With every season there are high points and there are low points. The thought was that Gettysburg experienced their low point with the loss to Seton Hall. But as was evident with this past weekend against Bucknell, their low point may not yet be over.
Heading in to the game, the Bullets would be down two of their top scorers and one of their top defensemen. Line shuffling had to be done and the depth of the Bullets would be tested. Additionally the Bullets stamina would be tested as although the night before against Penn was not a huge test physically, the team did not arrive back to campus until 1am only to leave again less than 12 hours later.
Things looked promising as off the opening faceoff Gettysburg senior assistant captain Ryan Anderson poked it past the defensemen and broke in on the breakaway and scored seven seconds in to the game. However, that is where Gettysburg's play stopped. Off the ensuing faceoff the Bisons drove down and scored on a rebound against sophomore Sam Shockley, getting his second start in two days. The Bullets did have a few chances, including a couple powerplays, but they could not seem to finish on their chances and the abundance of rebounds given out by the Bucknell goaltender. Late in the period a loose puck was grabbed by Bucknell in the slot and they turned and put it in the net for the 2-1 lead.
The second period the wheels completely fell off for the Bullets. Even though the referee appeared to be reffing in his first collegiate game, Gburg did not help matters with a constant visit to the penalty box including losing three players for 10 minutes a piece, making their short bench that much shorter. This included two 5 on 3's for almost the full two minutes. Despite the onslaught of penalties the penalty kill stepped up and did not give up any shorthanded goals. However, Bucknell did capitalize twice and took a 4-1 lead on the depleted Bullets.
At the end of the second you would have thought the Bucknell players were beating an NHL team by how much momentum and excitement they displayed. Gettysburg needed to really find their game if they wanted to mount any kind of comeback. However, the referee continued to interject his opinion on the game including once where sophomore Mike Berestecky, shorthanded, thought he put home a loose puck as he put it behind the netminder but instead of the referee calling the goal, he called Berestecky for slashing sending them down to three men on the ice once again. Finally, midway through the period Gettysburg got their own chance as they would be on a 5 on 3 powerplay and they capitalized twice off shots from junior defensemen Garrett Flasinski and a rebound goal from newcomer junior Andrew LaFontaine who first semester was busy with Varsity soccer. Now down by one goal Gettysburg needed only one to bring it back even but despite last ditch efforts could not dig themselves out of the hole they dug for themselves in the first two periods and Gburg lost 4-3. Shots were not kept by the home team.
This disappointing loss to a team that will not even be participating in the playoffs this year is not a good start to their final weekend against the top two teams in Kutztown and Millersville before making the final push in to the playoffs. Hopefully they can find their game this week as they take on Kutztown Saturday evening for Senior night!