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Top Moments From Penn State Men’s Hockey’s 2020-21 Season

Penn State’s men’s hockey’s season has come to a close after not making the cut for the NCAA Tournament.

Now that the Nittany Lions’ rollercoaster season is over, it’s time to reflect on this interesting year for Penn State. Guy Gadowsky’s crew finished the season with a 10-12 record and has plenty to remember from an unusual season.

With that, here are our picks for the best moments of the Nittany Lions’ season:

First Win Of The Season Over No. 7 Michigan

The Nittany Lions had their backs against the wall after losing their first five games of the season and falling out of the USCHO rankings. After starting with two series on the road, Penn State returned home to face Michigan at Pegula Ice Arena, only to eventually lose 3-1.

The team was in desperate need of a spark after no productivity on either side of the puck over its five-game losing streak. Luckily, the Nittany Lions turned its season around in its second battle against Michigan.

After the Wolverines scored three unanswered goals and took a 3-2 lead in the game, the Nittany Lions exploded in the second period with four unanswered goals en route to a 9-5 win over the Wolverines, the team’s first win of the season. This marked the start of Penn State’s four-game winning streak.,

Connor McMenamin’s Overtime Goal Against Arizona State

After beating the Sun Devils in overtime and improving to 2-5 on the season, the Nittany Lions needed to keep the momentum going to make up for its poor start.

With three goals scored by the Sun Devils in the first five minutes, Penn State had a less than ideal start to the game. The Nittany Lions eventually narrowed the deficit to 4-2 and scored two unanswered goals in the second period to tie the game.

Freshman goalie Liam Souliere stood on his head in the third period and kept the Nittany Lions in the game. Once overtime began, Connor McMenamin scored from almost the exact spot that fellow sophomore forward Connor MacEachern scored from in the previous game’s overtime win.

The win improved Penn State’s record to 3-5 and gave the team much-needed momentum heading into its winter break.

Oskar Autio’s Third Career Shutout On The Road Against Michigan State

After pausing for three weeks for winter break, the Nittany Lions finally began Phase II of its 2020-21 season schedule in January against Michigan State.

There were a lot of questions heading into the game about whether or not the team can sustain its momentum from the end of Phase I. The Nittany Lions quickly proved they could with their best defensive performance of the season.

Sam Sternschein scored the only goal of the game, but Oskar Autio was the difference in the team’s 1-0 win over the Spartans. Autio made 23 saves in the game, including 13 in the first period.

Alex Limoges’ Overtime Goal Against Notre Dame

After being outplayed by Notre Dame for most of the game, Penn State’s Clayton Phillips tied the game at one in the third period in the team’s last win before its 34-day COVID-19-related pause.

Penn State captain Alex Limoges, who displayed his leadership on and off the ice multiple times for the Nittany Lions, then took it upon himself to seal the win for Penn State:

This was Limoges’ second overtime goal of the season after scoring in the extra period against Michigan State just three weeks prior. The captain’s goal gave Penn State its ninth win of the season and improved the team’s record to 9-8 at the time.

Resurgence Over Notre Dame In Big Ten Tournament

Penn State was far from being favored to win the first game of the Big Ten Tournament against Notre Dame. The Nittany Lions had gone 1-3 against the Fighting Irish this season, including a Notre Dame sweep the weekend before.

There was a lot of uncertainty about how Penn State would come out after losing its first two games following its 34-day break between games due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the program. After going down 2-0 three minutes into the game, it seemed like the game was getting out of reach for the Nittany Lions. Luckily, the opposite was true.

After a disallowed goal by Alex Limoges, the Nittany Lions responded with a goal late in the first period by Christian Sarlo. Connor McMenamin then took control in the second period with two goals to give Penn State a 3-2 lead.

From that point on, the Nittany Lions played an almost flawless game of hockey. Penn State went on to win the game 6-3 and prove that it wasn’t feeling the effects of the shutdown anymore. Unfortunately, the Nittany Lions went on to lose to Wisconsin in overtime in the semifinals of the tournament, capping off a near-magical run.

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About the Author

Frankie Marzano

Frankie is a senior accounting and economics major from Long Island, NY. You can probably recognize him as the typical Italian-American with slicked back black hair. He is an avid fan of the New York Rangers and Mets, along with every Penn State Athletics team. Follow him on Twitter @frankiemarzano for obnoxious amounts of Rangers and Penn State content or email him at [email protected].

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