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Penn State Men’s Hockey Forces Game Three Of Quarterfinals With 3-2 Win Over No. 12 Ohio State

Penn State men’s hockey (16-19-1, 6-17-1 Big Ten) beat Ohio State (22-12-2, 13-9-2 Big Ten) 3-2 to force game three of the Big Ten Quarterfinals.

After a game on Friday where Penn State outshot the Buckeyes but couldn’t find the back of the net, the Nittany Lions did not trail once in this game and kept a consistent pace, even when tied.

How It Happened

Penn State head coach Guy Gadowsky started sophomore Liam Souliere in net for the second consecutive night and fourth consecutive start, while Ohio State started freshmen Jakub Dobes between the pipes.

Opening play was slower than we’ve seen in other games this season, seeming less frantic than Penn State’s normal style of play.

Only 1:37 into the first period, the Nittany Lions went to their first power play after junior Mark Cheremeta pulled a minor penalty for high sticking. Penn State was ultimately unable to capitalize on the power play, a struggle also seen in Friday night’s game and throughout its season.

Only five minutes into play in the first period, Dobes had already made ten saves, while Souliere only had to make one.

After some back and forth play that saw the game remain scoreless, Penn State went back to the power play on an interference call on Ohio State senior Gustaf Westlund. However, Penn State’s power play troubles continued and the game remained scoreless with just under six minutes left to play.

With just 29.8 seconds left to play in the first period, Dylan Lugris put Penn State on the board to give his team a 1-0 lead. Junior Connor McMenamin picked up the primary assist and sophomore Christian Berger tallied the secondary.

The first period ended with Penn State leading 1-0 and outshooting the Buckeyes 19-8.

The second period was pretty uneventful. By halfway through the second, the score remained 1-0 and neither team drew any penalties, keeping the game at even strength. The Buckeyes did catch up to the Nittany Lions in shots, however, trailing Penn State 24-15 with half of the period gone.

While both teams had decent scoring chances, Ohio State had a particularly dangerous scoring chance with nine minutes to play in the second, which Souliere was able to stop with an impressive save.

With 7:47 left to play in the second, freshman Danny Dzhaniyev received a minor penalty for interference, sending the Buckeyes to their first power play of the game.

Despite being on the penalty kill, the Nittany Lions were able to get a good shorthanded scoring chance a few seconds into the Ohio State power play but were ultimately stopped by Dobes.

Shortly after Penn State’s shorthanded chance, Ohio was able to equalize the score with 6:05 left to play in the second with a goal from sophomore Michael Gildon. Travis Treloar and Will Riedell tallied assists on the play.

The Nittany Lions did not let the equalizer get them down, however. Their game remained collected and had some dominant offensive play.

With 2:48 left in the second period, junior Kevin Wall scored for Penn State off a series of passes from linemates freshmen Ryan Kirwan and Ben Schoen. Despite being reviewed for offsides, the goal was determined to be a good goal, putting the Nittany Lions up 2-1.

At 17:30 in the second period, the Nittany Lions went back on the penalty kill when junior Tyler Gratton received a minor penalty for charging. Despite some scoring chances for the Buckeyes, Penn State was able to kill the penalty and keep the lead.

The second period ended with the Nittany Lions leading 2-1 and outshooting the Buckeyes 31-23.

The first half of the third period also stayed pretty uneventful with both sides battling back and forth with some good scoring chances but not able to put the puck in the net.

However, at 9:33 in the third period, freshmen Cole McWard tied the game for Ohio State. Junior Kamil Sadlocha and senior Ryan O’Connell tallied assists on the play.

Tied at 2-2 with 4:52 left to play, Ohio State went to the power play after a minor penalty for hooking on freshmen Carson Dyck.

The Nittany Lions were able to successfully kill the penalty and mere seconds after the Buckeye power play ended, Kirwan was able to net the go-ahead goal with 2:41 left to play in the third period. The play was reviewed for goaltender interference but, again, was found to be a good goal for Penn State, now with a 3-2 lead.

Ohio State also triggered a review for a major penalty on the play, but it was ultimately decided that the goal was still good and there was no major penalty.

Dobes was pulled with 1:15 left to play to give the Buckeyes the man advantage and a final push to tie the game.

At the end of the third, Penn State won 3-2 and outshot the Buckeyes 46-35, with Liam Souliere making 33 saves in the game.

Takeaways

  • The Nittany Lions had some impressive defensive play tonight. Focusing on limiting scoring chances and preventing turnovers, both season-long problems for the team, was a huge benefit. Ultimately, this was one of the most consistent games Penn State has played this season. Even after letting Ohio State tie the game, the Nittany Lions stayed consistent and collected.
  • Penn State seemed to control the pace of this game. Instead of a scrambling or frantic pace, which is sometimes its go-to, the Nittany Lions were able to control play and keep it slow and collected. Despite being a low-scoring game, the skill was evident through slower play.
  • Penn State was able to keep its penalties low during this game, avoiding the penalty kill all but twice. Special teams can sometimes be a problem for this team, but despite not being able to capitalize on the power play tonight, the penalty kill was a strength. This should be something Penn State keeps in mind tomorrow as they try to avoid penalties as much as possible.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will take on the Buckeyes tomorrow in Columbus in the final game of the series to determine which team will move forward in the tournament. The puck will drop at 8:00 p.m., and the game will be available 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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