Penn State Men's Hockey vs. Arizona State, Celebration after Winning

Penn State players jump into each other after winning the game against Arizona State 5-4 in overtime at Pegula Ice Arena on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020.

Penn State continued to receive production from its young players in a win over Canisius Saturday.

The blue and white scored five goals for the second time this season, matching its season high for goals in a game.

One player who added tallies in both games is freshman forward Danny Dzhaniyev.

Dzhaniyev ended Saturday’s game with one goal and one assist, but his impact was felt in just about every aspect of the game.

The forward was aggressive throughout the game with loose pucks, entertaining a pesky mindset in hopes of forcing Canisius players to make a mistake in their own end.

Guy Gadowsky said that Dzhaniyev is a talented player and acknowledged the importance of his game-opening goal.

“Obviously a big-time goal to start us off, which is great,” Gadowsky said. “He's got that obvious skill.”

Gadwosky said, though, that he and his staff have been continuously impressed with the nitty-gritty of the freshman’s game.

“What we're continuing to be impressed with is his ability to win pucks,” Gadowsky said. “I very much appreciate the pucks that he wins and how he does it.”

The Nittany Lion head coach added that the freshman forward is a “real gritty” player and that thought he played that gritty style Saturday.

Dzhaniyev made plays that may have gone unseen or unpraised, even by his team.

One such play happened early in the first period, after the forward had already scored his goal.

After the puck had been exited from Penn State’s defensive zone, Dzhaniyev got on his horse to challenge a Canisius defender and avoid his team icing the puck.

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While Dzhaniyev was unable to beat the Golden Griffin down the ice, those plays are what make the Nittany Lion stand out and why his head coach was eager to sing his praises.

In addition to his hustle plays, the New York native leads his team in points with five on the season.

Several first-year players, including Dzhaniyev, came to mind when junior forward Connor MacEachern was asked which of his teammates he thought stood out in the win.

“I think our freshmen are really stepping up,” MacEachern said. “Danny had a beautiful goal tonight.”

MacEachern scored two goals for Penn State, but it was Dzhaniyev that scored the team’s opening goal on the day.

The freshman dragged the puck across the feet of his defender before poking the puck between the goalie’s legs to give Penn State a 1-0 lead, just two and-a-half minutes into the game.

Early on, the aggressive forward was the only player able to put the puck on net for the blue and white, as his two shots were the only two registered on the score sheet by Penn State in the first seven minutes of the game.

At one point Penn State trailed in the shot column 7-2 despite its 1-0 lead, however, the Nittany Lions finished the game up 44-38 in shots.

Saturday marked the second time that Dzhaniyev recorded a multi-point game this year, as the freshman gathered his second goal and third assist of the year.

Dzhaniyev’s four shots on the day were tied for second on the team, and he also finished with a +1 in the plus-minus column.

Gadowsky was happy with how the team as a whole played defensively and emphasized that its grit played a key role.

“I thought it was a really gritty win,” Gadowsky said. “Guys blocked a lot of shots and played really hard defensively.”

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