Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Tommy Olczyk, a member of the PSU D1 program was quoted as saying, "Winning isn't measured in the number of wins or the number of championships. To me, the true meaning of the word "WINNING"is accomplishing a goal. By that definition, the PSU Altoona squad has nothing to hang their heads about, by having one of their most successful seasons ever. In its first season in the NCHA, the Lions would advance to the National Title Game, only to come up short to University of Buffalo 4-2. However, winning nationals was only one of five goals set by the Nittany Lions. PSU would find themselves at a disadvantage the entire game as they spent over half the game in the penalty box (a trait uncharacteristic of this team). Buffalo would take a early 1-0 lead before freshman Matt Littler (Pilla) would score a nifty goal, tying the score at 1-1. Buffalo would take a 2-1 lead, then freshman Mike Lassik (Ludwig / Rupprecht) would even the score up at 2-2. Then with the odds stacked against the Lions, penalty call after repeated penalty call would give Buffalo the advantage for the game. As the second period drew to a close, and PSU on a 5-3 penalty kill, Buffalo would take the lead 3-2. Buffalo would score again on the power play in the third making it a 4-2 lead. While continuing to play a man down, PSU appeared to have cut the lead to 4-3 until the referee waived off the goal. "It was a shame, the kids didn't get to play the game 5 on 5, because I honestly believe it would have been a different result. Take nothing away from Buffalo, because they were a great team and deserving of the National Title." Freshman goalie Stephen Gilchrist would turn away 42 of 46 shots. There were a lot of sad eyes in the locker room following the game, as the sophomores will move on to main campus. But the message was sent loud and clear from the freshman. They know how successful this team was, how hard they worked to get here, and they will have to work that much harder to get back next season.