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Penn State Hockey Moves Up Six Spots To No. 6 In USCHO Poll

Penn State hockey jumped up six (!!) spots to No. 6 in this week’s USCHO top 20 poll following its sweep of Wisconsin last weekend.

The Nittany Lions dominated the Badgers, who fell five spots to No. 12, 6-1 on Thursday night before completing the sweep with a 4-2 victory on Friday evening at Pegula Ice Arena. Wisconsin’s potent group of forwards includes top-15 NHL Draft picks Alex Turcotte and Cole Caufield and projected top-10 pick Dylan Holloway, but they were kept at bay throughout the weekend.

Peyton Jones stopped 63 of Wisconsin’s 66 shots as part of a phenomenal weekend performance in goal, and the forward line of Aarne Talvitie, Nikita Pavlychev, and Sam Sternschein were crucial in stopping the Badgers’ high-flying offense. The trio also combined for four goals and eight assists over the course of the weekend — including Sternschein’s game-winning goal midway through the third period of Friday’s game.

Additionally, Nate Sucese tied Andrew Sturtz’s program record for goals with a 175-foot empty net goal on Friday night. The senior is Penn State’s top scorer with 13 points through seven games played in 2019-20. On a more sour note, Denis Smirnov was injured by a dirty hit from Wisconsin’s Roman Ahcan on Thursday and didn’t play in the second game of the series.

No. 6 Penn State (6-1-0, 2-0-0 Big Ten) will close out a nine-game homestand when it hosts Michigan State (2-4-0, 0-0-0 Big Ten) this weekend. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m. Friday and 6 p.m. Saturday at Pegula Ice Arena.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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