Sunday, February 14, 2016

This time of year momentum is everything. By already clinching a first round bye in CHE playoffs and earning their first NCHA Nationals bid, the Lions had nothing to play for except pride. On the locker room door read a sign that said SEND A MESSAGE! Sure enough the Lions did just that. Zach (Grease) Lyons would tally his first goal of the season at 2:56 and PSU was off and running. NCHA points leader Nico Gricco split the defense, and beat Tallen Stroman with one of his patented moves, on a nice outlet pass from Mitch Rupprecht. Then while killing off a five minute major penalty to Mike Pilla, Gricco would strike again with his twentieth goal of the season from Mike Ludwig. Still on the penalty kill, the Lions would score shorthanded once again when freshman Mike Lassik (Rupprecht) riffled the puck top shelf past Strohman. The Lions would led 4-0 at the end of one period out shooting Cal 14-7. Starting the second period the Lions picked up where they left off, as Grease would score his second goal of the game at 2:23 from Wilson and Hagan. Gricco would continue his assault on Stroman beating him for the third time, completing the hat-trick from Rupprecht. Then at 7:52 Rupprecht (28) would strike with a laser on the power play (Ludwig / Gricco). With his PAP in attendance, Nick Tamburi (15) would surprise Stroman, beating him between the legs (Danese / Hagan). End of the second PSU 8 Cal 0. The Lions would out shoot the Vulcans 13-3. Then 1:55 into the third period, Brad Folino would end Steve Gilchrist bid for his third shutout of the season that started with a defensive giveaway by Ludwig. Lassik (22) would score his second shorthanded goal of the game (Gricco / Dolan). Sophomore Jeff Hagan would give the Lions their tenth goal assisted from Ludwig and Lyons. PSU would out shoot the Vulcans 11-6 in the third period. Gilchrist would pick up his sixth win of the season, lowering his GAA to 2.39. Nico Gricco would earn the MVP belt. "This has been such a great team to coach this season. We have accomplished a lot of goals, but have a lot of unfinished business." PSU ended the regular season 18-4-1 and outscored their opponents 165 to 75. Next up the Lions will travel to Center Ice in Delmont for the second round of the playoffs, February 27 at 10:10PM. Their opponent will be decided Friday night February 26.