Penn State Completes Season Sweep of Wisconsin, Wins 4-1
For the first time in program history, the Penn State hockey team earned a season sweep of a conference opponent.
The Nittany Lions dominated in all aspects on Saturday, earning a convincing 4-1 win over a young Wisconsin team. While Wisconsin’s underclassmen looked lost at times, Penn State’s came through in the clutch, as the final two goals were scored by freshmen to put the game away for the home team.
How It Happened
Things didn’t start well for Penn State, as David Glen and Taylor Holstrom picked up two penalties right off the bat to give Wisconsin more than a minute of power play time. Luckily P.J. Musico, starting his third straight game in goal, stopped all four shots in highlight-reel fashion to keep the game scoreless.
“That was big,” said head coach Guy Gadowsky. “We could have been down, I thought we did really well.”
The shift in momentum after the penalty kill led to the first goal of the game, as Luke Juha picked up his first of the year to open the scoring. Juha received a perfect pass from Casey Bailey and slapped one over Wisconsin’s Joel Rumpel’s shoulder at 13:12 to make it 1-0 going into the first intermission.
Penn State would quickly make it 2-0 in the second period when Dylan Richard scored off an Eric Scheid assist just three minutes into the period to double the team’s lead, but Wisconsin had an answer. Adam Rockwood beat Musico glove side to cut the lead back to one, where it would remain into the second intermission.
It looked like Wisconsin had tied the game early in the third period when Adam Cavallini knocked one past Musico’s extended arm, but, after a lengthy review, the goal was waved off due to a clear high stick. All momentum that the Badgers had seemed to be overturned with it, thanks to a lengthy review that didn’t go their way.
“They’re trying to get back into the game, they may have a goal, and then you sit for four minutes… I get it,” said Gadowsky. “It happens to us all the time. I think the fact that it took away some of the momentum, since it was such a long time off, probably helped us.”
Just two minutes after the overturned goal, freshman James Robinson put one through Rumpel’s five-hole and gave the Nittany Lions a 3-1 lead, and freshman Erik Autio scored his first career goal with just over a minute left to provide the final 4-1 score.
Penn State finished with 43 shots on goal, compared to just 28 for Wisconsin. Both teams finished with seven penalties.
Player of the Game
Once again, we have to give it to P.J. Musico. He stopped 27 shots, which isn’t the highest number, but only allowed one goal and made some highlight-reel saves when his team needed him to. His timeliness, between the 5-on-3 in the opening minutes and the desperation shots late, really didn’t allow Wisconsin to get in any kind of rhythm offensively.
“Another big play in the game was PJ Musico, the power play they had late in the third, he made an unbelievable save,” Gadowsky said. “I can’t tell you how much better that felt on the bench. I thought that was in. He made a huge save, we killed the penalty, and we’re back to business.”
Quote of the Game
Guy Gadowsky, talking about James Robinson coming back from a sickness Friday to score a goal on Saturday: “Guys who work their butts off, that’s what happens… [leaning over to the Penn State media director] Wait, can I say ‘butts’?”
Penn State will head to East Lansing next weekend for a two-game set against the Michigan State Spartans.
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