Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Standing between PSU and their second title in as many years would be the Gannon Golden Knights. The statement familiarity breeds contempt describes this short rivalry between Penn State and the Golden Knights. After a very physical game less than two weeks ago, the stakes couldn't be more higher. The Lions have preached fast starts all season long, and Saturday's Championship game would be no exception. 11 minutes into the game, PSU would have built up a 5-0 lead, deflating the hopes of a Knights CHE Title. 3 minutes into the first period Mike Lassik would strike first blood assisted by Armen Asdourian. Less than two minutes later, Matt "Matty Ice" Littler went top shelf from Austin Chase giving the Lions a 2-0 lead. Jake Shopes would tally his first of two goals, digging the puck from a scrum in front of the net assisted by Andrew Astrino at 13:37 of the first period. Shopes would then score his second of the game on a two on one opportunity set up by Michael Pilla. Mitch Rupprecht would score the Lions 5th goal at 9:04 after picking up a loose rebound from Breznicky and Chase. PSU would out shoot the Golden Knights 21-3. During the second period, PSU took their foot off the gas, and allowed Gannon to score twice narrowing the Lions lead to 5-2. "We took a lot of unnecessary chances in the second period. Too many pinches and odd man rushes." With corrective actions put in place PSU went back to work. And within a stretch of 29 seconds, PSU would score twice. Asdourian would give PSU a 6-2 lead from Lassik. Then at 15:30, the trio would score as Lassik and Asdourian would set up Pilla. This would put the final nail in Gannon's coffin. Both goalkeepers would get some work. Mack stopping 3 of 3 and Gilchrist turning away 22 of 24. Jake Shopes would win the teams MVP Belt. The 7-2 win would give the Lions their second College Hockey East Title. "I am very proud of these boys today. They have fought all year long. We set our goals and have achieved them all but one. We have a lot of unfinished business from last year." The road to Buffalo, and the NCHA National tournament starts March 24-26th.