Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Nittany Lions invaded The City of Brotherly Love this weekend, looking for a little redemption from last years East Coast Showdown Tournament, and they did not disappoint in the visit, outscoring their opponents 27-3, and coming away as 2016 East Coast Showdown Champions. As this was a homecoming for many of the players, they lived up to the expectations playing in front of numerous family and friends. First game on the docket PSU faced off against East Stroudsburg University. It didn't take long for the Lions to get rolling forty seconds into the contest as defenseman Sean Dolan (Asdourian)blasted a shot over Josh Seder shoulder. Moments later Matt Littler would give the Lions a 2-0 lead from Astrino and Chase. Dolan would tally his second goal of the night at 16:30 unassisted and the goals would keep coming. With 3:19 left in the period, Mike Lassik would score unassisted. Less than thirty seconds later Andrew Astrino would bury the Lions 5th goal of the period, shorthanded, from Austin Chase and Jon Bilek. "Matty Ice would end the scoring in the first from Astrino and the Lions would lead 6-0 at the end of one. Per tournament rules, a team would get 1 point for winning a period, 1 point for a shutout, and two points for winning the game. Andrew Astrino would pick up right where PSU left off, scoring from Littler at 17:46. Then a little over two minutes later Armen Asdourian would net his first goal of the tournament from Mike Lassik. Asdourian would score his 2nd goal of the game on the same shift (Pilla and Lassik). Then Freshman defenseman John Breznicky would float one from the point past the goaltender. At the end of the second period, PSU would lead 10-0. With PSU up by 8, a running clock was instituted. This makes winning a period very difficult, because you don't have as much time to score and a bad bounce can lose you a period quickly. When Nick Dunleavy would jump up in the air and keep the puck in the offensive zone at the blue line, it enabled Austin Chase the opportunity for the Lions to score yet another goal. A minute later ESU would break Stephen Gilchrist's hope for a shutout. Although the Lions would lead 11-1, the period was tied, and PSU needed a goal to win the period. Mike Pilla would deliver, assisted by Lassik and Asdourian. PSU would deat ESU 12-1 and earn 5 pts for the tourney and they were off to a great start. PSU would outshoot ESU 31-10. Gilchrist turned away 9 of 10 shots and earned the team's MVP belt. Second game of the tournament would be PSU facing off against Catholic University of America. This would be a very physical test for the Lions as the Catholic would come out flying pressuring PSU at every turn. However, much like the first game, the Lions would strike first. Freshman Andrew Astrino would score on the power play from Austin Chase. Two minutes later, Penn State was back on the power play, and this time it would be Austin Chase unassisted with the wrist shot past the goalie giving PSU a 2-0 lead. At the 8:13 mark of the first period, PSU would find themselves on the penalty kill and it would be Astrino again, this time from sophomore Matt Littler. Catholic would tally on the power play and at the end of the first PSU would lead 3-1. PSU would outshoot Catholic 17-8. This would be as close as Catholic would get. After Mike Lassik was hauled down on a breakaway, PSU was given the option for a penalty shot or power play. Coach Lantz chose penalty shot. Lassik picked the puck up at center ice, forced the goalie to commit and then roofed the puck upstairs for a 4-1 PSU lead. Minutes later John Breznicky would score his second goal of the tournament. Matt Littler would make it 6-1 from Jeremy Madrid. Then Lassik would net his second of the game from defenseman Sean Dolan. At the end of the second PSU would lead 7-1. As the teams prepared to battle in the third, there was a problem with ice. With PSU well in hand, they were given the option to split the point for the third period or cancel the game. Coach Lantz elected for the win and split the 3rd period point. Kenneth "Cleveland" Mack would turn away 16 of 17 shots in the victory. The Lions would get 4.5 points for the win and would face undefeated Hobarts Sunday morning. Andrew Astrino would walk away with the MVP Belt for the second game. Game 3 would pit the 2-0 Hobarts Statesmen against the 2-0 PSU Lions. This would start out to be one of the toughest challenges to date for PSU. Hobarts would control the pace of the game for the first ten minutes of the game. Then with 6:48 Matt Littler (Astrino) would lift a backhand over Hobarts keeper, giving PSU a 1-0 lead. Penn State would hold a 1-0 lead at the end of the first despite being outshot 14-10. PSU would pick up the tempo in the second. Jake Shopes would start the rush flying down the right wing, and place a perfectly place shot off the goaltenders far pad, creating a rebound and an easy open net for Jeremy Madrid to bury the puck and give PSU a 2-0 lead. At 12:26 Mike Lassik would score his first of three goals on the power play from Armen Asdourian. Four minutes later the two would be back out there again with Asdourian setting up Lassik again. Hobarts would tally late in the second and make it 4-1 off a rebound. Mike Lassik would complete the Hat-trick assisted from Mike Pilla giving PSU a commanding 5-1 lead. Just over a minute later, PSU would find themselves on the power play at Matt Littler would tally his second goal of the game from Pila and Asdourian (it wasn't as pretty as his first goal). Then Asdourian (the NCHA leading scorer), would find the back of the twine with a laser over the keepers shoulder on the power play from Littler. Asdourian would score once again from Pilla and Littler giving the Lions an 8-1 victory. Ken Mack would turn away 24 of 25 shots for his sixth win of the season and 2.06 GAA.