The full-game intensity that Union coach Rick Bennett wanted to see in the Dutchmen’s rematch with Penn State on Sunday didn’t materialize the way he liked.
But the Dutchmen had just enough of it to end up with another victory.
Sophomore defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere’s power-play goal snapped a 1-1 tie and triggered a three-goal third period, helping the Dutchmen to a 4-1 non-conference victory over the Nittany Lions at Messa Rink.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a sense of relief,” Gostisbehere said. “It’s definitely good to get out of there with two wins. But they’re a good team. They have a good group of guys. They are going to be good, for sure.”
After Saturday’s lackluster 2-0 victory over the Nittany Lions, Bennett said the Dutchmen were fortunate to win. After two periods Sunday, the Dutchmen (8-2-1) were in another battle against the Nittany Lions (6-5).
So, how did Bennett describe Sunday’s win?
“I would say it was a little better than yesterday,” he said. “I know we were outshot in the third, but I thought we were opportunistic. The power play came through for us.”
Had Bennett been asked how his team was performing early in the second period, be would have had a different answer. Penn State came out hard, tied the game on David Glen’s goal 50 seconds into the period and had Union on the run.
Disgusted with his team’s play early in the second, Bennett called a timeout with 17:14 to go.
“[It was] time to, basically, start representing that jersey the way it should be,” Bennett said. “As a staff, we just felt we [needed to] switch it up a little bit and regroup.”
Union almost took a 2-1 lead late in the second, but referee Alex Dell’s premature whistle nullified a Daniel Ciampini goal, which would have been his second of the game. He gave Union a 1-0 lead 7:21 into the first period.
Even if that Ciampini goal had counted, the Dutchmen knew they had to work harder.
“We didn’t have the best first 10 minutes,” Gostisbehere said. “Coach called timeout. We took it to them at the end. We came into the locker room trying to feed off of that.”
Gostisbehere, a third-round selection of the Philadelphia Flyers in last June’s NHL draft, started the Dutchmen on the road to victory. With Penn State’s Michael Longo off for cross-checking, Gostisbehere’s slap shot from the right point beat goalie Matthew Skoff, clanked off the post and into the net at 3:23.
“The puck went over to ‘Wayne-o’ [Wayne Simpson],” Gostisbehere said. “He did a fake, and then it came to me for a one-timer.”
Mark Bennett made it 3-1 with 11:52 left when he tipped a Ryan Forgaard left-point shot past Skoff.
But each time Union scored, Penn State would take over the play. The Nittany Lions outshot the Dutchmen, 15-13, in the third. The Dutchmen needed Daniel Carr’s empty-net goal with 1:12 remaining to seal the deal.
“Basically, it was a little bit of rust this weekend,” Rick Bennett said. “It’s game-feel. There’s something to it. When you take some time off, you can definitely, especially in college, that getting over exams and being a college athlete, you’re going to go through some ups and downs like that. We did this weekend.”
The game marked the return of Dutchmen junior goalie Troy Grosenick. It was his first start since he hurt his right leg Nov. 9 against Harvard. Colin Stevens started the Dutchmen’s last two games. He earned his second shutout of the season Saturday.
Grosenick was tested a lot. He finished with 37 saves.
“It felt real good,” Grosenick said. “Obviously, I hate when I have to sit. That’s just the way it goes, sometimes. At the same time, it’s was real nice to get back out there and compete with the boys. I had a fun time doing it.”
Grosenick said he any problems with the leg.
“It’s 100 percent,” he said. “Everything is fine.”
Penn State had nothing to be ashamed of in getting swept. The Nittany Lions gave the Dutchmen everything they could handle, and that pleased coach Guy Gadowsky.
“I thought we played very well,” Gadowsky said. “It thought this was our best weekend of the year for two nights in a row. I thought we played better tonight than last night.”
Penn State 0 1 0 — 1
Union 1 0 3 — 4
First Period — 1, Union, Ciampini 5 (Coburn, K. Bodie), 7:21. Penalties — DiPauli, Uni (boarding), 3:17; Glen, PS (hitting after whistle), 15:51; Gostisbehere, Uni (slashing), 15:51; Gardiner, PS (hooking), 18:18; Bennett, Uni (goalie interference), 18:18.
Second Period — 2, Penn State, Glen 7 (Brooks, Gardiner), :50. Penalties — Novak, Uni (kneeing), 5:02; Johnson, PS (tripping), 7:42; Johnson, PS (hooking), 13:44; Longo, PS (roughing), 16:31.
Third Period — 3, Union, Gostisbehere 4 (Simpson, Ciampini), 3:23 (pp). 4, Union, Bennett 1 (Forgaard, Ikkala), 8:08. 5, Union, Carr 4 (Sullivan), 18:48 (en). Penalties — Dolan, PS (cross-checking), 2:59; Jooris, Uni (interference), 4:02; Glen, PS (unsportsmanlike conduct), 8:55; Sullivan, Uni (unsportsmanlike conduct), 8:55; DiPauli, Uni (boarding), 19:20.
Shots on Goal — Penn State 9-14-15 — 38. Union 16-17-13 — 46.
Power-play opportunities — Penn State 0 of 4; Union 1 of 4.
Goalies — Penn State, Skoff 2-4-0 (45 shots-42 saves). Union, Grosenick 5-1-1 (38-37).
A — 1,512. T — 2:08.
Referees — Alex Dell, Kevin Graber. Linesmen — Mike Emanatian, Matt Brady.
Providence 4, Union 0
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Sarah Bryant stopped all 24 shots she faced as the Friars blanked the Dutchwomen (3-6-2) in a non-conference game.
Union 0 0 0 — 0
Providence 3 0 1 — 4
First period — 1, Pro, Hanrahan 6 (Groth), 1:58. 2, Pro, Simpson 2 (Illikainen, Frade), 2:28. 3, Pro, Illikainen 6 (Virtue, Thurstrom), 4:21. Penalties — Slattery, Pro (high-sticking), 8:11; Romanchuk, Pro (interference), 8:11.
Second period — None. Penalties — Hanrahan, Pro (interference), 4:44; Virtue, Pro (tripping), 7:54; Slattery, Pro (interference), 12:10; Tomaselli, Uni (hooking), 13:34.
Third period — 4, Pro, Hanrahan 7 (Buie), 6:28. Penalties — Thomson, Uni (slashing), 1:41; Johnston, Uni (tripping), 9:49; Groth, Pro (roughing), 19:40.
Shots on goal — Union 12-7-5 — 24, Providence 5-7-5 — 17.
Power-play opportunities — Union 0 of 6, Providence 0 of 3.
Goalies — Union, Lundberg (2-3-2), 17-13; Providence, Bryant, 24-24.
T — 1:55. A — 237.