Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What has become an ever to familiar foe, The Saint Vincent Bearcats would face off with the Nittany Lions for the fourth time this season, with the winner advancing to the NCHA National Championship game. The last time these two opponents met was the CHE Tier 1 Championship, in which PSU won 5-2. Both teams took very different routes to arrive at the semi-final game. Saint Vincent would be playing their fourth game in two days after defeating a tough California Lutheran team, and PSU had a first round by after defeating both Union College and California Lutheran Knights on Friday. Freshman forward Mike Lassik would start off the scoring for Penn State from Mitch Rupprecht. PSU's Mike Pilla would score the Lion's second goal of the game on the power-play assisted by Ludwig and Rupprecht. The score at the end of the first was 2-2. Fatigue was evident and Penn State used a combination of speed and pressure to wear down the short bench of Saint Vincent. NCHA scoring leader Nico Gricco would score his first goal on the power-play, giving the Lions a 3-2 advantage, assisted by Tamburi and Ludwig. Gricco would strike again on the power-play from Ludwig and Pilla giving the Lions a 4-2 lead at the end of two periods. PSU would go back on the power-play in the third period when Zac "Rand" Lyons would give the Lions a 5-2 lead putting the contest out of reach. Gricco would score once again on the power-play from Pilla and Cassidy. Then Gricco would add his fourth goal of the night beating Shane Brudnok from Littler and Dolan. Final result PSU 7 Saint Vincent 2. Coach Lantz had this to say about the Bearcats. "They are a great team and have a great goaltender. They had a tremendous year and deserved to be here. They represented College Hockey East with a strong tournament performance." Stephen Gilchrist would get the win for the Lions, turning away 26 of 28 shots. Nico Gricco would earn the teams MVP belt for his four goal performance. The Lions face off against University of Buffalo for the National Title.