Monday, November 2, 2015

The Lions would be playing there third game in three days against CHE Open Division opponent Gannon University.  The Lions would jump out to a quick start, playing their best first period since the game against the PSU D2 team.  Mike Ludwig would put the Lions on the board at the 16:55 mark assisted by Mike Pilla.  Nick Tamburi would give PSU a 2-0 lead with his first goal of the season, from Mitch Rupprecht and Nick Danese.  Gannon would get a late goal with about six minutes to go.  PSU would take a 2-1 lead at the end of the first period.  PSU would outshoot Gannon 14-8 in the first. 

With an already depleted defensive core, Captain Mike Ludwig would leave the game with a laceration that would require seven stitches.  With PSU down three starting defensemen, Gannon would strike for two goals less than a minute apart and take a 3-2 lead.  Mitch Rupprecht (Gricco, Lassik) would knot the game at three with less than five minutes to play in the second period.  Gannon outshot the Lions 12-11 in the period.

Mike Pilla would give PSU the lead on the power play from Nico Gricco.  Gannon would score the next two goals and take a 5-4 lead with six minutes to go.  After a PSU time out, to calm the players down, PSU went to work.. And with a great call by assistant coach Armen Asdourian, Nick Danese fired a shot from the point and Jeff Hagan would deflect the puck past goaltender Brown.  The period would end in a 5-5 tie with PSU outshooting Gannon 20-9.

The teams would go to a four on four, five minute overtime in which PSU would dominate.  Rupprecht and Gricco would have some outstanding scoring chances, but goaltender Brown was up to the challenge.

"Anytime, you lose three of your top defenseman to injury, it puts you at a great disadvantage.  However, this team dug down deep,  battled hard, and sacrificed everything to pull out the tie.  We played with a lot of heart today.  We couldn't stay out of the penalty box and ran into a great goaltender today."

Ryan Cornelius would stop 26 of 31 shots for the Lions.  A special thanks goes out to the unselfish play of Mike Lassik, Nico Gricco, and Mike Pilla, who dropped back and played several defensive shifts for the Lions.  The Lions face-off against IUP next Friday night at 5:30 at Galactic Ice.  The Lions record after seven games 4-2-1.