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No. 5 Penn State Hockey Rings in New Year with Sweep Over No. 20 RIT

Penn State Hockey

Connor MacEachern #29 of Penn State Hockey.(Photo by Michael Longo/Icon Sportswire)

After a 20-day hiatus due to the holiday, No. 5 ranked Penn State Hockey faced No. 20 ranked RIT, knocking off the Tigers in a pair of hotly contested games.

It was a change of pace as the last two opponents the Nittany Lions faced were conference foes in Notre Dame and Ohio State.

This series also marked even more important for senior forward and points leader, Kevin Wall,  born in Penfield, NY, resembling a true homecoming game for him.

Friday Night

Wall didn’t disappoint his many guests in Friday’s matchup, putting up two goals and an assist, leading to a commanding 6-1 victory for the Nittany Lions.

Penn State Hockey improved to a perfect 9-0-0 non-conference record this season and dropping the Tigers down to 12-5.

Overall, the Nittany Lions scoresheet included Kevin Wall (2 goals, 1 assist), Connor MacEachern (1 goal, 2 assists), Ashton Calder (2 goals), and Ture Linden (2 assists). Junior Goaltender Liam Souliere made 28 saves in the victory, earning 22 total career victories, good for third all-time as a Nittany Lion goaltender.

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New Year’s Eve

The Nittany Lions rang in the new year inside Pegula Ice Arena with a 3-1 victory, and a clean sweep over RIT Saturday night.

Improving to 10-0-0 in nonconference action, a prime factor for staying ranked inside the top 10 pairwise rankings for the last several series.

This is the first time in program history that Penn State has produced a clean sheet in regular-season non-conference play. Penn State opened the scoring two nights in a row, as Chase McLane tipped in his first of the season, from a point shot established by Simon Mack.

Halfway through the middle frame, Alex Servango scored a goal and marked an exceptional milestone, his first as a Nittany Lion. The play was made from a beautiful feed from Junior Christian Sarlo, his seventh assist of the season.

RIT fought back hard by scoring a late third-period tally shorthanded from RIT forward Tyler Mahan, marking his eighth goal. The pushback from RIT wasn’t enough though, as Conner McMenamin potted an empty netter with 56.7 seconds left on the clock, going into 2023 with a clean sweep!

What’s Ahead

Penn State Hockey will now have a weeklong bye before getting back to action against Michigan State on Jan. 13th & Jan. 14th.

The momentum from a successful first half seems to be carrying over, just in time for several tough opponents in the Spartans, Fighting Irish, Wolverines, Buckeyes, and Golden Gophers.

It’s a very exciting time to be a Penn State hockey fan, as we get closer to the big ten tournament stage in March.