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Archives:Penn State Ice Hockey opens new arena


UNIVERSITY PARK – History was made October 11, 2013 when the Penn State Nittany Lions Ice Hockey team took to the ice for the first time at its brand new Pugula Arena. Their first opponent up on their schedule was the Army Black Knights from the Atlantic Hockey Conference.

The Pugula Arena, who’s capacity is 5,782, rival those of the NHL and Minor League Hockey venues in the country. Over 6,000 showed up for the contest.

With Student section filled to the hilt and hockey fans from across Central Pennsylvania piling in, it was obvious that the Pugula would definitely give the home team an extra man as the decibels were high with every roar of the crowd.

It was standing room only as the opening festivities got underway. A recap of the Penn State hockey teams before them shown on the brand new state of the art jumbo tron.

The complex rumbled as the their team warmed up for the last time before the ceremonial first puck was dropped.

Let the games begin…….

Rob Tadazakat started at goalie for Army while Matthew Skoff, was at goalie for PSU.

Penn State started very aggressively taking it to Tadazakat. The Lions offense was quicker than the Army’s and kept things in check.

Tempers from both teams started early as a bunch of players got in a tussle at the net.

With 16:58 left in the first period, the Lions were on the board first when PSU’s Nate Jensen, picked up a pass from Taylor Holstrom, making it 1-0.

Despite being called for a high stick and put back into a Army power play, the Lions held strong by keeping the Black Knights at bay.

Playing in front of the raucous home crowd had the Nittany Lions playing with an extra spark and it showed early pounding the puck down into the Black Knights end of ice.

Penn State found its self in a little trouble as it was called for its second penalty of the night, forcing another Army power play.

But the Lions were able to put across two short handed shots at the Army goal.

With still one man short, the Lions still held their own as the time was starting to tick off of the first period clock.

Army evened up the skaters as it got called with its first penalty of the game.

At the end of the first period, Army led in the shots on goal department leading by a 7-6 advantage.

Second period


Penn State once again attacked the Army goal as the second period got underway. The Nits blasted shot after shot opportunity only to be turned away. Midway through the second, PSU picked up nine shots while Army tallied seven.

Penalties seemed to do little to Penn State’s momentum as it was still able to hold off the Black Knights for most of the period. The Lions even found themselves down by two players as the second period was coming to a close. Even with being so shorthanded the Lions held it together and continued its 1-0 lead into the third and final period.

When the period ended both teams had a total of 19 shots on goal.

The Final Stanza


Holding just a 1-0 lead, the only answer to the perfect night was if it was going to have a perfect ending. The atmosphere was one of a post season winner take all game with each team slashing and gliding their way up and down the rink.

Like much of the first two periods, Penn State found itself a man down due to questionable penalties.

But with 16:36 left, Curtis Loik got loose on a shorthanded breakaway and sent it  through the legs of the Army goalkeeper, upping it 2-0.

From there the Lions kept firing away, blasting 28 shots with 12:51 left.

Penn State picked up an insurance goal with 7:55 when David Goodwin blasted as shot past the Black Knights goalie, capping an unforgettable night.

With 4:21 left, Army finally got on the board, cutting the lead to 3-1. Mac Lalor hit the Black Knight’s lone goal.

When the ice finally melted and the buzzer sounded zero, it was the Nittany Lions that came out victorious 4-1.

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