Penn State Absolutely Destroys Union in NCAA Tournament Debut

By Doug Leeson on March 25, 2017 at 7:33 pm
via Heather Weikel
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What just happened?

After five short years, Penn State made its first NCAA Tournament appearance. Union came into the game as a much more experienced team and was probably favored in this game. Then the game started and they got completely destroyed. Sixty minutes and ten (!!!) goals later, Penn State moved on with ease.

Box Score
  1st Period 2nd Period 3rd Period Final
Penn State 2 3 5 10
Union 2 1 0 3

There aren’t a ton of words that can explain how this happened. Union has a good offense, good goalie, and good coach. Penn State is super young and tries really hard. It’s safe to say this game will be remembered for a long, long time.

Scoring Summary
Team Scoring Time (Pd.)
PSU Brandon Biro (6)
11:05 (1)
UNNY Brendan Taylor(2)
Pontarelli, Emelifeonwu
12:12 (1)
PSU Chase Berger (12)
Biro, Gober
13:26 (1)
UNNY Spencer Foo (25)
13:50 (1)
PSU Kris Myllari (8)
Folkes, Pavlychev
1:59 (2)
UNNY PP- Spencer Foo (26)
Vecchione, Vidmar
7:54 (2)
PSU Chase Berger (13)
Gober, Sturtz
9:35 (2)
PSU Dylan Richard (10)
Myllari, Biro
14:13 (2)
PSU Nate Sucese (16)
1:10 (3)
PSU Denis Smirnov (18)
6:00 (3)
PSU PP- Nikita Pavlychev (5)
Goodwin, Myllari
7:52 (3)
PSU SH- Vince Pedrie (9)
14:58 (3)
PSU Nate Sucese (17)
14:58 (3)

The first period was, if nothing else, a ton of fun. Penn State threw their bodies around from start to finish while both teams launched shots from all over the ice. The NCAA Tournament is a different animal, and the Dutchmen and Nittany Lions played like it. Twice, a Penn State shot from range was tipped in front of the net to take the lead:



But both times, Union answered within moments. The period came to a close with a 2-2 tie and almost even shots.

The game’s pace wasn’t slowed by intermission. Penn State came out hot in the second period, as a Kris Myllari blast gave his team a 3-2 lead.


This time, Union’s response took a few minutes instead of seconds, as they got the first powerplay of the game. Spencer Foo made short work of the advantage, tying the game at 3-3 before the middle of the period. The game’s crazy pace didn’t let up -- Berger’s second goal of the day, this time off of a great feed by Blake Gober, made it 4-3 with nine minutes to go in the second.

Everyone expected another response to this goal, but finally, it didn’t come. Dylan Richard was the latest Nittany Lion to score, this time off of a Myllari rebound. Union was awarded a powerplay soon after but mercifully, Penn State killed it and took a two-goal lead into the locker room.


After a tense intermission, Union came out of the tunnel looking to cut the lead to one. Almost immediately, Nate Sucese buried those hopes as he ripped home a rebound to go up 6-3. Soon after, Denis Smirnov kicked the extra point with a snipe from the circle. Nikita Pavlychev scored right after. Shorthanded, Vince Pedrie added another. Then Nate Sucese scored. Unreal.

Denver won the adjacent game on the bracket, meaning that Penn State will play the No. 1 overall seed in round two. The game is Sunday at 6, with the winner advancing to the Frozen Four. Tonight was more than a big win, it was a loud statement: Penn State is ready.

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