No. 6 Penn State Hockey Stays Perfect After Thrilling 6-5 Win Over Arizona State

No. 6 Penn State men’s hockey (6-0-0, 0-0-0 Big Ten) continued its best-ever start to a season by beating Arizona State 6-5 in a thriller at Pegula Ice Arena.

Alex Limoges scored two goals in the third period to make the difference for Penn State, which remains unbeaten against the Sun Devils in the two programs’ short histories. Evan Barratt, Liam Folkes, Nikita Pavlychev, and Chase Berger also scored goals for the Nittany Lions.

Senior goalie Chris Funkey made 26 saves in the victory.

How It Happened

A back-and-forth affair at Pegula Ice Arena got off to a very quick start. Evan Barratt put Penn State ahead less than five minutes into the game. It appeared that the Nittany Lions were going to grab a strangle hold on the game in the early minutes.

Penn State was buzzing, causing all types of chaos in front of Arizona State goalie Joey Daccord’s net. The Sun Devils finally had a spell of consistent pressure in the Nittany Lions’ defensive zone at the 12-minute mark of the first period.

Despite its territorial dominance, Penn State was unable to extend its lead. Arizona State’s Tyler Busch eventually evened up the score just past the 9-minute mark.

Then, a really weird string of events played out. Aarne Talvitie was closed off on the wall in the offensive zone… by a referee. The turnover led to a Sun Devil rush up ice that ultimately led to a goal. Despite the incredible misfortune, the Nittany Lions responded just 30 seconds later via captain Chase Berger.

The second period got off to a bad start for Penn State. Arizona State’s Dylan Hollman scored just over two minutes into the period to put the Sun Devils back into the lead, and then Nikita Pavlychev took a hooking minor seven seconds later.

The Nittany Lions were able to kill off the penalty, but Arizona State had already grabbed the momentum and began to really put Chris Funkey under pressure.

Guy Gadowsky’s team was able to steady itself after a few minutes and equalized once again through a goal from Nate Sucese. Brandon Biro slid a cross ice pass right under the outstretched stick of a Sun Devil defender, and Sucese just had to elevate the puck over a sprawling Daccord to tie the game.

However, Hollman tallied his second goalĀ just before the end of the second to put Arizona State ahead once again entering the final 20 minutes of play.

Penn State really started taking it to the Sun Devils to start the third. The increased pressure resulted in three goals in roughly four minutes, the first from Pavlychev and then two more from Alex Limoges. All three goals came off of scrambles for the puck no more than three feet away from Daccord’s goal.

Arizona State’s Johnny Walker made things a little bit uncomfortable for Penn State, halving the Nittany Lion lead with 1:35 left to play. But once again Penn State was able to steady itself and see out a very topsy-turvy victory.

Player Of The Game

Alex Limoges | Sophomore | Wing

With the game tied at four in the third period, Limoges answered the bell for Penn State. Neither goal was highlight-reel material, but the sophomore was in the right place at the right time and was quicker to react than the Sun Devil defense.

Limoges’ entire line with Evan Barratt and Liam Folkes was dominant once again. The trio combined for three goals and four assists against the Sun Devils as it continued to dominate opposing defenses.

What’s Next

Penn State will square off against the Sun Devils again at 8 p.m. tomorrow back at Pegula Ice Arena.

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About the Author

Matthew Fox

Matt is a Senior from Lansdale Pennsylvania majoring in Broadcast Journalism. He loves sports, and is still patiently waiting for the Philadelphia Flyers to win a Stanley Cup. If you would ever like to reach out to Matt you can email him at [email protected].

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