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Penn State Hockey’s Nikita Pavlychev Lands At No. 1 On SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays

Penn State men’s hockey center Nikita Pavlychev earned the top spot on SportsCenter’s top 10 plays of Saturday night.

Pavlychev scored a highlight reel goal late in the Nittany Lions’ 9-1 throttling of No. 5 Notre Dame at Pegula Ice Arena on Saturday. He took a bullet of a stretch pass from Aarne Talvitie, used his speed(!) to power past Fighting Irish defender Tory Dello, and made a gorgeous move to slide the puck past Dylan St. Cyr.

Pavlychev isn’t the first member of Guy Gadowsky’s team to appear on SportsCenter’s top 10 plays — Evan Barratt and Nate Sucese each checked in at No. 2 after scoring beautiful goals for the Nittany Lions, but neither can say they were No. 1.

Unlike the first two Penn State hockey appearances on SportsCenter’s top plays, there wasn’t a cheesy pun or mispronunciation of a name to ruin the big moment. John Buccigross — a college hockey #CawlidgeHawkey stan in every sense of the term — knows what he’s talking about when handling a college hockey highlight, so it’s no surprise that he aced the pronunciation of “Pavlychev.”

The Pittsburgh Penguins’ prospect has been a revelation for the Nittany Lions this season. He’s spent most of the year on a line with Aarne Talvitie and Sam Sternschein, and his 20 points rank fourth on the team behind the dynamic trio of Evan Barratt, Alex Limoges, and Liam Folkes. Pavlychev’s point totals don’t reflect how good he’s been in his own end of the ice this year — he and Talvitie make up one of the toughest, most physical duos to play against in all of college hockey.

Penn State has one more game before taking nearly a month off for its winter break. It will travel to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia to take on Princeton at 7:30 p.m. on December 15.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

Mikey is a junior majoring in journalism and Onward State's Sports Editor. He grew up in Bedminster, NJ and is way too obnoxious about all the best things his home state has to offer. He likes to play golf, but he isn't very good at it because golf is hard. If you're dying to see more hockey/golf content on your timeline, you can follow Mikey on Twitter @mikey_mandarino. Send all hate mail/death threats to [email protected]

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