Guy Gadowsky and Frank Serratore both agreed over the weekend that the game of hockey should have been called goalie.
The Penn State men’s hockey team (6-3-0) split its contests between Air Force (3-4-3) over the weekend, with the Falcons taking Friday’s contest and the Nittany Lions prevailing on Saturday, both by scores of 5-1.
Serratore, Air Force’s coach, said the games should have been reversed. He said, with some respects, that the Falcons should have won Saturday’s game and Penn State should have won Friday’s.
“I thought [on Friday], without question, [Air Force goalie Jason Torf] stole that game for us,” Serratore said on Saturday. “And I don’t want to say [Penn State goalie Matthew Skoff] stole that game for them, but he was awfully good. He made some very, very good saves and I thought that he was the difference in the game.”
Skoff made 31 saves in Saturday’s game and Torf made 20. There were two empty net goals scored by Penn State.
Torf made 34 saves Friday night and only allowed one in the net from Justin Kirchhevel at 8:25 in the third period. Serratore said Torf was unbelievable in some of the saves he made Friday night.
There was a subtle save in the third period, when a Penn State player put the puck right into the scoring area.
“Torf’s gap — he’s not a big man,” Serratore said. “Torf’s only a six-footer. A 6-foot-4 guy could’ve gotten away with that and a six-footer usually doesn’t.”
Torf had another unbelievable save in the second period, when his team had a bad line change which Serratore alluded to while praising his goalie.
“[Torf] went from Los Angeles to New York and made that glove save,” Serratore said. “…We won that game for one reason. We had the best player on the ice, and that player happened to be [our goalie].”
Gadowsky decided to split goalies over the weekend. Sophomore PJ Musico started in the net Friday after his recent success. Musico recorded Penn State’s first NCAA shutout against Army on Oct. 26 and was undefeated after playing in four games. Musico made 19 saves in Friday’s game, which tallied his first loss of the season and made his record fall to 4-1-0.
Gadowsky said Musico didn’t play bad Friday. He said Skoff just deserved a shot in the net on Saturday.
“Unless something spectacular happened – if we got out-shot 40-20 and if we won a 1-0 or 2-1 game – we wouldn’t have kept PJ in there,” Gadowsky said.
Gadowsky said no one was surprised Skoff did well. He said Skoff looked a little nervous in his first couple of games, which he said was normal because he’s a freshman playing for the first time in the NCAA.
Gadowsky said he noticed Skoff was more comfortable in Saturday night’s game and looked good from the start.
He said Skoff is a great quarterback for the team, as well.
“He’s excellent, you saw it tonight,” Gadowsky said. “We know he’s excellent. Any freshman coming into NCAA hockey, it’s not an easy thing.”