Penn State Hockey continued its nonconference success by sweeping Mercyhurst this week.
The Nittany Lions’ offense was electric during the series, beating the Lakers by a score of (6-3) Thursday and (4-1) Friday.
Here are key takeaways and awards from Penn State Hockey’s sweep of Mercyhurst:
Happy Valley got plenty of entertainment to open the series, as the Nittany Lions put up a miraculous 51 shots compared to the Lakers’ 23.
Ture Linden started the Lions off by scoring the fastest goal in Penn State history, just 7 seconds into the game. They won the draw cleanly and went D to D before sending Linden over the blue line to put one low glove side. Rylee St. Onge (senior forward Mercyhurst), responded 3:48 into the opening frame, tying the game up at 1-1.
Ben Schoen (sophomore, Maumee Ohio) put the Lions up by one with a nifty forward backhand dangle net front to beat Harmon (Mercyhurst goaltender).
It became an intense defensive battle for most of the second period as the Lakers tied the game at 2-2, with the Lions eventually scoring two more goals just 1:29 apart, courtesy of Kevin Wall and Dylan Gratton. This marked Gratton’s first career goal for the Lions. Mercyhurst never let up, scoring one more with a little over a minute left in the second frame to make it 4-3.
Christian Berger and Tyler Gratton scored the last couple of goals for the Lions, solidifying a 6-3 win to open the series at University Park.
The Lions kept gaining opportunities Friday, putting up 46 shots this time compared to the Lakers’ 20.
Four different goal scorers contributed to this game, Kevin Wall opening it up with a few minutes left in the first frame. Contributing his fourth goal of the season as Kirwan took an initial shot off the pads, giving Wall an easy rebound to clean up.
Veteran presence, Paul DeNaples (Moscow, Pa.) then scored his first of the season, cleaning up a loose puck out front from Tyler Gratton (Pottstown, Pa.).
The Lakers came into the third frame down 2-0, but St. Onge put in his second of the series, cutting Penn States lead to 2-1 with a power play goal.
It was a series of firsts as Tyler Paquette (Collegeville, Pa.) put in his first of the season too, coming off a clean 2 on-0 pass from Christian Sarlo (Lynbrook, N.Y.). The 3-1 lead stayed still for most of the third as senior forward Ashton Calder (Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan) rifled in an empty netter from 185 feet to secure the 4-1 series sweep.
Key Takeaways from Penn State Hockey sweep of Mercyhurst
– Junior Nittany Lions goaltender Liam Souliere pushes the record to 3-0 after saving 39 of 43 shots over the weekend.
– Ben Schoen extends his career-best point streak to seven games dating back to last season.
– Kevin Wall ties career-long scoring streak at four games, looks to extend career best against St. Thomas next week.
– Ture Linden now has points in his first four games with the Lions, one point shy of extending his career best.
– In total, the Lions had nine separate goal scorers over the weekend.
Their focus is now on St. Thomas for another Thursday/Friday series at home, where they will look to extend their record to 6-0.
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