After nearly a month off for winter break, Penn State men’s hockey won game one of its home series against No. 15 Wisconsin 5-1 Friday night.
Guy Gadowsky’s No. 14 Nittany Lions shut out the Badgers in the first two periods of play at Pegula Ice Arena, cruising to an impressive Big Ten victory behind Nate Sucese’s first career hat trick.
How It Happened
Freshman center Evan Barratt scored the game’s first goal less than two minutes into the contest, unleashing a nifty wrist shot just over Wisconsin goalie Jack Berry’s right shoulder on a power play. With 11:00 left in the opening period, Sucese dialed up a breakaway goal to make it 2-0 Nittany Lions.
Just 11 seconds into the second period, alternate captain Chase Berger’s sixth goal of the season gave Penn State a 3-0 lead. Three minutes later, Sucese scored his second goal of the night to make it 4-0, prompting backup goaltender Kyle Hayton to come off the bench in relief of Berry.
Tarek Baker put Wisconsin on the board with 8:06 remaining in the third period, outsmarting Peyton Jones to cut Penn State’s lead to 4-1. Sucese completed the hat trick on an empty netter with 57 seconds to play. It was the sixth time a Nittany Lion accomplished the feat.
Likely no one was more excited to beat the Badgers than freshman defenseman Cole Hults, who’s the first player in the program’s Division I history to hail from Wisconsin (Stoughton to be exact). He finished with an assist in the victory.
Player Of The Game
Nate Sucese | Sophomore | Center
The Fairport, N.Y., native now has 10 goals on the season. All three of his shots went in Friday.
“When the hockey gods reward you with hat tricks, it’s not just for playing perimeter hockey,” Gadowsky said of Sucese. “I thought he really battled well and played a smart game. He did a lot of little things well.”
The Nittany Lions (12-7-2) return to Pegula Saturday at 7 p.m. for the series finale against Wisconsin (10-10-2), which will be televised on the Big Ten Network.