March 27, 2012

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Bucknell Tops Penn State for Seventh Straight Win

from press release

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- No. 16 Bucknell broke open a tie game by scoring the first four goals of the second half, and goalie Kyle Feeney and the defense made it hold up in a 9-6 win at No. 18 Penn State on Tuesday night at the PSU Lacrosse Field. Feeney recorded 13 saves, and Peter Burke and Billy Eisenreich both produced two goals and two assists to help the Bison win their seventh game in a row.

Now 7-3 on the season after beating Penn State for the third year in a row, Bucknell had balanced scoring in this one. Burke, Eisenreich, Todd Heritage and Chase Bailey scored two goals apiece, while Nick Gantsoudes had a goal and an assist.

While the Bison fell short of their season scoring average of 13.3 goals per game, nine were plenty thanks to a stout defense. Bucknell limited Penn State to six goals on 29 shots and had 10 caused turnovers, led by three from defenseman Jackson Place. The Bison also killed off all three of their penalties, making opponents just 1-for-13 on EMO in the last five games.

Feeney continued his recent hot streak, turning aside 13 shots to raise his season save percentage to .565.

Eisenreich's goal at the 9:43 mark of the first quarter was the only goal in the game's first 13 minutes. Heritage scored an EMO goal off a Burke feed with 1:45 left in the period, setting off a scoring flurry late in the quarter. Gavin Ahern got Penn State on the board for the first time with 1:03 left in the quarter, but then Burke scored an unassisted goal with just four ticks left to make it 3-1 Bison after one.

Jack Forster and Gantsoudes traded goals to start the second quarter, but Penn State rallied to tie it at 4-all on goals by Ahern and Ryan McGarvey in the final eight minutes of the half. Ahern's goal came just six seconds after Gantsoudes had given the Bison a 4-2 lead. McGarvey, a defenseman, scored on a length-of-field shot against Bucknell's 10-man ride.

But Bucknell dominated the third quarter, outscoring Penn State 3-0. Bailey gave the Bison the lead for good 1:24 into the second half off a feed from Bailey. Heritage followed with his second of the night and team-leading 28th of the season just over two minutes later. With 1:38 left in the quarter, David Dickson fed Bailey to make it 7-4.

The Bison took an 8-4 lead just 57 seconds into the fourth quarter on a goal from Burke, assisted by Eisenreich. After Forster scored for Penn State, Bucknell was able to melt some clock before Eisenreich scored a big insurance marker with 4:28 to play.

Bucknell overcame some late turnovers and a Nick Dolik goal with 1:41 remaining to win 9-6.

The Bison finished with a 30-29 shot advantage, and both teams collected 30 ground balls. It was a tale of two halves in the faceoff department, as Penn State won 8 of 9 in the first half before Bucknell claimed 6 of 8 in the second half.

Bucknell had only seven turnovers and was 13-for-14 on clears through three quarters, but it went 3-for-7 on clears and committed nine turnovers in the fourth. Fortunately Feeney was there to make four saves in the fourth quarter.

Feeney also led all players with six ground balls, while faceoff man Ryan Gutowski (6-11) collected three ground balls.

Penn State goalie Austin Kaut, who entered the game ranked sixth nationally with a .600 save percentage, finished with nine saves.

The Nittany Lions (4-5), who have wins over Notre Dame and Ohio State, were playing their seventh nationally ranked team in nine games this season.

Bucknell returns to Patriot League play on Saturday at Holy Cross at 1 p.m.


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