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No. 6 Penn State Hockey Falls 4-3 To Ohio State

No. 6 Penn State hockey (10-3-0, 6-2-0 Big Ten) lost a nail-biter to No. 11 Ohio State (7-4-1, 3-3-0 Big Ten) in a close, even-fought battle after Ohio State was able to achieve the upper hand in the third and Penn State was unable to respond.

Penn State’s last home game of the 2019 calendar year did not go as planned, as they failed to complete the home sweep of Ohio State — which would have been their first sweep of the Buckeyes in program history.

Liam Folkes, Evan Barratt, and Brandon Biro each had a goal for the Nittany Lions, while Alex Limoges contributed with two assists.

How It Happened

Both teams started out slow on the offensive front, with the first half of the first period dominated by a steady back and forth of defensive turnovers.

The BFL line dominated the ice directly after a penalty kill for a hooking call on Kevin Wall, resulting in multiple scoring chances that couldn’t find the back of the net.

However, their next shift resulted in success. With 9:06 remaining, Alex Limoges managed to steal the puck from Ohio State defenseman CJ Regula behind the Buckeye net and flung the puck to a waiting Liam Folkes, who blasted it by goalie Tommy Nappier from point-blank range for his fifth goal of the year.

Peyton Jones put on an impressive display of goaltending throughout the first, including an absolutely heroic stop of Ohio State offensive attack that was seemingly never going to end until a scrum involving Brandon Biro and Buckeye Quinn Preston resulted in dual penalties and a minute-and-a-half of four-on-four action to end the period.

However, with 34 seconds remaining in the penalty, Buckeye center Tanner Laczynzki managed to dizzy up Denis Smirnov with some impressive dekes and put one past Jones to end the first period in a tie.

Breaking the tie didn’t last long. Less than three minutes into the second period, an errant Evan Bell shot found Evan Barratt on the redirect off the boards in front of the net, who then tapped it in as he was getting dragged to the ice by a Buckeye defenseman to make it 2-1.

A few minutes later, Ohio State responded with two quick goals: first, a power play goal due to an Evan Bell tripping penalty, and then two minutes later, a scorching wrister from Buckeye defenseman Gordi Meyer to take the lead 3-2.

Penn State responded with a power play goal of its own with five minutes remaining, with a Denis Smirnov one-timer directly after the opening face off of the power play that was slightly deflected by Biro passed Nappier to tie the game 3-3.

The third period began with an interesting change for Ohio State, as Buckeye goaltender and last year’s Big Ten goaltender of the year Tommy Nappier was taken out during the second intermission due to injury. Since the Buckeye’s regular backup goalie Evan Moyse didn’t travel with the team, Nappier was replaced by freshman Ryan Snowden, making his first Big Ten hockey appearance of his career.

Because of this, the Buckeyes entered the period with a seemingly newfound intensity on both defense and offense, not allowing many Penn State scoring chances and peppering Peyton Jones with shots throughout the first half of the third.

The Buckeyes finally capitalized on their third-period momentum with 6:56 left when a Penn State turnover led to a Buckeye two-on-two in which Tanner Laczynski kicked the puck to Gustaf Westlund who then went top shelf on Jones to take the lead 4-3.

Jones vacated the net with three minutes left to give Penn State the six-on-five advantage as a last-ditch effort to tie the game and achieve the program’s first-ever sweep of Ohio State.

Sadly, Penn State could not muster a last-minute game-tying goal, as netminder Snowden managed to stand on his head and stop all the shots that came his way as time expired.

Takeaways

  • Aarne Talivitie and Nikita Pavlychev were surely missed tonight, both on the penalty kill and on the offensive front. Ohio State was one for three on the power play and also scored during four-on-four action in the first. We can’t do anything but wonder how differently these special teams scenarios would have played out if Aarne and Pav were dressed.
  • The majority of Ohio State’s games this season, including yesterday’s game in Penn State, have been decided by one goal, highlighting the Buckeyes’ ability to stick with just about any team, win or lose. Tonight was no different, but this time, Penn State was on the wrong side of history.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will be travel to North Andover, Massachusetts next Friday, November 29 to take on Merrimack College. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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About the Author

Matthew Ogden

Matthew Ogden is a senior double majoring in Marketing and Journalism. He resides in South Jersey and is the cohost of Onward State's podcast, Podward State, and the blog's preeminent expert on Kanye West. Email him your favorite Spotify playlists to [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @MattOgden98.

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