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Limoges, Folkes Dynamic Duo Carries Penn State Hockey To Big Ten Semifinal

Penn State men’s hockey needed a heroic performance to get past Wisconsin in the quarterfinal round of the Big Ten tournament. It got exactly that from two of the brightest stars on the team.

Alex Limoges and Liam Folkes put together a monster weekend in every sense of the word, and their contributions pushed Penn State to a 4-3 overtime victory in the decisive third game of the quarterfinal. When all was said and done, Limoges pushed his point total on the season to 48 with five goals and two assists over the weekend, while Folkes’ three goals and nine points led to his NCAA second star of the weekaccolade.

Both players have more than 40 points this season, so it’s safe to say they’re familiar names on the scoresheet. The Penn State fans in attendance at Pegula Ice Arena got to see another familiar sight on Sunday: Liam Folkes ending the Badgers’ season.

Instead of burying Wisconsin on a breakaway at Joe Louis Arena, Folkes ended the quarterfinal round by blasting a one-timer past the goalie to send Penn State to the next round against Ohio State.

“Thank God for Liam Folkes,” Limoges said. “He’s a hell of a player; I love that guy. The [Wisconsin defenseman] turned it over to me. I just heard Folkes calling for it, I looked up, and it was like a spotlight. I just saw him — everything else was black. I was so happy.”

The sophomore found a wide-open Folkes right between the circles, and he did the rest. Another iconic, clutch moment in Penn State hockey history was created as soon as the puck hit the back of the net to cap off one of the most memorable nights of Pegula Ice Arena’s short existence.

Beyond the overtime winner, there are plenty of similarities between Sunday’s game and Folkes’ first overtime game-winner against Wisconsin, which came in the 2017 Big Ten championship game. On top of ending the game, Folkes also opened the scoring in both elimination contests against the Badgers. These similarities don’t mean Folkes’ heroics are any kind of coincidence.

Folkes and Limoges celebrate the junior’s goal against Michigan State on January 11.

“[Being clutch] is a mental aspect, but I do know that, as a group, they have a lot of synergy together,” head coach Guy Gadowsky said of his top line. “They can play fast because they don’t really have to look — I think they really feel or know where each other is.”

Folkes and Limoges’ impressive weekend is made even more impressive by the fact that their usual centerman was missing in the second game. Evan Barratt was suspended for the game, but each player still scored three points — Limoges posted two goals and an assist, while Folkes scored once and added two helpers as Adam Pilewicz filled in for Barratt.

With their huge performances, Limoges and Folkes are now two of the top five point scorers in the Big Ten hockey tournament’s admittedly short history. The junior is the competition’s all-time leading scorer with seven goals and eight assists in nine appearances, while Limoges is fourth with five goals and 10 points in just six postseason games.

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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. Mikey loves to play golf, but he sucks 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, and your vote for the best chicken parm in State College to [email protected]

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