Penn State Hockey Upsets No. 18 Wisconsin
Penn State men’s hockey ended its first division one season on a high note last night, taking down No. 18 Wisconsin 3-2 on the road in overtime, the first victory over a ranked team in program history.
In a way, the game was symbolic of Penn State’s first season — full of highs and lows but a general enthusiasm that comes with something so historic. Penn State was dominated by Wisconsin 5-0 the night before, and found itself trailing 2-0 in the third period last night.
Taylor Holstrom put Penn State on the board 6:48 in to the period with an unassisted goal. Casey Bailey followed up less than 6 minutes later with a goal of his own on the powerplay to tie Wisconsin and put Penn State in striking distance of its first win over ranked opponent.
Wisconsin would get several good opportunities at the end of regulation, but Penn State’s Matthew Skoff continued his stellar goaltending performance, which amounted to a career high 42 stops on the night.
With only 34 seconds to go in overtime, Holstrom came up big again, sending the puck to the back of the net off a rebound from a shot attempt by Max Gardiner, notching Penn State hockey’s first win over a ranked opponent ever, capping off a solid inaugural season that Guy Gadowski and his team should be proud of.
Although Penn State finished only 13-14-0, wins against three future Big Ten rivals — Ohio State, Michigan State, and Wisconsin — give the program a reason to be optimistic for the future in the new facility across the street. The puck will drop for the first time in Pegula Ice Arena on October 11 against Army in what is sure to be a historic night for Penn State athletics.