Hazleton, Pa. - Sophomore Sam Deptula (Shamokin, Pa.) provided the NIttany Lions with a pair of second half goals to give Hazleton a 3-1 come from behind victory over Penn State Wilkes-Barre. Friday night's win keeps the Lions in the playoff hunt with just one regular season game to play.
By no means was it all smiles Friday night as Hazleton would trail for more than half of the game. Just four minutes into the action, Wilkes-Barre got on the board first. Fresh off a penalty in Hazleton territory, Wilkes-Barre's Modou Janneh knocked in a free kick from long range, slipping the ball past the outstretched arms of the Hazleton netminder. Hazleton would respond with a number of quality looks and ultimately outshoot the visitors 20-4 in the period, but quality stops by the Wilkes-Barre keeper kept the Lions off the board through the midway point.
All that would change as the second half began and the Lions shots found their target. The Lions had four quick shots to start the second half and in the 62nd minute, broke through to tie the game. Freshman Dylan Miale (Mountaintop, Pa.) provided the equalizer cleaning up a rebound off the Wilkes-Barre keeper following a shot by fellow Crestwood High School alum, junior Aaron Wrobleski (Mountain Top, Pa.). With new life in the Hazleton huddle, the Lions went right back on the attack, striking while the iron was hot. This time is was Deptula rocketing a shot from 35 yards out and slicing away from the diving netminder to give Hazleton their first lead of the night.
With a 2-1 advantage, the Lions continued to control the tempo and with just over 15 minutes to play put Wilkes-Barre away for good. Once again it was Deptula striking a laser from long range, this time for an insurance score to lock up the win. Hazleton would go on to milk the clock for their third consecutive conference win.
Next up: It all comes down to the final game of the regular season. Hazleton will look to run the table for their fourth straight win in the PSUAC and ride that hot streak into the postseason. The Lions will end the year with a home game on Sunday, October 21 at 12:00 p.m. against playoff contender Penn State York.