PHILADELPHIA – The Nittany Lion men’s hockey team used two power-play goals and a shutout performance by Eamon McAdam in a 4-0 victory over Vermont on Sunday at Wells Fargo Center in front of 9,213 fans. Dylan Richard scored twice to pace the offense, while McAdam, a local product from Perkasie, Pa., made 30 saves for his first collegiate shutout.
“It was very fitting that (McAdam’s shutout) comes at the Wells Fargo Center,” Head coach Guy Gadowsky said. “I thought his play was extremely poised. He made some really big saves look fairly easy early. I think that really set the tone for all of us, not just early, but he made the saves late, too.”
Penn State (8-2-3, 0-0-0-0 Big Ten) dominated the pace of play and looked comfortable on defense in its second straight win over Vermont (3-9-2, 2-4-2 Hockey East). The Nittany Lions dominated the shot count, 46-30, and went 2-for-4 on the power play, while Vermont was 0-for-3.
McAdam’s shutout was Penn State’s first since Feb. 14, 2014 when the Nittany Lions downed Michigan, 4-0, at Pegula Ice Arena. Matthew Skoff was in net for that historic win. The Nittany Lions scored multiple power play goals for the fourth time this season.
After an early David Glen goal was wiped out due to incidental contact with the goaltender, Penn State took the lead on a one-timer by Saar four seconds into a power play eight minutes into the game.
Glen won the faceoff and Kenny Brooks sent the puck to Luke Juha in the high slot as the senior found a lined up Saar for his second goal of the season. Penn State held a 14-5 edge in shots on the Catamounts.
In the second period, Vermont matched Penn State’s pace in an up-and-down frame that saw each team put 16 shots on target. McAdam was up to the task, making multiple athletic plays to keep the Catamounts off the board. Nevertheless, it was Penn State that struck next.
Richard put away his Big Ten-leading fifth power-play goal of the season away with 2:09 left in the second period off a feed from Erik Autio. Autio was able to set up the play on a secondary assist from Vince Pedrie. Both Autio and Pedrie have five helpers this season.
The Nittany Lions would put the game out of reach early in the third period as Chase Berger canned his conference-leading ninth goal of the season, which puts him back into the NCAA lead for freshman scoring. Brooks found Curtis Loik down the left wing and Loik’s initial attempt was saved by Mike Santaguida (42 saves) as Berger followed up and poked it home. Both Loik and Brooks picked up their 10th assists of the season on the play.
Penn State, backstopped by McAdam, stymied any comeback opportunity by Vermont with calm, defensive play and stellar goaltending. Richard put the final touch on the game by scoring his second of the game off a David Goodwin feed. Goodwin swung the puck from the right wing to the slot as Richard made no mistake for his seventh of the year.
• Eamon McAdam improved to 11-5-1 in his last 17 decisions over the past two seasons. McAdam leads the Big Ten in save percentage (.929), GAA (2.15), wins (6) and winning percentage (.857), which is tied-for-seventh in NCAA Division I men’s hockey.
• In addition to McAdam starting in net, local athletes Connor Varley (Lansdale, Pa.), Ricky DeRosa (Aston, Pa.), David Thompson (Glen Mills, Pa.) and Kevin Kerr (Bensalem Pa.) all started. Alec Marsh (Bridgewater, N.J.) was also on the ice for the opening faceoff.
• Penn State is currently on a six-game unbeaten streak, going 4-0-2 since Nov. 6 at Niagara. Penn State is on a program best five-game unbeaten streak away from home, which is a 3-0-2 stretch.
• Penn State is 3-1-0 all-time against Vermont with all four meetings taking place at Wells Fargo Center.
• Penn State notched its first victory while ranked after going 0-4-0 last year.
• Dylan Richard recorded his second two-goal game of the season (Oct. 16, 2015 vs. Notre Dame)
• Both of Zach Saar’s goals this season have come on the power play. Sunday’s tally was his first game-winner since notching the winner vs. Michigan in double overtime on March 20, 2014.
• Kenny Brooks recorded his fourth-multi point game of the season and the fifth of his career.