No. 11 Penn State and No. 16 Wisconsin collided Saturday on a special Senior Night for the first class that played all four years in Pegula. The Nittany Lions delivered a 6-0 win to send their graduates out in style.
Captain David Goodwin’s two goals and two assists led the charge. Fellow seniors Ricky DeRosa, Dylan Richard, David Thompson, Zach Saar, and volunteer coach Mike Williamson, who had his career end early due to injury, were also honored pregame on the ice with their families.
How It Happened
Sporting their beloved gray alternate jerseys, Guy Gadowsky’s Nittany Lions were visibly energized by the huge stakes riding on this home finale. Penn State (21-9-2) needed a series split with the Badgers following Friday’s 7-4 loss, especially given Michigan’s surprising 5-3 win over Minnesota in Ann Arbor adding pressure to next weekend.
Kris Myllari put Penn State on the board first with 9:16 left in the opening period, outsmarting Matt Jurusik in front of a crowded crease. The sophomore goalie got the start for the Badgers (19-12-1) despite Jack Berry’s strong showing in game one of the series. Wisconsin head coach Tony Granato has rotated between the two all season long, though, much like Eamon McAdam and Matt Skoff last year. Fifty seconds later, Goodwin’s rifle of a shot found the back of the net for a 2-0 Nittany Lion lead — one they would take into the first intermission.
Denis Smirnov became Penn State’s all-time points leader for a single season with 41 thanks to an assist on Goodwin’s tally. The previous record holder was none other than occasional Ottawa Senator Casey Bailey (2014-15). Goodwin and Smirnov were also involved in senior David Thompson’s third goal of the season with 11:13 to go in the second frame, notching assists as the Nittany Lions took a 3-0 lead. Smirnov finished with three on the evening.
Freshman Peyton Jones was tremendous between the pipes, recording the second shutout of his young career on 36 saves, which tied his collegiate best. He’s now Penn State’s single-season leader in saves with 689. Goodwin added another goal to his stat line with 9:17 to play before Alec Marsh made it 5-0 two minutes later. Saar even dished out one of his trademark crushing hits for good measure, then ripped a goal past Jurusik with just nine seconds left. Coincidentally, all five seniors were on the ice for the final goal. You just can’t make this stuff up.
Player Of The Game
David Goodwin | Senior | Forward
The St. Louis, Mo., native couldn’t have asked for a better Pegula sendoff, finishing with four points in the victory.
The Nittany Lions will travel to Yost Ice Arena for their final series of the regular season against Michigan. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET Friday and Saturday. Penn State swept the Wolverines in Pegula by a combined score of 11-2 in early December.