The State College hockey team decided to go for the high drama Thursday night at Pegula Ice Arena.
The Little Lions never led until Michael Moscone scored twice in the final 72 seconds in a 5-4 win over Johnstown.
“We were all really pumped up at the end,” team captain Braden Wandrisco said. “We were really excited to get that win. We were not going to give up.”
The two scores completed a hat trick for Moscone.
David Mansell added a goal and an assist and Mark Rinehart III netted the other tally for the Little Lions (5-1-1), who moved into a tie for first place with idle Altoona in the Laurel Mountain Hockey League. Bryant Atanasio made 22 saves in the win.
Jacob Bakos scored twice and one goal each came from Ryan Hemlein and Trevor Pfiel for the Trojans (4-1).
Trailing 4-3, State College went on a power play with 1:53 left, and pulled Atanasio a little later to skate 6 on 4. Moscone skated up the middle with the puck, stepped around a Trojan defender and found an opening to beat Trojan goalie Drew Pfiel with 1:12 left to tie the game.
Moscone then poked the puck away from a Trojan in the neutral zone to create a breakaway for the winner with 34.4 seconds left.
“They faced some adversity,” State College coach Scott Balboni said. “They didn’t get down on themselves, they didn’t quit, they worked hard, they worked hard as a team, and they came back. That was the key to tonight. We’re so early in the season, I’m not worried about the X’s and O’s, I’m worried about them believing in what they’re doing.”