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October 27, 2013 E-MAIL PRINT Bookmark and Share

Roundup: Vermont Rallies to Win in Philly

Providence Still Perfect; Michigan Suffers First Loss

by Adam Wodon/Managing Editor

For the second straight year, Penn State and Vermont met at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, and it looked like it might be the same result again.

Last year, Penn State, playing its first season as a Division I team, stunned Vermont in front of a capacity crowd. This year, the Nittany Lions took a 2-0 lead on the heels of a shorthanded goal by Tommy Olczyk.

But in the second period, Vermont outshot Penn State 12-1 and stormed into the lead. In the third, Vermont extended the lead and came away with its first win of the season.

"This is important for college hockey in the area," Sneddon said. "What we got caught up in last year was the event in the event. We were shocked that there were so many people in the stands, and we had fun but forgot to play. This year, we did what we needed to do to get the win."

Penn State was hurt by a series of undisciplined penalties in the second period, and some goaltending miscues from freshman Eamon McAdam, a New York Islanders draft pick.

Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky acknowledged his team's lack of discipline so far this season, while also expressing some frustration at the lack of clarity over how the games are being called.

"We're not saying we want to play physical, we're playing Penn State hockey," Gadowsky said. "I'm not the only coach frustrated with the direction on how you have to check guys. We still want to check guys. So obviously we're going to dissect every penalty and see which ones are undisciplined, but we have to change."

Last year, the game coincided, coincidentally, with the day the NHL ended its lockout, and therefore wound up being on the same day as the Flyers' home opener against the Penguins. That contributed to the game being a sellout crowd.

Nonetheless, this year's game, while not a sellout, was relatively well attended. The crowd was announced as 17,632, though there were far fewer than that in the building — probably around 11,000.

Vermont has a number of players from Pennsylvania now, something Sneddon said was coincidental, but nevertheless indicative of the continued growth of the area. One, freshman Brendan Bradley, whose family has Flyers season tickets, had a shorthanded goal.

"We always knew he was a good player, but we didn't know how he'd adapt to college hockey," Sneddon said. "But at North Dakota, he was sensational. A lot of the details of the game, he's very, very, intelligent, both with the puck and without. I think he's going to find his way into the top nine (forwards) and get a lot of minutes."

Another area native is Flyers draft pick Nick Luukko, whose father Peter is president of Comcast-Spectacor, which runs the arena and the Flyers. He also scored a goal.

"I thought he was our MVP," Sneddon said. "He made great players, had a great stick, gapped well, and played really tough. That's something we've been talking about. Not that he'll ever be a big, physical defenseman for us, but he was really strong on his stick, made some great defensive playhs for us, especially when we weren't playing well. I thought he was the one guy who settled things down. .... The Luukko family is so big here, for him to have a night like this tonight, hopefully he can keep it going."

Elsewhere

Massachusetts-Lowell got off to another slow start this season, including a humbling loss to Sacred Heart in its opener, despite coming into the season considered the top team in many circles.

But after wins on the road in East Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich., including handing the Wolverines their first loss, things appear back on track for the River Hawks (3-3-0).

Saturday, Lowell got 38 saves from Connor Hellebuyck, a Michigan native, to win 2-1.

“More important than the wins is how we competed,” Lowell coach Norm Bazin said. “We came back to playing Lowell style hockey.”

The teams traded goals 24 seconds apart in the second period, Michigan getting one on a quirky miscue by the Lowell defense.

Michigan freshman goalie Zach Nagelvoort went toe-to-toe with Hellebuyck for the most part, continuing a strong start to his collegiate career that has inspired confidence in Ann Arbor that the goaltending woes of the past few years might finally be over.

But in the third period, Michigan's Phil Di Giuseppe was called for hitting from behind, a five-minute major and game misconduct. After failing to score in the first four minutes of the power play, Bazin called for a time out. Less than 30 seconds later, Michigan native Adam Chapie scored. After working the puck around to the left wing side, Scott Wilson passed the puck to Josh Holmstrom. With no shot available, the captain passed it back to Chapie who roofed it over Nagelvoort’s right shoulder.

“(The puck) just happened to pop on my stick,” Chapie said. “I didn’t get all of it, but if you get it on net, good things happen.”

Bazin said, “Hellebuyck was really tested tonight. He was a rock back there.”

* * *

For the second time in as many nights, Boston University squandered a 1-0 lead entering the third period, as the Terriers fell to Michigan State, 3-1, on Saturday evening at Munn Ice Arena.

Sophomore Matt Lane scored for the Terriers, who move to 3-3-0 on the season. The Spartans secured their first win of the season to improve to 1-3-0.

* * *

Providence and Miami played a pair of high-flying games this weekend, which featured some dazzling offense, and also the continued stellar play of the Friars' Jon Gillies in net. The result was a win for Providence in overtime Friday, then a 4-4 tie Saturday.

The series, play at Providence's revamped Schneider Arena in front of capacity crowds, probably said more about the Friars than Miami. While everyone knew Miami (3-2-1) would be good, everyone was wondering whether this was the season — Nate Leaman's third behind the bench — that Providence would take a big leap. So far, that's proving to be the case, with Providence now 4-0-1 on the season.

The Friars got off to a fast start scoring two goals within the first 10 minutes, from senior defenseman Steven Shamanski and red-shirt sophomore Noel Acciari.

With the score 4-3 in the second, Riley Barber scored for Miami to tie the game.

Gillies made 37 saves, including a spectacular one on Miami's Sean Kuraly in the first period. That was followed by Shemanski's goal, when he forced a turnover along the neutral zone boards and made his way around a Miami defenseman before a deke allowed him to slide the puck past Ryan McKay.

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