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In the First Annual Philadelphia College Hockey Faceoff, the Penn State Nittany Lions men’s hockey team defeated the Vermont Catamounts by the score of 4-2 in front of 19,529 fans at Wells Fargo Center Saturday night. Leading the way for the Lions were goaltender Matthew Skoff , forward Taylor Holstrom and Justin Kirchhevel.

Taylor Holstrom scored the first goal of the College Hockey faceoff at 3:11 into the first period. Holstrom was assisted by Connor Varley and Mark Yanis. Yanis had a cross ice pass to Varley, who then hit Holstrom streaking down center ice. Holstrom dumped the puck into the offensive zone as the Catamounts defense knocked it down. Holstrom kept skating with effort, beating goaltender Brody Hoffman to give PSU a 1-0 lead. South Jersey’s Dominic Morrone, from Sewell and St. Augustine Prep, had a nice move on the right wing, but was saved by Brody. At 8:23 of the period, Kenny Brooks of PSU went off for hooking. Vermont could not put any pressure on PSU because of high pressure penalty killing and goaltending by Skoff. At 18:39, David Glenn scored from the slot on a great behind the back pass from Kirchhevel. Kirchhevel was behind the goal line (right of the net) when he received a pass from Nate Jensen and made a great pass to Glenn. This made the game 2-0. 10 seconds later PSU’s Brian Dolan took a boarding penalty, but again the PSU penalty team shut the door. The period ended with Vermont 9 shots and PSU 6.

The second period had many penalties and great saves by Skoff. PSU’s Glenn skated towards a trip in the box at 32 seconds into the period for tripping, Vermont’s Conner Brickley at 2:27 for charging, and then teammate Michael Paliotta at 6:22 for contact to the head. During the penalty, goaltender Brody Hoffman made a great save to keep the score 2-0. At 7:52 of the period PSU’s Glenn and Vermont’s Chris McCarthy went off for roughing. Vermont started to pressure and at the 9:30 mark of the period had a 2 on none, but goaltender Skoff had a great breakaway save to keep it 2-0 PSU. 13 seconds later Kirchhevel scored (2nd point of the night) with assists to Tommy Olczyk and Varley (2nd point of the night) on a reviewed goal. Kirchhevel took the pass from Olczyk on the left side of the next and like Flyer’s Danny Breire for this generation or Bobby Clark for my generation did a stuff o’rama on the right side. Skoff came up with a great save at the 11:10 mark to keep it 3-0 PSU. Vermont got on the board at 11:08 on the powerplay. PSU’s George Saad was sent off for high sticking at 10:41. At 11:08, Vermont’s Robert Posesello scored on the power play with assists to Nick Luukko and Brett Bruneteau. The period ended 3-1 PSU.

In the 3rd period, PSU took a 4-1 lead on a scramble in front of the net. Brian Dolan’s shot from the point was blocked in front of the net and was loose. Holstrom and Casey Bailey kept working. Bailey corralled his own rebound and put a backhand shot into the back of the net to give PSU a 4-1 lead. At the 19:50 mark the Catamounts scored on a deflection to make it 4-2. Kyle Mountain scored with assists to H.T. Lenz and Pete Massar. PSU’s goaltender Skoff ended the game with 34 saves while his counterpart Hoffman ended with 28 saves.

This is PSU’s first year in playing Division I hockey. It was also fun having the PSU’s band playing at the game. Leaving with a quote from the late great Gene Hart, “Great Night and Great Hockey”.

Written by Gregg Williams

Philadelphia College Hockey Faceoff coaches quotes
Compliments of: Brian Smith Manager, Broadcasting & Media Services Philadelphia Flyers

Posted in: Middle Twp.
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