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Penn State Men’s Hockey Snaps Four-Game Losing Streak In 4-1 Win Over Wisconsin

Penn State men’s hockey (13-12-0, 4-11-0 Big Ten) fended off Wisconsin (8-14-3, 5-9-1 Big Ten) to win by a score of 4-1 on Friday night to snap a four-game losing streak.

Connor McMenamin finally broke through by tallying two goals along with Ryan Kirwan to drive the Nittany Lions to victory.

How It Happened

Head coach Guy Gadowsky opted to start sophomore backup goalie Liam Souliere in net, while the Badgers went with junior Jared Moe between the pipes.

The first period started with a good amount of back-and-forth play, as both teams battled for possession. Each team had some great scoring chances by five minutes into the period but were unable to put anything in the back of the net.

The Nittany Lions went to their first power play of the game at 11:14 in the game when Wisconsin was called for too many men on the ice. Only 16 seconds into the power play, Penn State went to 5-on-3 with a tripping penalty by Wisconsin’s Tarek Baker. The Nittany Lions capitalized with a goal from freshman Ryan Kirwan to go up 1-0 with 9:58 to play in the period.

After some frequent stoppage, junior Connor McMenamin put the Nittany Lions up 2-0 with 4:29 left to play in the first period, with assists from Christian Sarlo and Connor MacEachern.

With 2:21 left to play in the period, the Nittany Lions went on the penalty kill after a clipping penalty by Carson Dyck. Despite some good scoring opportunities for Wisconsin, Penn State was able to hold down the fort and kill the penalty.

At the end of the period, Penn State outshot Wisconsin 16-7 and led 2-0.

The second period, despite not boasting many goals, also saw some great scoring chances from both teams. Souliere had one particularly impressive sequence of saves on multiple Wisconsin chances, while Penn State struggled to clear the zone.

With 10:52 left to play in the second, Connor McMenamin scored to extend the Nittany Lions’ lead to 3-0. Dylan Lugris also picked up an assist on McMenamin’s second goal of the night.

Penn State struck again with 2:53 left to play in the second when Ryan Kirwan scored his second of the night, assisted by junior Kevin Wall and senior Ben Copeland, putting the Nittany Lions up 4-0.

The second period ended with Penn State continuing to outshoot Wisconsin 36 to 24 and leading 4-0.

With 16:57 left to play in the third, the Nittany Lions went on the power play again when Wisconsin’s Corson Ceulemans was called for kneeing on Penn State sophomore Tyler Paquette. Paquette left the ice in some noticeable discomfort after a slow recovery from the hit but stayed on the bench and eventually returned to play.

Before the Wisconsin penalty ended, however, Penn State sophomore Chase McLane was assessed a minor penalty for tripping with 15:06 left in the period, making for 10 seconds of 4-on-4 before Wisconsin went to the power play. Wisconsin quickly capitalized on the power play with Corson Ceulemans cutting Penn State’s lead to 4-1 with 14:47 left to play.

As play continued, the fight for possession continues after Wisconsin was invigorated by the Ceulemans goal. As play got gritty, Penn State sophomore Jimmy Dowd Jr. took a tripping penalty with 10:50 left to play and sent Wisconsin to the power play again.

Wisconsin was unable to capitalize on the power play, but not long after Dowd’s penalty expired, Connor MacEachern was called for another tripping penalty with 8:23 left in the third and sent the Badgers back to the power play.

Despite nearly four full minutes of the man advantage, Wisconsin couldn’t find the back of the net and the Nittany Lions held their lead.

The rest of the game was relatively uneventful, save for one sequence where Penn State had some good scoring opportunities, but Wisconsin goaltender Jared Moe was able to hold the Nittany Lion’s lead to 4-1, ending the game with the shots 47 to 41 in favor of Penn State.

Takeaways

  • Liam Souliere was a strong player in the Penn State gameplay tonight. Souliere made 41 saves in the game and held the Nittany Lions’ lead whenever the blue line got sloppy. As far as backup goalies go, Penn State’s backup is certainly capable.
  • Despite Wisconsin’s inability to capitalize on all but one power play, Penn State shouldn’t feel comfortable giving the Badgers as many power plays tomorrow as they did tonight. Souliere certainly faced some good scoring opportunities during the penalty kill, so the Nittany Lions should try and clean up that aspect of their game and keep Wisconsin off the power play as much as possible tomorrow.
  • Whenever the Nittany Lions found themselves in the defensive zone, they played as a unit. The offensive lines did a great job blocking shots in the defensive zone. Overall, Penn State’s defensive game looked better tonight regarding its forwards.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will close out their series with Wisconsin in a game tomorrow, January 22, at 6 p.m. The game will be available to watch on BTN+.

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About the Author

Caitlin Burns

Caitlin is a senior majoring in English. She watches Dance Moms from the beginning three times a year and thinks she's a barista because she can make one drink from Starbucks. She can usually be found taking a nap or being unreasonably angry at small inconveniences. You can contact her at [email protected]

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