Coming off the big win against Millersville, the Bullets were riding high. But despite beating the other top team in the GNCHC, the Bullets could not get complacent with the other conference opponents. Unfortunately, Gettysburg did not show the kind of determination in the two games this past weekend that they showed in the final period against Millersville. In fact it was almost a complete reverse of the Millersville game in their first matchup of the weekend against Muhlenberg College.
The game did start well for the Bullets as they started to look like the team at the end of the game the previous week, but things got off track as the Bullets took a number of first period penalties. The penalty kill was on the ice four times in the first, disrupting Gettysburg’s flow and control. Once the Bullets settled down and got things under control, they started to take over. Late in the period senior captain Niall Hines, stole the puck in the neutral zone broke in to the Mules zone and ripped a wrister past the goaltender for the 1-0 lead, which would be the only tally in the first.
As the second period got underway, the Bullets once again began to look like a top team by taking control of the play. Less than two minutes in to the period sophomore Matt Kuhl held the puck in at the blue line and let a wrist shot go through a screen and in to the net for the 2-0 lead. Minutes later, Gettysburg once again had the pressure on and Hines once again dangled in to the Mules zone and this time found linemate, freshman Jack Stanton open back door who put it home for the 3-0 lead. However, late in the period Gettysburg was unable to change a tired line due to icing and Muhlenberg won the draw and ripped a point shot through a screen past sophomore goaltender Sam Shockley. But Gettysburg would not be deterred as late in the period it was Stanton again who was powering in front of the net and turned to fire a rebound past the goaltender for his second goal of the game and regaining the Bullets three goal lead.
Gettysburg looked in control heading in to the final period and this season, Gettysburg had not experienced a problem with protecting their lead. However, this would not be the case this night. Gettysburg came out unenthusiastic and allowed Muhlenberg to beat them to the puck on most occasions. Muhlenberg took advantage and scored three unanswered goals in the final frame to tie the game at four and just like that the Bullets lead had been erased. Late in the period, Gettysburg once again showed some life and thought they had netted the go-ahead goal, but the puck was hit in off a high stick from senior Dan O’Malley. The third period horn would sound and once again for the third time in four weeks, the Bullets were heading to overtime.
Shockley kept the Bullets in it with some early saves in the overtime and 27 saves on the night and then with just over a minute to play in the overtime, the hero from the TCNJ game, Kuhl let a laser slap shot go from the point and it slammed in to the top corner of the net for the overtime winner. It was not the ideal way to win this game, but the Bullets found a way to get the two points to remain unbeaten in conference play. Luckily it was daylight savings, as the Bullets would get an extra hour of sleep before heading to Sunbury, PA to take on Susquehanna University on Sunday.
The Bullets needed to shake off the rust from this past game as they had to get down to business once again against divisional opponent, Susquehanna University. Susquehanna had not had a great start to the season, but being old rivals from the MDCHA, the two teams had always had a tough matchup against one another. When the game got underway in the frigid Sunbury rink, Gettysburg did not have one of their great starts. Despite the extra hour of sleep, they still looked a little tired and their biggest issue was finding the net, let alone the back of the net. Despite having a couple of powerplays, in the first, Gettysburg still could not capitalize on their chances and continued to miss the mark on their shots resulting in only six shots for the period as it ended with a 0-0 score on the board.
The second did not start much better and to make matters worse Gettysburg started losing a little of their flow due to some penalties (some warranted and some questionable). Late in the period the Bullets began to settle down and just needed to focus on getting pucks on net. They did just that as they were on the powerplay with seven minutes remaining. Sophomore Adam Jacobs let a wrist shot go from the point with traffic in front and senior captain Niall Hines got a stick on it to tip it past the netminder for the 1-0 lead. Minutes later Gettysburg had the pressure on again and once again the tip in front this time off the stick of sophomore Mike Berestecky gave the Bullets a two goal lead heading in to the intermission.
It looked like the Bullets had finally woken up as they outshot Susquehanna in the second period 20-5 and they hoped to continue this momentum in to the final period. But early in the period Gettysburg did not clear the zone and Susquehanna was able to bang home a rebound past sophomore goaltender Jon Lipshutz. Hines bounced the Bullets right back off the ensuing faceoff as he took the puck down the ice and once again buried a shot for the two goal lead. Minutes later the Bullets once again took a penalty and Jacobs almost netted a short handed goal himself but his rush left the defense even more short handed as Susquehanna rushed back the other direction and was able to net the powerplay goal pulling within one once again. Not to be deterred again, Hines took the ensuing faceoff and this time fed a pass to linemate, senior Dan O’Malley who also ripped a wrist shot under the arm of the goaltender for the 4-2 lead. With time winding down in the game, Gettysburg’s sophomore Hunter Yale finally got the monkey off his back as he wristed a shot underneath the goaltender for the 5-2 lead. With five minutes remaining in the period, Gettysburg did not get to their man off a faceoff in their own zone and Susquehanna’s defender let a slapshot go through a screen that hit under the crossbar and past Lipshutz to pull within two. But as he had done twice before, off the snuing shift, Hines took the puck in to the Susquehanna zone and dangled past the goaltender once again to complete his hat trick for the final goal of the the Bullets’ 6-3 victory. Lipshutz made some crucial saves down the stretch and had 26 saves on the night.
The Bullets once again found a way to win. Hopefully they will bring this and a little more to next week’s games against divisional opponent Kutztown and conference newcomer West Chester.