Penn State Hockey MVPs From Season-Opening Sweep

Penn State Hockey
Penn State Hockey takes the ice at Pegula Ice Arena (Image via Patrick Sweda, Nittany Central)
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Penn State Hockey completed a season-opening sweep Saturday with a high-scoring 7-5 win over Canisius.

Christian Berger wasted no time, sniping a power play goal 1 minute and 36 seconds into the game to give the Nittany Lions the early lead.

Eight minutes later, the Griffins responded with a feed from Alton McDermott.

The Linden line continued its dominant play, as Kirwan fired a quick snapshot off the goalie’s glove, Linden finished the play by putting it in to give the Lions a 2-1 lead.

Kirwan then scored one with just five minutes left in the first period to make it 3-1.

Like the Lions’ opening night victory, penalties occurred often on both sides. This allowed the Griffins to cut the lead to 3-2 with a 5-on-3 power play at 7:36 of the second period. Tyler Gratton (known as Big Gratts) potted the fourth goal for the Nittany Lions with about eight minutes left in the second period.

The final 20 minutes of the weekend saw an avalanche of goals.

Kirwan got it started for his second of the night, off a clean pass from Kevin Wall. Minutes later Wall cruised his way into the offensive zone and undressed a defenseman before ripping it corner, the next day finding himself on SportsCenter’s top 10.

During the 6-2 lead, McDermott found himself on the scoreboard again for the Griffs, making it 6-3.

The last Nittany Lion goal was potted by senior forward, Ashton Calder. As time winded down the Griffins never went fully away, putting two more goals in the back of the net before the final buzzer.

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MVPs From Opening Weekend

Ryan Kirwan

Kirwan notched three goals and two assists this weekend, building early chemistry with linemates Linden and Wall. After compiling 13 points and 13 assists his freshman season, this is great news for the sophomore. He showed off his quick-release shot and ability around the net this weekend.

Ture Linden

Senior transfer from RPI, Linden puts excellent experience level to his line. He notched one goal and four assists setting up Kirwan and Wall left and right between both games. His single goal from the weekend came off a corner snipe where the goaltender was screened.

Kevin Wall

Leading goal scorer from last season, Wall continues to dominate. He tallied two goals and three assists. It’s great news as Happy Valley has very high expectations for the senior forward. It’ll be very fun to keep an eye on how consistently dominant these three forwards will be as the season progresses.

Next up: Penn State Hockey faces off against the Mercyhurst Lakers on Friday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. inside Pegula Ice Arena.

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