The Backyard Brawl rivalry was renewed in Morgantown tonight as WVU and Pitt faced off.
It was a tightly played game throughout, as both teams traded chances. But Pitt came away with a 3-1 victory over its rival.
“The game became kind of grinding struggle to get anything going,” said WVU head coach A.J. Sturges.
The first period of the game was played evenly for the most part, with a lot of up and down action on the ice for both teams. The Panthers did get a powerplay late in the first, but could not capitalize on this opportunity.
Goalie Ryan Wickiser made an impressive pad save late in the first to keep Pitt off the scoreboard. The teams would go to the locker room tied at one.
“Find some ways to get movement,” Sturges said.
WVU came out of the locker room ready for the second period. The Mountaineers would get a power play chance early on in the second, but could not score.
Pitt would score not to long later making it 1-0 Pitt. It would tally another goal midway through the second period to make it 2-0;
With the Mountaineers down, they needed a spark to get them on the scoreboard. With 5:05 on the clock, WVU scored to make it 2-1 when David Polinski buried the puck in the back of the net.
The Panthers would be unsuccessful on another powerplay chance and the Mountaineer’s would also get one late, heading into intermission before trying to finish it off.
Coming out for the third, WVU was on the power play while down 2-1, but it was unable to take this opportunity. Both teams had good scoring chance, but neither team took ahold of the games’ momentum.
The third period was a tightly contested period with both teams having optimal chances at the net, but both goaltenders stayed up to the task and kept the attacker out of the net.
As the clock dwindled, WVU pulled its goaltender for the extra man advantage. WVU had a few good shots on net with the man advantage, but it was unable to score.
Pitt would eventually score again on an empty netter chance, which sealed the game for them at 3-1.
WVU drops to 6-4-0 on the season. The Mountaineers are back in action Saturday in Pittsburgh.