3rd-period rallies work for Butler hockey team


VALENCIAAfter watching a two-goal advantage evaporate in the second period, the Butler hockey team had reason to worry. 
If there was any concern, it didn't show. 
Connor Scott quickly scored to put Butler ahead, Joseph DiMartino added his second goal of the game and the Golden Tornado defeated State College 5-3 in a PIHL Section 3-AAA clash on Monday night at the Ice Connection. 

Through two games, Butler (2-0) has shown a penchant for delivering late. The Tornado scored three goals in the final frame to stun Seneca Valley for a season-opening 4-3 win last week. 

“We're a third-period team. We pride ourselves on that,” said Butler coach Mike Guentner. “We're in very good shape and anytime that we go into the locker room between the second and third and we're within striking distance of a win, we know we're going to pull it out.” 

Initially, it appeared the Tornado might cruise to victory as Butler was dominating the puck and held a 3-1 lead midway through the second period. 

However, Andrew Moscone scored to give the Little Lions life with 6:07 left in the second frame. It was the first shot State College could muster in the period after the Tornado had fired the first 12. 

The Little Lions (1-2) received a golden opportunity with 3:40 remaining in the second, as DiMartino was whistled for holding and Jordan Krajnikovich joined him in the penalty box for roughing. 
“That's huge,” said State College coach Brett Wilson. “Rarely do you get a 5-on-3, so we knew if we were going to get in the game, we had to take advantage of that one.” 

Lucas Michael cashed in to square the game at 3-3 with 2:34 left in the second period. 

The Tornado entered the locker rooms with a 24-10 advantage in shots, but no lead to show for it. 
“I think there was a little bit of a letdown with how we like to run our systems,” said Guentner. “All of our players know exactly where to be and when to be there, it's just a matter of execution. 
“Sometimes whenever we get too comfortable, we stop executing and I think that's what happened.” 
There was no questioning the third-period execution. 
Scott scored off an assist from Jake Campbell less than four minutes into the final frame and Jon Fair set up DiMartino for a power-play goal to reestablish Butler's two-goal advantage with 9:31 to play. 

This time, the Tornado made it stick. 
Rothbauer went post to post to stop a one-timer with 4:30 remaining and made a glove save with 2:24 to go. He finished with 15 saves. 

“He's another one of those players that we expect to shut them down in the third period,” said Guentner. “That's what we need from our goaltender. His hard work off the ice has shown on the ice.” 
Butler outshot the Little Lions by a 35-18 margin. State College goalie Chris Rosselot recorded 30 saves. 
“I think our team did a good job in the D zone, but our forwards were playing pretty stubborn,” said Wilson. “(Butler) did a nice job of collapsing down to the net, making sure that we didn't get high-quality scoring chances and we never adapted.” 

Butler quickly jumped on top in the first period, as Nick Whann took a pass from Fair, streaked down the left side and went top shelf for a 1-0 lead just two minutes and seven seconds into the contest. 
“That was a priority before the game,” said Guentner, “We went down 3-0 to Seneca Valley in our first game and obviously we didn't want that to happen again.” 

DiMartino made it 2-0 midway through the first off an assist from Krajnikovich, but Dakota Campbell answered for State College just 22 seconds later. 

CJ Campbell capitalized on a Butler power play with a slap shot to supply the Tornado with a 3-1 lead with 10:32 left in the second period. Whann and Troy Double were credited with assists. 

“We played a good game overall, but it wasn't a complete game,” said Guentner. “We're still learning how to defend a lead, but we're slowly closing the gap. “