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Penn State Men’s Hockey Falls To Wisconsin 4-3 In Big Ten Semifinal Overtime Loss

Penn State men’s hockey (10-12, 7-12 Big Ten) fell 4-3 to Wisconsin (20-9, 18-7-1 Big Ten) in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals Monday afternoon.

A true Penn State-Wisconsin contest, it was a close battle throughout. Neither team led by more than one goal throughout the three periods. Despite a strong effort from the Nittany Lions, Wisconsin’s Cole Caufield scored in overtime to give the Badgers the win and cut off the Nittany Lions’ postseason run.

How It Happened

The Nittany Lions and Badgers both came out strong, but cautiously, and back and forth play went throughout the start of the period.

Connor McMenamin went to the box for slashing at 6:53, and the Badgers went on their first power play of the afternoon. Penn State killed Wisconsin’s man-advantage with ease, successfully keeping the Badgers out of the Nittany Lions’ zone.

Midway through the first frame and the score remained 0-0, with shots 5-4 in favor of the blue and white.

Jimmy Dowd Jr. was called for interference at 12:18, and Wisconsin went on its second man-advantage of the first frame. Once again, the Nittany Lions killed the man-advantage with ease, and the score remained 0-0.

Both teams began to up their shot attempts as the period winded down, but none hit the back of the net.

Wisconsin got on the board with 65 seconds remaining in the period, with Sam Stange giving the Badgers a 1-0 lead due to a Nittany Lions’ turnover.

The second frame started off with some increased pressure from the Nittany Lions, with Aarne Talvitie taking a quick shot early in the period, but the score remained 1-0. Penn State was outshooting Wisconsin 7-0.

About halfway through the second period Wisconsin had some potential chances to up their lead, but the Nittany Lions kept the Badgers at bay.

At 9:21, Alex Limoges opened the scoring for the Nittany Lions to tie the game. The goal was Limoges 10th of the season, assisted by Dowd and Christian Sarlo.

The Nittany Lions continued to outshoot Wisconsin, but the score remained 1-1. Oskar Autio made some fantastic saves to keep it a tie game.

The third period began with a goal from Doherty, assisted by Limoges and Sarlo, 1:44 into the frame, giving the Nittany Lions a 2-1 lead. Moments later, Dylan Holloway was given a five-minute major for a check to the head on Sarlo. Holloway was further ejected for game misconduct.

The Nittany Lions five-minute man-advantage went without a goal, despite a few quality chances.

Midway through the final frame, Ty Emberson scored for Wisconsin and made it a 2-2 game.

Doherty, assisted by Limoges, responded to Emberson’s goal at 11:50, scoring his second of the game. With eight minutes remaining in the final frame, the Nittany Lions led 3-2. With his assist of Doherty’s goal, Limoges took the all-time lead with 17 points during the Big Ten Tournament in only 10 games.

At 6:10, Sternschien received a cross-check and roughing penalty, and Wisconsin was given a roughing penalty. Moments later, Caufield scored to make it a 3-3 game.

Ending the final frame tied 3-3, it wouldn’t be a Penn State vs. Wisconsin game without a little overtime.

After seven minutes of solid play from both sides, Caufield scored to give Wisconsin the 4-3 win.

Key Takeaways

  • Big players continued to step up during this game. The Limoges, Tim Doherty, Sarlo line continued to prove to be a force, with Limoges getting the Nittany Lions on the scoreboard in the second and Doherty giving them the lead early in the third. Sarlo, who assisted on Limoges goal, also played incredibly well throughout the game. The Nittany Lions appeared to have their skating legs back, and this line was no exception.
  • Autio’s goaltending was a large factor in the Nittany Lions’ successes. The goalie stopped some amazing shots, including a shot off of the mask from Caufield in the second frame. The Finland native was one of the main reasons the game was somewhat low scoring, as he was able to stop many of the Badgers high quality shots.
  • Last weekend the Nittany Lions lost steam as the contests went on. Paralleling Sunday’s game against Notre Dame, the Nittany Lions started out the game trailing the enemy, before coming back with energy. While this one didn’t end in its favor, Penn State battled with the Badgers to the very end.

What’s Next?

While Guy Gadowksy makes the argument that his team is worthy of a bid at the NCAA Tournament, it will likely be tough for the Nittany Lions to find a spot in the postseason. With that, Penn State’s season has most likely come to a close.

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About the Author

Acacia Aster Broder

Acacia is a junior from Philadelphia majoring in digital and print journalism with a sports certificate. Although she considers herself a Philadelphian at heart, she is a Toronto and Seattle sports fan. Follow her on Twitter @acaciaaster or Instagram @acaciaastr for hockey takes and mediocre analysis.

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