Penn State had an up and down weekend in Pittsburgh at the Three Rivers Classic, getting shut out by Robert Morris 6-0 before bouncing back and grabbing a win over future conference foe Ohio State, 5-4.
Penn State went 1-1 at the Three Rivers Classic in Pittsburgh during the weekend.
It was the Nittany Lions’ (9-10) second straight loss to Robert Morris, which downed Penn State a couple weeks ago in State College and can claim in-state bragging rights for the year.
Miami University defeated Ohio State in the other opening round game, which set up the consolation bracket as a matchup between two Big Ten teams and Penn State’s first game against a future conference opponent.
“After the loss we pulled ourselves together, knew we had to come back and didn't want to disappoint the fans,” said junior forward Taylor Holstrom, who scored two goals. “We know this is a big rivalry, especially with our first game against a Big Ten team. We kind of pulled together and played the way we know we can play.”
Freshman goalie Matt Skoff got the start for Penn State and racked up 36 saves in the victory - his fourth on the year - after sophomore PJ Musico let up four goals before Skoff relieved him in a 6-0 loss to Robert Morris on Friday. Head coach Guy Gadowsky said after the game Musico’s performance didn’t determine who started on Saturday, as the rotation had been decided on earlier in the week.
Fellow freshman Casey Bailey led all scorers with four points, notching two goals - which tied him for the team lead at eight - and two assists.
“Coming into Penn State, that rivalry with Ohio State is already there with the football team and the other organizations at the school, so it is great to start that up with hockey,” said Bailey, who is second on the team with 15 points. “I (think a win like this) helps establish the fan base, it gets people excited about Penn State hockey and gets us excited about Penn State hockey.”
Gadowsky has seen his team go through some growing pains over the past month and go 2-5 over the past seven games, but he is excited over his young team’s most recent victory.
“For me, theres been some good moments along the way,” said Gadowsky after the Ohio State game. “This is the first win against a Big Ten opponent. I don’t know what the final attendance count was today, there was close to 12,000 yesterday, a lot of them wearing Blue and White, it’s a great feeling.”
Penn State will hit the road again this upcoming weekend, travelling to Storrs, Conn., to take on UConn (5-8-2) for a two-game set.