City game on ice ends in loss for the Dukes
Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 23:10
Hockey fans were left disappointed as the Duquesne men’s club hockey team lost 3-2 in an overtime thriller that went to a shootout against Pitt on Saturday night at their home rink in Castle Shannon, only a year after hosting the much-hyped City Game at the Consol Energy Center which they also lost.
The Dukes were forced to host the game on non-NHL ice because the NHL lockout means that Consol hasn't set up their ice rink.
Facing off against their cross-town rivals, the Dukes struck first on the power play early in the second period when sophomore Julian Rizza netted a goal on a shot from the left circle three minutes in after a scoreless first period. Juniors Dylan Trombetta and Alex Castanzo were credited with assists. Pitt answered 10 seconds later by tying the game at 1 on a shot on a breakaway attempt that snuck by junior goaltender Dan Szymanski on his blocker side.
Duquesne continued to play with intensity, and went back on the power play two minutes later. Sophomore defenseman Kyle Brown fired a slap shot from the point into traffic that deflected off Pitt’s goalie and trickled across the crease. Junior Sean Bogosta was on cleanup duty, handling the rebound and knocking the puck into an open net to give the Dukes a 2-1 lead midway through the second period.
The tide turned in Pitt’s favor in a sloppy ending to the period. The Panthers dominated the remainder of the period, handling the puck in the offensive zone for a majority of the final three minutes.
The Dukes carried a 2-1 lead into the third period. The sluggish play continued at the start of the third period, though they were able to create some chances in Pitt’s zone.
Szymanski withstood heavy fire in the net throughout the third, but could not stop a point-black slapshot from the middle of the zone with 7:47 remaining that knotted the game at 2.
Both teams played noticeably more physical on the boards after Pitt’s second goal as each side scrambled for a game-winner in regulation. But after 60 minutes of regulation and five minutes of overtime, the game was locked in a stalemate and advanced into a best-of-three penalty shootout.
The Panthers took the early lead in the shootout, scoring on their first attempt. But Szymanski kept his team alive by stopping the next two tries, while both Bogosta and Trombetta failed to capitalize on the Dukes’ first two attempts.
The Dukes turned to Julian Rizza to keep them alive on the third attempt. He skated aggressively toward the net and rang a shot off the left post that slid across the crease. There were differing opinions both on the ice and in the crowd about what happened after that.
“I saw it hit the post and slide across the crease,” Rizza said after the game. “I thought the goalie might have pushed it in.”
But officials had the final say and ruled no goal, stamping a sour end to a highly contested conference battle for the Dukes.
Coach Paul Taibi was disappointed with the final result of the game, but said he was proud of the way his team played.
“We felt like we could play with [Pitt] and we proved that, but we obviously didn’t get the outcome we wanted,” Taibi said.
Dan Szymanski, who was solid all night by stopping 28 of 30 shots, echoed his coach’s confidence in the team even after the tough loss.
“We knew if we could come out determined, we could skate with anybody,” he said. “We just got the short end of the stick in the shootout tonight.”
Though they lost, the Red and Blue still got a point in the conference standings for an overtime loss. With big conference games on the horizon, Bogosta said there is hardly any time to focus on the weekend’s loss.
“We have to rebound very quickly,” said Bogosta, who scored the team’s second goal and played aggressively on the boards all night. “We don’t have any time to sit around and sulk.”