Nov 10, 2012 10:47 PM by Jordan Mason
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State goalie Matthew Skoff made 31 saves and the Nittany Lions added two empty-netters late in the third for a 5-1 win over Air Force in a non-conference college hockey game at the Greenberg Ice Pavilion in University Park, Pa Saturday. PSU improves to 6-3 overall this season while the Falcons fall to 3-4-3 this season.
Penn State opened the scoring at the 15:29 mark of the first period when Casey Bailey scored his fourth of the season from Max Gardiner and Peter Sweetland. The Nittany Lions took a 2-0 lead early in the second period when Luke Juha scored his first of the season from Bailey and Gardiner at 6:39
Air Force got on the board early in the third period. Senior defenseman Eric Artman started the play in his own end and Cole Gunner brought the puck into the zone. As he spun around, his pass was right on the tape of Casey Kleisinger who sent a backhander high over the shoulder of Skoff. Kleisinger's third of the season, and second of the series, came at 2:41 of the third. However, Penn State answered midway through the period. PSU won the puck off the wall and David Glen scored his sixth of the season at the 10:38 mark. Late in the third period, Air Force had a power play and pulled its goalie for a two-man advantage. The Falcons kept the puck in the zone for the majority of the power play, but shortly after it expired, PSU scored an empty-netter for a 4-1 lead. Michael McDonagh's goal came at 17:20. The Falcons pulled the goalie again late in the period and PSU's Connor Varley scored an empty-netter with seven seconds remaining to make the final score 5-1.
Air Force outshot Penn State, 32-25, in the game. Air Force was 0-for-5 on the power play while PSU was 0-for-2. Falcon goalie Jason Torf made 20 saves while Skoff made 31 for the Nittany Lions.
"We were more dialed in tonight and we had more quality shots," head coach Frank Serratore said. "We deserved a better fate tonight. Last night, our goalie, Jason Torf, stole the game for us. Tonight, their goalie stole the game. It is unfortunate because we played better as a team and didn't win. Sometimes that happens in hockey. We gave up three even-strength goals tonight and you just can't do that. When the score was 3-1, we needed to get the next one and we couldn't get it. We have to find a way to score some goals."
Air Force is now off until a two-game Atlantic Hockey series against UConn, Nov. 23-24, in Connecticut.