Penn State Falls to Neumann in Overtime
The Penn State Nittany Lions looked to earn revenge on the Neumann Knights after falling to them last year as part of the Winter Classic events that were held at Citizens Bank Park. The Nittany Lions, however, fell to the Knights again in a hard fought overtime finish 3-2.
The game opened with a lightning fast Neumann goal just 20 seconds in, on a short ranged shot by Chris Bournazos. Just after, the pace of the 1st period intensified with a seismic check by Penn State’s Kirchhevel to answer that goal. Following the check just several minutes later, a Neumann turnover in the neutral zone led to a two on one opportunity for the Lions. David Glen caught the crossbar on a quick wrist shot just above the blocker of Neumann’s net minder.
The 2nd period opened with a changed Penn State team. “They refocused and started to play…” stated Coach Gadowsky. The Lions came out with what seemed to be a more physical mindset. Several scoring chances were generated off of superior play along the boards and in the corners.
The active hustle along the boards in the early 2nd period was met by a Neumann goal from a centering pass that deflected in off of a Penn State player. However, the Lions pressed on and continued to hold the puck along the walls and generate scoring chances on outlet passes to the point.
Finally, the Lions’ hustle was rewarded with a power-play from a tripping call to Neumann’s Sean Crozier. After a few quick passes, Sweetland was able to find Bailey for a rocket of a one-timer from the left hand side. The puck sailed right into the twine and the Lions had cut the Knights’ lead in half.
Toward the end of the period superior play along the boards generated by the likes of David Glen, Justin Kirchhevel, and Kenny Brooks, found the Lions being rewarded yet again. As Brooks glided around behind the net he slammed on the brakes and made a move to the inside where a pass through the crease set up Glen for a slam-dunk into the net. The Lions now had all the momentum they could ask for and rode it into the locker room.
The story of the 3rd period only needs but one name--Ben Curley. Curley opened the period by sprawling and robbing Kenny Brooks of a gorgeous goal that would have given the Lions the lead. The Neumann net-minder made a total of 21 saves in the 3rd period while his team only recorded one shot on net. Four of the 21 shots faced were “crowd gasping” flashes of the glove to rob various Lion shooters from taking the lead. Penn State continued its hard play along the boards in the 3rd allowing them to shut down the Knights’ offense.
Without any goals in the final period, the game was sent into a 5-minute period of sudden death overtime. The overtime period was played very cautiously, as each team traded possessions around the neutral zone. However, a quick turnover by Penn State allowed for Neumann’s Jon Low to drive and put a quick shot on net. Musico, who had proved to be solid all game, generated a juicy rebound right back to Low. From there he was able to slide the puck around the sprawling goalie and into the back of the net.
Penn State head coach Guy Gadowsky felt his team just wasn’t all there, “It’s a game of mental toughness…we didn’t come out ready to play.”
David Glen and Casey Bailey also highlighted their coach’s point in stating, “It’s about mental toughness and being able to bear down… and that’s something that we are lacking.”
The Nittany Lions will work to improve in the area of “mental toughness” throughout the week. They pick back up on a much-anticipated game this Saturday where they will have the opportunity to take on Vermont in the Wells Fargo Center, in Philadelphia, PA. It will be a busy day in that arena as the long awaited NHL season opens with the Philadelphia Flyers hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins prior to the Lions hitting the ice.
Ryan Ruff is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, e-mail email@example.com.