Saturday, January 21, 2017

Good teams are judged how they bounce back from adversity. Coming off their worst loss of the season to SCSU, everyone was wondering how the Lions would respond against one of their long time rivals, the UPJ Icecats. These two teams have mirrored each other for years and Friday's contest would be no different. Both teams would test their goaltenders early and often. UPJ would strike first blood, when Luke Reed found the back of the net with 1:10 left in the first period. 28 seconds later Mitch Rupprecht would deflect a John Breznicky shot from the point tying the score 1-1. Hockey coaches everywhere will tell you that the most important shift, is the one right after a goal, and with 7 seconds remaining in the first period, UPJ's Marc Swankler would give the Icecats a 2-1 lead with an absolute snipe past Mack. One thing that surrounds the Lions, is the never give up and no panic feeling in the locker room. The second period started out much like the first period as both teams tested the goaltenders. Then at the 10:17 mark, sophomore forward Mike Lassik, would receive a perfect stretch pass from captain Sean Dolan, and would undress UPJ's goalie James Borriello, tying the score 2-2. Wayne Gretzky said "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." So with 7 seconds left in the second period, Lassik would fire a shot at net, and rebound was buried by Armen Asdourian, which would be the eventual game winner. End of the second period PSU would lead 3-2. Knowing the Lions would have to weather the storm, PSU would have to kill off several penalties. Finally back at even strength, Rupprecht would net his second goal of the game from Pilla and Chase, giving PSU a 4-2 lead. Finally at 15:32 of the third period, PSU would get their first power play of the game, and they would make the Icecats pay. A shot from Pilla would deflect off of Mark (Max) Selverian, giving PSU a 5-2 lead. Then at 18:11 PSU would go back on the power play and Rupprecht would complete the hat-trick from Lassik and Selverian. Final score PSU 6 UPJ 2. Kenneth (Cleveland) Mack would turn away 37 of 39 shots for the win. Mack and Rupprecht would be co-mvp's with another MVP belt win. Coach Lantz summed up this weeks game. "This was and outstanding team effort from the drop of the puck. We had a really good week of practice, and the team implemented everything we had worked on throughout the week. Everyone hustled and did the little things, that makes this team successful." As stated earlier, good teams find ways to overcome adversity, and with the Lions down two defensemen and one forward suspended for the season due to violation of team policy,this team has really pulled together as a unit. PSU jumps back into their league schedule on Saturday against Pitt Greensburg at 2:30PM at Galactic Ice.