Kaut Saves 16 as No. 17 Penn State Beats Binghamton

VESTAL, N.Y. A 6-0 second-period run gave No. 17 Penn State a seven-goal lead, and the Nittany Lions downed host Binghamton, 11-7, at Bearcats Sports Complex on Tuesday evening.

Junior goalie Austin Kaut (Morton, Pa.), the reigning CAA Player of the Week, posted his second straight 16-save game, while Nick Dolik (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) second-quarter hat trick paced the offense.

Penn State (4-3, 1-0 CAA) took a commanding 9-2 lead near the end of the second quarter only to see Binghamton (3-4, 0-0 America East) tally off five straight goals, setting up a nervous fourth quarter. The Nittany Lion defense, anchored by Kaut, buckled down the Bearcats momentum and outscored Binghamton 2-0 in the final quarter to emerge victorious. Kaut has made 32 saves and allowed just 11 goals in his past two games.

Aside from Dolik's three-goal performance, PSU received a three-point effort from Shane Sturgis (Downingtown, Pa.) on a pair of goals and an assist. Jack Forster (Jenkintown, Pa.) had a goal and an assist and Tom LaCrosse (Canandaigua, N.Y.) notched a two-goal game as well.

Playing in a driving snow squall coupled with strong wind, Penn State took an early 2-0 lead on goals by LaCrosse and TJ Sanders (Orillia, Ont.). The Sanders goal was set up by a Kaut save and a Michael Richards (Skaneateles, N.Y.) clear as Richards dished to Sanders standing next to the crease.

Binghamton's Emmett O'Hara tallied his second of the year with 7:17 remaining in the first. The Bearcats would win the ensuing faceoff, but a turnover caused by Steven Bogert (Carlsbad, Calif.) started the PSU offense. Gavin Ahern (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) slipped through the defense with a right to left run and scored for a 3-1 lead with 4:53 to go in the first. BU would make it 3-2 on a Michael Antinozzi extra-man goal to cap the opening frame.

The second was all Penn State as the Nittany Lions scored six straight goals. First it was Sturgis on a broken play as he was fed by Forster for the transition goal and a 4-2 lead with 14:02 to go. Dolik scored his first of the day from the left wing with 13:09 left in the second. Dolik made it back-to-back tallies with 8:56 remaining on a give-and-go play with Erik Myers (Del Mar, Calif.).

Kyle Zittel (Eden, N.Y.) ripped his fifth goal of the season assisted by Kyle VanThof (Penfield, N.Y.) just 30 seconds later for a 7-2 Penn State lead. Dolik marked his first hat trick since May 2, 2012 vs. Drexel with a one-timer from Sturgis for the 8-2 advantage with 6:41 left in the half. Forster gave Penn State a seven-goal lead with 3:42 remaining on his 17th tally of the year from a tight left-winged angle.

The Bearcats would go on an extra-man opportunity with a two-man advantage as senior Conor Baucum (Chevy Chase, Md.) made a quick save in Kaut's absence in the penalty box. The first penalty expired with no damage done, but BU tallied a goal before the second penalty wrapped up to cut the lead to six at 9-3 entering the half.

If the second period belonged to Penn State, the third was all Binghamton. The Bearcats outscored Penn State 4-0, capping a 5-0 run during another snow squall as the lead was cut to two at 9-7 entering the fourth quarter.

There, the Nittany Lions held possession three minutes into the stanza and a loose ball was picked up by LaCrosse on the sideline. The junior midfielder picked the ball up, cut between two long-stick defenders behind the net and rolled in front of the crease for a diving goal and a 10-7 lead with 11:17 remaining in the fourth period.

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