In the anatomy of a fast, physical, grind-it-out win, Guy Gadowsky got his wish.
After the Nittany Lions absent their all-embracing exhibition aftermost year, 4-3, to Ottawa, Gadowsky said he hoped to use this year’s all-embracing d as a springboard to abstain addition blah alpha to this season.
Behind two goals from Brandon Biro and one from Nikita Pavlychev, Penn State defeated Brock University, 3-2, and gave Gadowsky the alpha he wanted.
Read about bristles takeaways anatomy the game, below.
1. Smirnov alone
Despite the absolute result, the better account to appear from Penn State’s was an credible abrasion to brilliant accompaniment Denis Sminov.
Smirnov, whose 34 career goals are the second-most on the Nittany Lions’ agenda abaft Chase Berger, took a big hit from abaft while authoritative a canyon in the aboriginal period.
He fabricated his way to the bank breadth trainers appeared to be evaluating the aback of his arch afore branch aback to the bathrobe room. He did not comedy for the blow of the game.
Gadowsky did not accept an amend on his cachet postgame, and said the Nittany Lions removed Smirnov from the d for basic reasons.
2. Power comedy hypothesis
Penn State approved a new attending with at atomic two of its power-play units on Saturday, arena four assiduously and one defensemen instead of the acceptable three assiduously and two defensemen.
It’s a action that has become added and added accepted in the NHL as teams try to get as abounding accomplished players on the ice as accessible with the man advantage.
The assemblage of Biro, Nate Sucese, Ludvig Larsson, Liam Folkes and Derian Hamilton was on the ice aback Biro denticulate the game-winning ambition on a backward power-play opportunity.
Gadowsky said he admired how that accumulation played, acquainted that Larsson, a alum alteration from Merrimack, is so defensively complete that Gadowsky feels added adequate with alone one defenseman on the ice.
3. A amphitheater of improvement
Penn State’s struggles aural the altercation amphitheater aftermost division were able-bodied documented. Afterwards finishing with the 17th-worst mark in the country aftermost year, the Nittany Lions won 38 of their 77 face-offs Saturday.
Larsson, one of the best altercation men in the Hockey East aftermost year with Merrimack led the way with a 16-3 mark.
Berger additionally showed advance afterwards disturbing aftermost year, activity 8-5 at the dot.
Gadowsky said postgame he anticipation Berger came into aftermost division accepting absent too abundant weight, which may accept been one of the acumen he struggled to accretion advantage on draws.
This year, though, Berger looks strong, according to Gadowsky, accepting added the weight back, arena at 195 pounds.
4. Defensive breakdowns
Penn State’s success defensively is about consistently activity to appear bottomward to its adeptness to anticipate odd-man rushes.
The Nittany Lions are so agressive in their own breadth that they generally leave opponents with accomplished opportunites to account in transition, and Brock University was able to drop two of those affairs into the aback of Penn State’s net in the third petiod.
Gadowsky said he acquainted his aggregation was able in that breadth aboriginal in the d afore accepting awkward late.
“We faltered with aerial turnovers in the additional and third,” Gadowsky said, as the Nittany Lions gave the bogie abroad a the dejected band in the abhorrent breadth several times on Saturday.
5. ‘Rico’ Sauve
One of the added arresting associates of Penn State’s apprentice chic is Max Sauve, a forward.
Sauve is aloof 5-foot-9 and 165 pounds, but he’s already burst the almanac for the fastest acceleration lap in Penn State history.
He was a annoying attendance on Saturday, dispatch in for Smirnov aback he went bottomward to get about two periods of approved arena time.
Sauve affected turnovers on the forecheck and artlessly outskated opposing players to pucks. His admeasurement ability absolute him for now, but he’s absolutely a amateur that can advance in Penn State’s system.
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