PHILADELPHIA -- Three Pennsylvania teams and one from Vermont occupied the Wells Fargo Center ice Saturday.
Penn State never trailed in its 4-2 win against the Vermont Catamounts following the Philadelphia Flyers’ home opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday night.
“It was a tremendous environment,” head coach Guy Gadowsky said of the crowd of 19,529 fans. “And to see thousands...thousands of Penn State fans wearing blue and white, screaming, it’s awesome.”
Junior Taylor Holstrom put the Lions ahead early after he knocked down a clearing attempt and hammered home his fifth goal of the year.
Later in the first period, freshman David Glen scored his 11th goal on a snap shot from the slot after receiving a backhand pass from junior Justin Kirchhevel.
With 10:17 left in the second period, Kirchhevel tried a wrap around that appeared to be stopped by the left pad of Catamount goalie Brody Hoffman. However, Kirchhevel and the crowd celebrated as if they scored. Even though the red goal light didn’t come on, the play was reviewed and officials ruled that the puck did cross the goal line. It gave the Nittany Lions a three-goal lead.
“I had no angle so I couldn’t really do anything else, but try to give it a wrap around and stuff it in,” Kirchhevel said. “Right away…I thought it was a goal but I wasn’t sure. Then once I saw it on the video it reassured [that it was a goal].”
Vermont came back with a power play goal to keep them within two goals minutes after Holstrom’s goal.
Casey Bailey netted his 11th goal of the season after a scramble in front that knocked Hoffman down. The play was also reviewed but quickly deemed a good goal.
Skoff also made some difficult saves that kept Vermont off the scoreboard at critical points. Skoff made 34 saves on the night. Despite his play, Skoff said he was seeing the puck well but it was a “team win.”
“He had to make some huge saves,” Gadowsky said. “We fumbled a breakout and gave them a breakaway and he stopped it. So if it wasn’t for him, things would have turned out a lot different early and I think it would have been a vastly different game.”
The Nittany Lions will now focus on taking on future Big Ten foe Michigan State for two games in East Lansing, Mich. next weekend.
Penn State has gone 4-1-0 in games with a crowd of more than 5,000 fans.
“There’s worse monikers to have,” Gadowsky said. “Not sure after three we deserve it but hey, sure.”