Penn State Men’s Hockey: Lions Rally to Tie Wildcats 5-5


Another day, another crazy game of hockey for Penn State, as the Nittany Lions came back from a three-goal deficit to tie Northern Michigan 5-5 Saturday evening at Pegula Ice Arena.

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After going down three goals in the first period, Penn State (12-7-4) went on a five to two tear against the Wildcats (9-9-6) to force overtime. The Nittany Lions came away from the weekend with a 1-0-1 record after the official tie in the standings.

Two goals and one assist from Eric Scheid helped carry Penn State to the tie and the Nittany Lions as a whole posted 64 shots on net for the team’s highest shot total this season.

Penn State opened the game looking to continue their momentum from Friday night’s 5-4 comeback win with what was first believed to be a quick strike by Loik 53 seconds into the opening frame. A bouncing puck could not be corralled by Wildcat goaltender Mathias Dahlstrom as captain Patrick Koudys came in to pick up the puck for a quick shot. The rebound went right to Loik and the junior shot it high over Dahlstrom in traffic, but the tally was called off on a Nittany Lion in the goal crease who seemed to interfere with the netminder.

After withstanding a Nittany Lion onslaught of shots, Northern Michigan took control of the game on three straight tallies past sophomore netminder Eamon McAdam, who had a night to forget in net for Penn State.

At the halfway point of the first, Dominik Shine handled the puck on a 2-on-1 break for the Wildcats and shot a puck at McAdam from the right circle that seemed to stun the netminder, and the winger deposited the puck off his own rebound before McAdam could recover for the 1-0 score.

The Wildcat lead was doubled with 5:18 to play in the opening frame, on a rebound shot from Ryan Kesti with McAdam again failing to track a big rebound. A Northern Michigan shot put McAdam wide left and out of position and Kesti hunted it down and sniped a quick shot glove side that hit iron in the net and in for the 2-0 tally.

Northern Michigan had one more in them in the first, this time a Zach Urban point wrister found its way through a screen that McAdam had lost sight of and the puck trickled in for a 3-0 Wildcat lead through the first 20 minutes.

In the second, it became a battle of the backup goaltenders when McAdam was pulled in favor of PJ Musico after the sophomore’s five saves on eight shots through the first. Then within the first two minutes of the middle period, Dahlstrom cut his hand during a Penn State rush and was replaced by junior Michael Doan in net.

Musico kept Penn State in the game again for the second straight evening, making a tough 2-on-1 breakaway and rebound stop with eight minutes left in the middle frame that the Nittany Lions built momentum upon.

Scheid officially started the rally with Penn State’s first goal — a shorthanded one at that — 12:31 into the second period. The sophomore skated through nearly the entire Wildcat defense before cutting across the Northern Michigan net from left to right. Scheid out-waited goaltender Doan to commit to the play before shelving a slick backhander to get the Nittany Lions on the board 3-1. The shorty by the sophomore was Penn State’s second in as many games.

“Right now, [Scheid’s] playing at a different speed than everybody else,” head coach Guy Gadowsky said. “Honestly, it’s like he just plays at a different level right now and his speed is phenomenal. He’s something to watch.”

After some extracurriculars that resulted in coincidental minors and 4-on-4 play, Northern Michigan got back their three-goal lead two and a half minutes later on Reed Seckel’s hard snipe that beat Musico high on his stick side with both teams down a man.

The Nittany Lions were not held down for long and cut the deficit back to two again after captain Patrick Koudys’ shot from the left point deflected off of Ricky DeRosa high in traffic to make it 4-2 with 2:08 to go in the period.

Scheid’s magic hands made the next goal possible for his second of the night, this time scoring off of a breakaway. The forward put a few nifty moves on Doan, and slipped a backhander between the netminder’s pads to put Penn State just behind the Wildcats 4-3 heading into the final frame of the evening.

After killing a penalty to start the third period, senior Tommy Olczyk buried his fifth goal of the year at the right time, tying the game 4-4 with only 3:09 gone in the frame. On a scramble in front of goaltender Mathias Dahlstrom — who came back from his injury to start the third — Max Gardiner’s shot that left the netminder out of position came right to Olczyk, who finished the play from the right post into a wide open net that blew the roof off of Pegula.

The rowdy crowd was quieted nearly four minutes later, after Darren Nowick looked to finish the game for Northern Michigan on a high slap shot on the power play with 13:05 to play in the period that gave the Wildcats the 5-4 lead.

Chaos broke out in the stands and on the ice after Penn State scored the definitive tying goal with 6:12 left. Scheid’s high shot from was batted out of the air by Dylan Richard and over Dahlstrom’s shoulder into the net. Richard was dumped into the netminder and pandemonium broke out behind the net with each player grabbing a partner. Captain Patrick Koudys in the center of it all, butt-ending a Wildcat with his stick.

Koudys and Seckel, the other guilty party in the scrum, were both charged with five minute majors and given 10 minute game misconducts, ejecting them from the rest of the game.

The goal itself went to a replay, the third of the night for Penn State, but was found good and play continued to overtime. Neither team tallied a goal in the extra five minutes of hockey, though the Wildcats outshot Penn State 5-3, their only period in the game.

Northern Michigan had 29 shots to Penn State’s 64.

Musico ended the night in net for Penn State with 19 saves on 21 shots.

In total, there were 19 penalties for a total of 60 minutes, though the Wildcats cashed in on one of their five power play chances, while the Nittany Lions couldn’t on any of their six.

After a wacky series between their second to last non-conference opponent, Penn State travels to Philadelphia next weekend to play their last non-Big Ten team in Vermont (15-8-2) in the third annual College Hockey Faceoff. The event will take place in the Wells Fargo Center on Jan. 31, with puck drop slated for 1 p.m. Penn State is 1-1-0 in the annual match after winning last year’s contest 4-2.