Senior Ryan Anderson(left) and freshman Stephen Puth battle in front.
When Gettysburg moved to their new conference and new division last season, it meant that they would be leaving behind some well-established rivalries between teams in their conference. One of those rivalries was against their southern neighbor, Mount Saint Mary’s. A mere 20 minutes between campuses the two have had some good battles in their years in the Mason Dixon Conference. Last season the Mount did take down Gettysburg’s depleted DIII team towards the end of its existence, but a good measure would be the top team going head-to-head with the Mount.
Gburg would get that chance as they would open their 2012-13 season with a non-conference game against Mount. Despite the loss last season, Gettysburg had confidence going in to the game with their D2 team from last season, plus a good group of incoming freshmen talent. As the game got underway, Gettysburg took control. Controlling about 75% of the play and not letting the Mount breathe. Minutes in, it was freshman defenseman Brad Bourne who hit senior Dan O’Malley with a pass up the ice. O’Malley crossed the blue line used the Mount defenseman as a screen and ripped a wrist shot in to the net for the early one goal lead. Midway through the period Gettysburg took a penalty and was on the verge of killing it off when the puck was slowly dumped in on sophomore goaltender Jonathan Lipshutz and sophomore defensemen Jonathan Bloom was being pursued by an attacker as he chased down the puck. A miscommunication between the two Jonathans led to the puck ending up on the Mount player’s stick and in to the back of the net tying the game at one. It was only the Mount’s second shot on goal. Needless to say the Bullets had to shake it off and start capitalizing on their chances. Minutes later on a powerplay of their own, sophomore Bobby MacDonald gave a beautiful give and go with senior captain Niall Hines, and netted his first goal as a Bullet. Still in the first, Gettysburg had the pressure on once again and a shot from senior Evan Conlon generated a juicy rebound that freshman Jack Stanton put back on net and it slipped under the goaltender’s arm but simply laid on the line until senior assistant captain Chris Fulenwider poked it home giving Gettysburg a 3-1 lead heading in to the intermission.
Gettysburg was controlling the play but still only had a two goal lead to show for it so they knew in the second period they needed to start putting in their chances. Freshman Jon Bloom did just that as once again the pressure was on in the Mount zone and Bloom held the puck in at the blue line. He let a strong wrister go low blocker side just above the ice and the goalie did not have time to react as it hit the back of the net. Midway through the period, there was a faceoff in the Mount zone that was won back by Conlon to sophomore Adam Jacobs who in turn passed it to his defensive partner, freshman Eric Miller who let a solid wrist shot fly towards the net right along the ice and Stanton was once again battling in front and got his blade on it tipping the puck over the shoulder of the goaltender in to the back of the net giving a 5-1 lead to Gburg. However, minutes later the Mount had another powerplay and Gettysburg tried to carry the puck out of their own zone instead of simply clearing it and it led to Mount players being all alone in front and being able to knock in a goal past sophomore Sam Shockley. But Gettysburg struck right back with a scramble in front from sophomore Mike Berestecky to fellow golfer and linemate Zak Kennedy who crashed the net and poked it in for the 6-2 lead. On the ensuing faceoff, Gettysburg once again took a penalty and the Mount was able to sneak another shot past Shockley to end the second period.
Beginning the third, the shot count was 52-16 in favor of the Bullets as the Mount goaltenders were performing well and Gettysburg knew they couldn’t continue to let them hang around. So off the opening faceoff, it was captain Hines again who received a pass from linemate junior Hunter Yale and made a move along the goal line, cut out in front and buried the puck. Minutes later freshman Josh Pettengill hit fellow freshman Steohen Puth in front of the net with a pass and he was able to poke home the shot for his first goal as a Bullet. Late in the game Kennedy took it all himself and like O’Malley’s first goal, used the defense as a screen and rifled a wrist shot past the netminder for the final nail in the coffin. The Mount added one goal late on freshmen netminder Ramiz Chaudhary but it would not nearly be enough as the final horn would sound and Gettysburg would win against their old rival, 9-4.
It was a big win but onlookers can tell that if Gettysburg can continue playing well together their cohesion will get even greater and they will be a pretty dominant offensive force. Just as long as they can tighten it up on defense and the penalty kill.
The season rolls on next weekend with a big road trip up to Worcester, MA to take on Holy Cross. Family and alums are encouraged to attend the pregame event in Worcester before coming to the game. This is followed by another non-conference game against the University of Scranton on Sunday. Thank you to all the fans who came out to the home opener and we hope to see some of you next weekend.