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Hot start not enough, PSU hockey falls to Vermont

Forwards Taylor Holstrom (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Tommy Olczyk (Long Grove, Ill.) gave the Nittany Lions a 2-0 lead, but the Penn State men's hockey team fell to Vermont, 5-2, in the Philadelphia College Hockey Faceoff at Wells Fargo Center Saturday evening. Penn State fell to 1-3-1 with the loss, while the Catamounts improved to 1-1-1.

Holstrom gave the Nittany Lions a 1-0 lead at 11:56 of the first period before Olczyk netted a shorthanded marker less than two minutes later. Vermont scored once in the first period before netting a pair of markers in both the second and third stanzas to account for the 5-2 final.

The Nittany Lions out shot the Catamounts by a 33-29 margin and went 0-for-5 on the power play. Freshman goaltender Eamon McAdam (Perkasie, Pa.) turned aside 24 shots, while Vermont netminder Mike Santaguida made 31 saves.

With 8:04 left in the first period, Holstrom skated the Nittany Lions to a 1-0 lead. After forward Zach Saar (Richland, Mich.) moved the puck to Mike Williamson (Leduc, Alta.) at the blue line, the defenseman's shot from the point caused a scramble in front of the net. Holstrom then pounced on the loose puck and sent it past Santaguida.

Penn State doubled the score at 13:17 of the frame. While shorthanded, Ricky DeRosa (Aston, Pa.) drove toward the net, forcing Santaguida to kick out a free rebound. Olczyk located the loose puck and netted his first goal since tallying a shorthanded marker against Michigan State Jan. 25, 2013. Defenseman Luke Juha (Mississauga, Ont.) also collected an assist on the play.

The Catamounts responded with 4:33 left in the first period when Jake Fallon netted his first marker of the season.

Vermont then scored twice in the second period to take a 3-2 lead. At 6:46 of the frame, Nick Luukko's wrister from the blue line eluded McAdam, while Matt White's goal at 9:45 extended the Catamount advantage.

In the third frame, Brendan Bradley tallied a shorthanded marker at 2:30 before Rob Hamilton scored on the power play with 10:33 left in the game to account for the 5-2 final.

The Nittany Lions will return to action Friday, Nov. 1 when they travel to Robert Morris. Opening faceoff is set at 7:05 p.m.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times