Penn State Blows Lead, Drops Second Straight to Union

Story posted December 2, 2013 in Sports, CommRadio by Zach Lacher

Despite a strong start, Penn State men’s hockey couldn’t hold on, as they surrendered four unanswered goals, to drop their fourth straight in a 5-4 loss to the Union Dutchmen.  

The Nittany Lions scored quickly to start the contest.

After a interference call on Union defenseman Charlie Vasaturo, forward Zach Saar ripped a slap shot from the right circle, that beat Dutchman goalie Colin Stevens glove side, for his first goal of the season, giving Penn state the lead.

The Nittany Lions continued their success with the man advantage, when defenseman Luke Juha beat Stevens on a wrist shot for the left point at 8:06.

The game marked only the second time this season Penn State has scored multiple power play goals.

Union came out in the second period looking like a changed team.

After starting the game very tentatively, the Dutchmen came out with a ramped up forecheck and finally broke through at 6:06, on a power play goal from defenseman Charlie Vasaturo.

Penn State responded as Eric Scheid tallied his sixth goal of the season. Then a little over a minute later, David Glen got credit for his first goal of the season on a shorthanded dump into Union’s defensive zone that took a bizarre bounce off the boards, deflecting off Dutchman defenseman Jeff Taylor’s skate. Taylor was trailing on the chase, which tricked Stevens and the puck beat him for the score, giving Penn State a commanding 4-1 lead, midway through the period.

Union was able to draw penalties on Penn State’s Kenny Brooks for charging at 12:03, which was quickly followed by an interference call on defenseman Mark Yanis at 15:32.

Both penalties led to a pair of power play goals from Union’s defenseman and assistant captain, Shayne Gostisbehere, which cut the Dutchmen deficit to 1.

Although Penn State kept themselves out of the penalty box in the third period, the Dutchmen stepped up to the challenge in a hostile road environment.

Forward Matt Hatch tacked up an unassisted goal to knot the game up at four.

Union went ahead on an outstanding solo effort by junior winger Daniel Ciampini, who was able to finesse his way past Penn State defenseman David Thompson on the left wing, then slide the puck past the sprawling McAdam. Ciampini notched the game-winner on a spectacular forehand to backhand move with three seconds left in the game.

“We’ll take it,” said Dutchman head coach Rick Bennett after the game. “He made a nice move on their defensemen, a great move on the goalie, and had a little puck love and it found the back of the net.”

The hero of the night, Ciampini, went on to say “I wasn’t even expecting to make it to the net to be honest.”

Penn State head coach Guy Gadowsky felt that even though this loss and their team’s record doesn’t reflect their talent level, feeling that at this point the team’s overall mentality needs to improve before they can find their stride,

“Mental toughness is something we do take pride in… If you want to have success the commitment you make has to be phenomenal,” said Gadowsky. “If we think we’re going play easy and simple games in a skilled game and match talent then we’re in big trouble. And we don’t have the maturity right now to realize that.”

The Nittany Lions are now 3-7-1 as they open up their Big Ten schedule on Friday, when they take on the Wisconsin Badgers in Madison. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. from the Kohl Center.

Zachary Lacher is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email zjl5023@psu.edu.