No. 15 Men’s Hockey Defeats Wisconsin 4-3 In Overtime Thriller
Although John Buccigross was a no-show, No. 15 Penn State hockey’s first game of the semester did not disappoint. The Nittany Lions persevered through a back-and-forth battle for a 4-3 overtime win over Wisconsin. Goals from Tommy Olczyk, Dylan Richard, Andrew Sturtz, and David Goodwin led Penn State to the in-conference win.
How It Happened
Both teams were starved for good chances early on, until David Goodwin chipped one off the post, failing to capitalize. Vince Pedrie headed to the penalty box for interference, and the Badgers struck first with a powerplay goal 12:23 into the first. A roughing call shortly after perpetuated the game’s early penalty-heavy nature, and both teams dropped a player for some 4-on-4 hockey. David Glen got called for interference, and Wisconsin got an unusual 4-on-3 edge for 23 seconds. Matt Skoff came up with a late save as the lone highlight of the period, and Penn State closed out the first with a 16-13 shot advantage, but down 1-0.
A loose puck caused a hectic start to the second, as both teams scrambled to secure it. It ended up in Wisconsin’s defensive zone, where a Nittany Lion fired off a good shot blocked by a great save. The pipes were on Penn State’s side this time, as a Badger shot rang off Skoff’s post. Alec Marsh endured a rough cheapshot that sent him to the bench and riled up the Roar Zone, “asshole” chants abound. Both teams enjoyed long possessions through the middle of the second, and the score remained unchanged until Olczyk sniped an equalizer with 6:35 to go. The Nittany Lions crept up on the shot advantage, dominating 39-16 with a minute to play in the period. The voluminous attempts paid off with 12.8 seconds remaining, when Richard stole the lead off a shorthanded goal, topping it off with a warranted time to eat celebration.
Penn State rode into the third with leftover momentum from its newfound 2-1 lead. At first, the Lions maintained control, swatting the puck out of their defensive zone a few times. When that failed, Skoff made a point-blank save to defend the lead. He couldn’t keep it up, and Wisconsin bested him, tying the game up at 2-2 with 14:49 left. Reminiscent of earlier days led by Casey Bailey, Penn State’s many shots were simply not transferring to goals. Sturtz refused that complacency and scored his 10th of the season for a 3-2 lead with 6:47 to play. A questionable-at-best call put Matt Mendelson in the box, and the penalty resulted in a Wisconsin goal, tying the teams up at 3 and sending them into sudden death overtime despite a flurry of late-period shots.
It didn’t take long for Goodwin to finalize the score at 4-3 with a five-hole snipe :44 seconds into overtime.
Player Of The Game
It’s hard to beat a sudden death overtime goal. In the post-game press conference, coach Guy Gadowsky said “I don’t think he played his best game, but he played good when it counted,” and in games like this, that’s what matters. Good win, Goodwin.
— Penn State Hockey (@PennStateMHKY) January 16, 2016
Penn State and Wisconsin head back to Pegula to finish off their series at 6 p.m. on Saturday.