Nittany Lions' Luke Juha (4) against Boston College. (Photo c/o Craig Houtz of GoPSUSports.com)
It was a valiant effort for the Nittany Lions against the No. 2 ranked Eagles last Saturday, but ultimately the power and skill of Boston College prevailed.
The Eagles were led by their top line, with Kevin Hayes scoring twice and Calgary Flames prospect Johnny Gaudreau scoring once, en route to a 3-2 victory in front of a sold-out Pegula Ice Arena. Gaudreau registered his 22nd goal and 28th assist on the season.
The Carney’s Point, NJ native leads all players nationally in points with 50 in 25 games played. Hayes, who is a 2010 Chicago Blackhawks first-rounder, is second in the country in scoring with 19 goals and 25 assists for 45 points in 25 games played. The third member of the line, Bill Arnold (CGY), assisted on all three BC goals.
Freshman goaltender Thatcher Demko, who is the top-rated goalie for the 2014 NHL Draft, stop 33 shots for his seventh win of the season.
Eric Scheid continues to be Penn State’ best player as he registered his team leading 10th goal of the season. Taylor Holstrom netted Penn State's Big Ten conference-leading fourth shorthanded goal of the season. Penn State now sits 4-15-1 overall, and has lost for the 12th time in 13 games. All but two of those losses are to ranked opponents and seven of those losses are by one goal.
Overall, it was exciting back-and-forth game. Penn State had 10 odd-man rushes in the game and couldn’t capitalize on any of them. The most disappointing aspect about this contest was it was another one-goal game loss. With BC up 2-1, Jonathan Milley took a senseless five-minute major penalty for boarding at 4:28 of third period, which led to BC’s third goal.
Penn State must remain discipline there. A play like that should cost Milley from playing a game if I was Gadowsky.
Eamon McAdam (NYI), who is still searching for his first collegiate win, played great once again turning aside 27 shots, including 15 power-play attempts.
Last time Penn State played Boston College on Dec, 28th, BC torched the Lions’ 8-2 and Penn State showed up for 10 minutes of a 60 minute game. This time around PSU didn’t get the results they wanted, but they showed they could hang with arguably the most skilled team in the country.
Penn State heads to Ohio State this weekend to for a pair games, starting at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday on ESPNEWS. The Buckeyes are 12-9-1 overall and sit fifth in the Big Ten Conference with a 2-5-1 record.
Steve Rohlik’s team is coming off of a weekend series at No. 9 Wisconsin where they split both games. The Buckeyes average 3.50 goals per game, which is tied for fifth nationally. Defensively, OSU has struggled giving up 2.82 goals per game on average, which has them 33rd nationally.
OSU has the Big Ten Conference’s best powerplay unit operating at 21.78 percent. However, their penalty killing unit has struggled this season as the Buckeyes are clicking at 81.0 percent.
OSU has a balanced scoring attack as nine players are in double-digit scoring. Ottawa Senators prospects Ryan Dzingel and Max McCormick lead the OSU offensive attack Dzingel leads the team in scoring with 14 goals and 16 assists for 30 points in 22 games played, while McCormick is second with seven goals and 14 assists for 21 points in 22 games played.
Dzingel’s 6’0 frame allows him fend off opposing defenders and he's effective in controlling the puck. He has a relentless drive to the net that Penn State must be aware of. His ability to find and utilize open spaces is impressive to watch.
McCormick excels with his strong play along the walls and the grittiness that he has. He’s a player PSU must watch out for as he’s known to draw penalties and be real pest on the ice.
Goalie Matt Tomkins, who is 6-5-1 on the year, has started the majority of the games for OSU . The Chicago Blackhawks prospect has good size at 6’3 194 pounds and has great athleticism. Captain Curtis Gedig leads the defense corps. He’s leader by example an outstanding work ethic and smart play in all three zones. There’s nothing fancy about Gedig’s game, it’s simply consistent and very sound. No wonder why he’s a draft pick of the New Jersey Devils.
Once again, it’s not going to be easy for Penn State to come away with a victory against OSU. Three weeks ago, PSU looked good against No. 1 Minnesota, but dropped two lackluster games the following weekend against Michigan State. They played well and looked good against BC last Saturday. Penn State fans hope they don’t have a similar drop off like they did against MSU this weekend.
I think PSU splits the weekend series earning their first Big Ten Conference victory.
Forward David Glen will miss the OSU series after undergoing a medical procedure to donate bone marrow for an anonymous woman. Glen participated in a “Be The Match” drive that was part of a drive in order to help Penn State lacrosse player Drew Roper’s mother in November of 2012. That’s what hockey is all about right there. I got to know Glen last season when I was at Penn State and it doesn’t surprise me he would do such a thing like this. Glen’s a good hockey player and even better guy off the ice. Bravo Glenner! Bravo!