Monday, February 27, 2017

On Friday February 24, 2017, the PSU Lions opened up the 2016-17 College Hockey East Playoffs against a very familiar foe. For the seventh time in two seasons, PSU would face-off against the Saint Vincent Bearcats and their formidable goalie Shane Brudnok. Over the past two years these teams have battled it out during the regular season, CHE Championship game, and a semifinal game at NCHA Nationals, with PSU holding a 5-0-1 record during that stretch. Standing between PSU and another date with the CHE Championship Final, was College Hockey East's best goalie in the league. "Shane has been a force every time we played him and a thorn in our sides for years. We know we have to put 50+ shots on per game, to get the result we want. Much respect to him and the job he has done." Friday's game would be no different, as PSU would pepper Brudnok with 61 shots enroute to an 8-1 Lion's victory. PSU's leading scorer Armen Asdourian, would bury one past Brudnok from Austin chase and "Slick" Danese with 6:44 remaining in the first period. It would be another six minutes before another puck would find its way behind Brudnok, when Mike Lassik would give the Lions a 2-0 lead with a helper from Asdourian. PSU would outshoot the Bearcats in the first period 21-6. The second period would be more of the same with a stone wall effort. However, at 11:49 of the second period Asdourian would tally his second of the night from line mate Michael Pilla. 52 seconds later, with Penn State on the power play, Mark Selverian, would bang home a rebound from Asdourian and Lassik. Nick Dunleavy would put the Lions shorthanded, and that penalty would result in the Saint Vincent's only goal. However, before the Bearcats would score, Matt Littler would split the defense and set up Mitch Rupprecht shorthanded. PSU would outshoot SVU 23-4 and hold a commanding 6-1 lead at the end of the second. Brudnok continued to keep the Lions at bay in the third, giving his team every opportunity to climb back into the game, but it was hard for the Bearcats to generate chances. PSU would score back to back power play goals from Pilla (assisted by Lassik) and Sean Dolan, with a floater from the point (assisted by Littler.) The Lions would advance to the CHE Finals with a final score of 8-1, outshooting SVU 61-19. Ken Mack and Steve Gilchrist would both get work in net. Mack stopping 9 of 10 and Gilchrist 9 of 9. Penn State's rival will be against the Gannon Golden Knights. The MVP Belt was given to the entire team.