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Penn State Powers Past Canisius for Season-Opening win

Ashton Calder(HOCKEY) - Canisius Penn State Hockey
Penn State's Ashton Calder (26) during the game with Canisius. The Nittany Lions opened the 2022-23 campaign by defeating the Golden Griffins, 5-2 on Friday evening Oct. 7, 2022 in Pegula Ice Arena. Photo by Mark Selders

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State bookended its season-opening performance scoring all of their goals in both the first and third periods en route to a 5-2 victory over Canisius Friday night at Pegula Ice Arena.

The Nittany Lions got on the board early with forward Ashton Calder’s power play goal with 8:21 left in the first period. Calder’s goal came on the heels of back-to-back power plays for Penn State.

It was a Cody Schiavon high stick that started things for Canisius before forward Keaton Mastrodonato joined the penalty party with a hook mere seconds after the Golden Griffins killed off Schiavon’s penalty.

Calder and the Nittany Lions were able to take advantage of a fatigued Canisius group to get the early lead.

“At the time, we maybe needed it because I don’t like our start,” Penn State head coach Guy Gadowsky said following the game. “Sometimes power plays, it’s not necessarily the fact that you have to score to use it, I think we used it for a change in momentum and that was what was really important.”

Penn State wouldn’t waste a lot of time before finding the back of the net once again, this time a one-timer from Ryan Kirwan with 6:33 left in the first period.

Both teams found their scoring touch after the second intermission combining for five goals in the final period. The Golden Griffins scored a power play goal of their own with 17:15 left in the game before the Nittany Lions would respond with the next two goals.

Canisius wouldn’t go away without a fight notching another power play goal with 5:08 left in the game to crawl back to a two goal deficit.

That would prove to be the closest the Golden Griffins would get with Penn State getting an empty-net goal from Kevin Wall to put the finishing touches on the victory.


Forward Jimmy Dowd, Jr. tied a career-high in points against Canisius with a three point night Friday night. Dowd’s third period goal climbed Penn State’s lead back to two, a deficit the Golden Griffins would not be able to come back from.

“It feels pretty good,” Dowd said. “The assist, I decided to put the puck on net and Calder hit the right rebound.”

The performance earned Dowd the first star of the night and was the perfect encapsulation of a game where he finished plus-three while on the ice.


Dowd may have got the first star of the night, but it was goaltender Liam Souliere who was on top of his game early and often for the Nittany Lions. It was a sluggish start for the home team, but Souliere played some excellent hockey in front of the net keeping Canisius at bay until Penn State could swing some momentum in their favor.

“He was a bit unnoticed at the start of the game. I don’t know if it was nerves, I don’t know what it was, but we let up a couple of Grade-A opportunities,” Gadowsky said. “He was really sharp early in the first … from the start, I thought he was awesome.”


Speaking of goaltending, Penn State outshot Canisius with ease in both the first and second periods before the Golden Griffins erupted for 17 in the third period alone.

“I don’t mind the number of shots we gave up in the first two periods,” Gadowsky said. Obviously, you give up 17 in any periods is frustrating because they’re down in the third.”

Souliere’s ability to withstand the barrage of shots and make up for the mistakes of the guys in front of him bodes well if he’s able to maintain that level of success between the pipes for the Nittany Lions.

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