Freshman forward David Glen recorded the first hat trick in Penn State's Division I history, and the Nittany Lions took down Alabama Huntsville, 4-0, Friday night at a packed Greenberg Ice Pavilion.
After a slow, scoreless first period, Glen was able to get the Nittany Lions on the board 1 minute, 41 seconds into the second. On a pass from freshman forward Kenny Brooks, Glen shot the puck past Alabama Huntsville goalie John Griggs.
"Man, Glen is a fun guy to watch," Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky said. "He is a good hockey player, and everybody likes it when players like him get hat ticks."
Glen's second goal came with 8:40 remaining in the third period. He turned the defenseman and then beat Griggs top shelf stick-side, never a typical goal.
He completed the hat trick with 5:10 remaining in the game, scoring past a side-diving Griggs off a rebound shot by Peter Sweetland and Kenny Brooks.
"It's exciting, obviously - a great honor to be the first," Glen said of his hat trick, which helped Penn State improve to 11-13-0. "But all my coaches and teammates made great plays all night to help."
In between Glen's second and third goals, Max Gardiner got his first goal since Oct. 27. With 4:29 remaining in the second, he tipped a rocket shot by Mark Yanis past Griggs.
"He worked hard to get open," Gadowsky said, "so it was fitting that he got a power play goal."
Even though Glen got the hat trick and Gardiner scored his first goal in 17 Division I games, Kenny Brooks went home with the "Hard Hat." The Hard Hat is awarded by the previous recipient to the team member who worked the hardest throughout the game. Brooks had received it after Penn State's first Division I victory when Glen scored the winning goal in overtime, so it was fitting that he was awarded it on Friday, Gadowsky said.
"From day one, Kenny has always done the little things well," Gadowsky said.
Even though Penn State goalie Matt Skoff faced only 23 shots, he had to make a big save with 7:03 remaining in the second period to preserve the Nittany Lions' 1-0 lead. Alabama Huntsville's Doug Reid came out of the penalty box perfectly to get the puck and go on a breakaway. Skoff was able to take out the angle and leave Reid with no shot.
As the game got away from Alabama Huntsville, the action got choppy, including eight penalties after the whistle. Gadowsky said he didn't like the choppy play, but he thought his guys handled themselves well.
This was the Chargers' first game since Jan. 12. Coach Kurt Kleinendorst said he thought his team played well, even though it fell to 3-18-1. "It was a good game, just bad outcome," he said.
The teams will meet again at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Greenberg Ice Pavilion.