Knights ice Penn State Behrend

The Gannon University club hockey team won its season opener against Penn State Behrend by a score of 5-2 Sunday at the Ice Center of Erie.

Leading the way for Gannon was sophomore Cj Thibault, who contributed in three of the team’s scores with two goals and one assist. Also scoring one goal each for the Knights were senior Bobby Johns and sophomores Eddie Gerus and Ryan Severo.

Senior goalkeeper Jason Jovenall led the team’s defensive effort with 36 saves and a .947 save percentage.

Gerus said he was happy with the way the team remained on the attack for the entire match.

“We came out strong from the beginning,” he said. “We never gave them any room to try and regain the momentum. After we scored our first goal, we never looked back.”

Sophomore Scott Scholl said another key to the team’s hard-fought victory was its physical play, and the ability of the freshmen to fit in well with the team dynamic.

“Our freshmen really stepped up to the plate to help fill some of the roles of the guys that left last year,” he said. “Our goalie, Jason, was also able to play a real solid game.”

Gannon will look to add two more wins this weekend with home matches against Medaille College 2 p.m. Saturday and Wheeling Jesuit University 1 p.m. Sunday.

Scholl said that he believes the season is shaping up to be a good one, even with some tough games coming up.

“If we make a few adjustments and focus on our physical style of play, I think we’ll be able to continue the winning streak,” he said.

Johns said he also thinks the team had a solid performance against Behrend, but must remain focused in its upcoming matches.

“We played a hard game and got the right result,” Johns said. “But we need to work on our discipline for when Medaille comes to town on Saturday.”

This was the first match in which the Knights became the visiting team at the Ice Center of Erie since their 20-year program absence ended in 2009. The Knights will instead be playing their home matches for the 2011-12 season at Tullio Arena, which is part of the Erie Civic Center, located at Ninth and French streets.

Gannon will also be playing its first season as a part of the 10-team league, College Hockey Association.

CHRISTINE PEFFER

[email protected]