After a 1-4 start to 2021, unranked Penn State was given a shot at redemption to start the second half of the season schedule against a No. 18 Johns Hopkins team that more than doubled the Nittany Lions scoring total just two weeks ago.
Coach Jeff Tambroni’s squad defeated the Blue Jays 11-8 to pick up its second win of the campaign and the 200th win of its head man's coaching career.
In their first matchup, Johns Hopkins held Penn State to only six goals. Today, the Nittany Lions were able to scrape up seven in the first half alone.
The second half saw the blue and white start to slip, only holding a one-goal lead at the start of the fourth quarter.
However, a strong three-goal fourth quarter would propel Penn State to its first win in three weeks.
Here are the biggest storylines from the Nittany Lions ranked win.
In a disappointing 14-12 loss for the Nittany Lions against Michigan, Colby Kneese was only able to save 11 of the Wolverines 25 shots on goal.
Against Johns Hopkins, Kneese showed immediate improvement, saving 15 of the Blue Jays 23 shots on goal.
On faceoffs, Penn State held the edge all game.
In fact, Johns Hopkins was only able to tally five faceoffs wins in 23 attempts.
As seen through their long careers in Happy Valley, Kneese and Arceri are dangerous threats to any offensive opponent.
However, a lack of consistency from both can hurt the Nittany Lions.
Fortunately for Tambroni and his squad, Kneese and Arceri were on all game to contribute to the blue and white’s first win in three weeks.
Offense hot in the first half, cool in the second
A slow start statistically to the season, Mac O’Keefe came out firing against the Blue Jays with two goals in the first quarter.
While the spotlight has been on O’Keefe for the majority of the season, as he climbs the all-time career goals leaderboard just single digits away from the record of 212, it was the contributions of his other offensive foes that set the Nittany Lion attack apart in comparison to the first five games of the season.
Freshman Mark Sickler found the back of the net for the second straight game, after scoring his first career goal last week against Michigan.
Meanwhile, starting attackmen TJ Malone and Dylan Foulds combined for four goals, one more than their total against the Wolverines.
However, most of these goals came in the first half.
Like previous games this season, Penn State seemed to dip in the second half of play.
While the Nittany Lions still escaped with a win, things were much closer than they maybe should’ve been, after getting out to a three-goal lead at the end of the first half.
Rain hurts ball control
With the offense struggling at the start of the second half, pouring rain can be attributed to Penn State’s overload of turnovers and lack of scoring.
With 22 total turnovers, the Nittany Lions looked lost.
Even with the win, Penn State’s offense still continued to slump, with only 20 of 39 shots being put on goal.
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