The first round of the “Independent League Megabowl” didn’t live up to the hype if you were expecting a competitive game (or a Charger victory). Penn State rolled 4-0 in the matchup of Division I’s two independent teams, and the first meeting between the schools as varsity programs.
The Chargers, who hadn‘t played since January 12, came out of the gate sluggish. While they were able to apply more offensive pressure as the game progressed, the action wasn’t crisp enough to produce any goals in the first period. Penn State wasn’t much better, despite a 10-8 shots on goal advantage in the frame.
However, it was Penn State who found the groove in the second period. After a turnover behind the net, Kenny Brook made a backhanded pass through the slot, finding David Glen, who found the net to give the Nittany Lions a 1-0 lead at 1:41.
After Graeme Strukoff was called for tripping, Penn State made it 2-0 on a 4-on-3 power play as Max Gardiner redirected a Mark Yanis rocket from the center point.
It didn’t get better in the third, as the David Glen Show continued. Glen’s spin-move shot from the left circle lifted past Johnny Griggs at 11:20 to make it 3-0. Glen completed the hat trick with a goal with 5:10 left.
Things got feisty with just under eight minutes to go. Lasse Uusivirta fired a shot on Penn State goalie Matthew Skoff after the whistle, which drew the ire of the Nittany Lions. A scrum ensued, drawing several penalties on both sides. Uusivirta received a 10-minute misconduct to go with his 2-minute minor, while Jeff Vanderlugt and Penn State’s Mark Yanis received coincidental double minors for roughing. UAH’s Justin Cseter and PSU’s Casey Bailey also got roughing minors.
Penn State outshot the Chargers 43-23 for the game. Griggs made 39 saves.
Round 2 is tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m. Central.