No. 6 Penn State Hockey Makes 3-On-3 Overtime Debut, Earns Extra Point In Shootout After 3-3 Tie
No. 6 Penn State men’s hockey (10-2-1-1, 2-2-1-1 Big Ten) travelled to Wisconsin on Friday night for the first of a two-game conference series against the Badgers (5-7-2-1, 1-3-3-1 Big Ten).
Nikita Pavlychev, Liam Folkes, and Evan Barratt all scored goals for the Nittany Lions in what ended as a 3-3 tie in regulation. Two overtime periods were not enough to determine a winner either, as Penn State and Wisconsin had to go to shootouts to determine who would get the extra point in the Big Ten standings.
Ultimately, stout goaltending by Peyton Jones through six rounds of the shootout set the table for Alex Limoges’ shootout winner, which gave the Nittany Lions the edge over the Badgers in the draw.
How It Happened
Wisconsin drew first blood on its home ice; it took the Badgers 6:15 to open the scoring. Unfortunately for head coach Tony Granato, the home crowd didn’t get to enjoy the first period lead for very long.
Nikita Pavlychev got stuffed on a wraparound, but he collected his own rebound and buried it top-shelf to draw things even with 7:27 remaining in the period. The goal, which was Pavlychev’s eighth on the season, was assisted by Cole Hults and Paul DeNaples.
The first period ended tied, but it didn’t take long for that to change in the second. Evan Barratt led Liam Folkes on a breakway, and the junior winger beat the Wisconsin goaltender to give Penn State a 2-1 lead just 1:19 into the period.
Wisconsin waited until just after the halfway point to come alive in the second, notching an equalizer with 9:57 left on the clock. The Badgers then added another goal to go up 3-2 with 5:37 remaining in the period.
Evan Barratt took matters into his own hands with 1:17 left in the middle frame — he broke away from the defense and beat the Wisconsin goalie blocker side. The late goal was assisted by Alex Limoges and Kris Myllari, and it ensured a tie game entering the final 20 minutes.
A cross-checking penalty against Wisconsin in the final seconds of the second period gave Penn State 1:43 of a man-advantage to start the final 20 minutes. Unfortunately, the Nittany Lions couldn’t capitalize on their first power play opportunity of the night, and the remaining 18:17 of regulation flew by without a goal from either team.
Penn State and Wisconsin went to overtime knotted up at three, but the first five-minute overtime period wasn’t enough to determine a winner. Both teams earned a point towards their records for the tie, and they each got their first taste of the Big Ten’s new 3-on-3 second overtime format for an extra point.
Neither team could find the back of the net in the second overtime despite all the extra room on the ice, so a shootout was needed to determine a winner.
The goaltenders held their own in the first two rounds before Wisconsin’s Sean Dhooghe snuck one through Peyton Jones’ legs. With the game on the line, Liam Folkes beat the Badgers’ netminder with his sweet hands to send things to round four.
Both goalies came up with saves in the next two rounds. A huge stop by Jones in round 6 set Alex Limoges up to be the shootout hero. The sophomore showed patience in the clutch, letting the Wisconsin goaltender bite first and easily flipping it over his flailing blocker for the shootout winner. His goal secured the ever-important extra point in the Big Ten standings for Penn State.
- Nikita Pavlychev was the only Nittany Lion goal-scorer tonight who was not a member of the Limoges-Barratt-Folkes line. The starting forward line put its speed on display tonight, scoring on a pair of breakaways in the second period. Folkes and Limoges also demonstrated their clutch genes with crucial goals in the shootout.
- Peyton Jones was solid in regulation with 32 saves on 35 shots from the Badgers, and he really put the team on his back in the shootout. He’s taken command of the net after splitting the first few series of the season with Chris Funkey.
- The Nittany Lions kept firing pucks at the net with 82 shots, but only 40 were on target. Volume shooting has always been key to Guy Gadowsky’s offense, and tonight was no different despite the tie in regulation.
The Nittany Lions hope to get things done in regulation against the Badgers when they face off again in Kohl Center at 8 p.m. Saturday.
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