Penn State Hockey’s Nate Sucese Lands At No. 2 On SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays
No. 5 Penn State men’s hockey picked up a huge victory over No. 16 Michigan on Saturday night in the second game of its first in-conference series, and junior forward Nate Sucese earned a cameo on SportsCenter’s top 10 plays of Saturday night for good measure.
Sucese pulled off a gorgeous toe-drag move through the legs of Wolverine defenseman Joseph Cecconi and buried the ensuing backhand shot in the third period of the Nittany Lions’ overtime victory. His effort was good enough to land the No. 2 spot on the nightly top 10 list.
The Fairport, NY native matched fellow forward Evan Barratt’s spot on the top 10 list that he earned two weeks ago. Sucese became the first Nittany Lion to have his last name pronounced correctly on ESPN this season — even if it was followed up by that brutal “Sucese is successful” pun.
Sucese’s sixth goal of the year is obviously a beauty on its own, but the context surrounding the play makes it even more impressive. The goal extended Penn State’s lead to 5-3 early in the third period, and he pulled that move off on one of Michigan’s top defensemen. Joseph Cecconi has spent most of this season on the Wolverines’ top defensive pair along with Quinn Hughes, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, but Sucese managed to make him look like a pylon.
The junior has shifted out to the wing this season after spending most of his freshman and sophomore seasons playing center. It’s apparently working — Sucese has 13 points in 11 games, but Guy Gadowsky shuffled his line combination a bit this weekend. Ludvig Larsson centered a line with Sucese and Brandon Biro for most of the year, but Chase Berger filled in the graduate transfer’s spot this weekend.
Penn State will be back in action on Friday night with an away series against No. 6 Ohio State. The puck will drop at 5 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday in Columbus.
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