No. 13 Penn State men’s hockey (13-8-3, 6-5-3) finished off the weekend series with No. 6 Ohio State (15-5-4, 8-5-1) on Saturday night.
The Nittany Lions did not look up to it on Saturday night – especially after Andrew Sturtz was ejected – as Ohio State controlled all aspects of the game. The score is perhaps not totally representative of the entirety of the game, however, as the Buckeyes were able to score two empty-net goals.
How It Happened
James Robinson set the tone before the game even started: while waiting for the puck to drop, Jimmy Pucks started to get into it a bit with Tanner Laczynski, giving him some jabs with the stick that the refs had to break up.
Ohio State would strike first 5:08 into the game, as Freddy Gerard made his way toward Jones in goal who forced the shot wide, but Laczynski was the first man there. The talented forward made no mistake about the chance, slotting it away to give the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead early on.
The Nittany Lions put on immense pressure with about 9 minutes remaining in the opening period, as a handful of near-goals almost even it up for Penn State. With 7:07 to play in the period, Guy Gadowksy’s group finally broke through. Nikita Pavlychev found his way on the end of a pass from Blake Gober and found the back of the net with an impressive spinning shot.
Andrew Sturtz was ejected with 6:17 remaining in the period after putting a big hit on Ohio State’s Janik Moser. The Nittany Lions had to skate a man down for 5 minutes after Sturtz’ penalty for kneeing. Ohio State struck with 2:54 remaining on the power play as Freddy Gerard netted his sixth goal of the season. The Buckeyes would take their 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
The opening 5 minutes of the second period were fairly uneventful, although Ohio State looked strong out of the gates. Trevor Hamilton was penalized for high-sticking 5:21 into the period, giving the Buckeyes an opportunity on the power play. Dakota Joshua made it count with 12:57 to play in the period to make it 3-1 in favor of Ohio State. The junior from Michigan clearly took great delight in scoring, celebrating by blowing a kiss toward the Roar Zone.
With 6:01 to play in the second period, James Robinson was left alone on the break and was interfered with on his way to goal, leading to a penalty shot. Robinson, however, was unable to convert on the opportunity. Ohio State took its 3-1 lead into the final intermission.
Ohio State started off the period on the power play after an unsportsmanlike conduct on Penn State. Penn State was able to kill off the power play, and was awarded a penalty with 8:10 into play after an Ohio State crosschecking penalty. The Nittany Lions, despite looking strong in attack, couldn’t bring the game within a goal.
Guy Gadowsky pulled Peyton Jones late, and Freddy Gerard was able to score his second goal of the night. Ohio State tacked on a last-second goal, which is surely going to add heat to this rivalry.
Player of the Game
Freddy Gerard | Junior | Forward
Gerard opened up the scoring early on with an assist to give Ohio State some confidence after its 5-2 loss on Saturday. Gerard also added of goal of his own, allowing the Buckeyes to pull away, before scoring an empty netter with just seconds remaining.
The Nittany Lions will travel to the famous Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor for a two-game series against Michigan. The first of the two games will take place on Friday, January 19 at 8 p.m. and will be televised on BTN.