Penn State Hockey’s Season Ends With 3-1 Loss To Ohio State

It was a great season, but it had to end eventually. Unfortunately, “eventually” came sooner than the Nittany Lions would have liked.

In the first round of the Big Ten Tournament, fourth-seeded Penn State drew No. 5 Ohio State after having been swept by the Buckeyes three weekends ago. The winner would move on to the conference semifinals while the loser’s season would end. As it did in the last two meetings, Ohio State won the game by two goals. Max Gardiner scored the Nittany Lions’ lone tally, while Schilkey, Dasilva, and Gust scored for the Buckeyes. Eamon McAdam was credited with the loss and Ohio State’s Christian Frey earned the win with an outstanding performance in net.

How It Happened

Penn State tallied the first five shots on goal, but couldn’t solve Frey. Ohio State’s first shot, from Schilkey, beat Eamon McAdam and gave the lower seed the lead. A few minutes later, Justin Dasilva blasted the puck from the high slot past McAdam to double the lead. The period came to a close with Penn State leading in shots but trailing 2-0 on the scoreboard.

The second period saw Penn State pick up the pace even more early, and Max Gardiner cut the lead in half on a slow-developing 2-on-1. The Roar Zone, watching at the HUB, liked what it saw.

From Gardiner’s goal onward, the period was all Ohio State. The Buckeyes outshot their opponents for the remainder of the frame and increased their lead when David Gust was sprung on a breakaway. He beat McAdam with ease and Ohio State took a 3-1 lead into the third period.

Despite it being Penn State’s best period of the game, the third period yielded no goals for the team. The Nittany Lions had the advantage in shots and time of possession, but Christian Frey made save after save to keep his team on top. The Nittany Lions rolled all four lines in an attempt to light the lamp, but it was fruitless and the game came to a close with the Buckeyes moving on to the next round.

Player of the Game

Christian Frey’s team played great in front of him, but his performance was the best of anyone on the ice. He turned away 31 of 32 shots (a .969 save percentage) and shutout Penn State in a furious third period.

Game Notes

  • After injuring his leg three weeks ago, it looked like senior forward Taylor Holstrom’s Penn State career was over. He was a game-time decision today and ended up centering the top line. Even though his team didn’t win, it was great that he got to see the ice one last time.
  • This senior class came to Penn State when Pegula Ice Arena was nothing but a promise and when winning consistently looked like something that’d happen only after they were gone. Still, they chose to go to school and play in Happy Valley and led this team to its first winning season. It was a shame that the season came to a close so soon, but it was a great year and the team surpassed all expectations.
  • Speaking of final years at Penn State – junior Casey Bailey may have been too good this season to stay. He’s one of the most-sought after NHL free agents, and it makes sense for him to move on to the professional league. Although he’d leave a hole in the lineup, it is still great for the program to say that it moved a player on to the NHL. But don’t just take my word for it – ask college hockey savant John Buccigross:

What’s Next?

Check back with us next week for our postseason coverage. Thanks for following along with us all year, and we’ll see you next season.

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About the Author

Doug Leeson

Doug is a sophomore and Onward State's Assistant Managing Editor. Dislikes: popcorn, Rutgers, and a low #TimberCount. Likes: "Frozen," Rec Hall, and you. Contact him via email at [email protected] or on Twitter @DougLeeson.

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