Nittany Lion shots in his 4:13 of playing time to end the contest.

Penn State outshot Holy Cross 44-30 through the 60 minute matchup, with Nittany Lion goaltender Skoff saving 29 of the Crusader shots that came his way in his third win of the year.

The Nittany Lions were 2-7 on the power play Sunday after going 1-8 in Friday night’s game.

Penn State will host Bentley (3-2) next Thursday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. and will close out the series on Halloween night Friday, also with a 7 p.m. start time.