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Penn State Men’s Hockey Upsets No. 12 Ohio State, Moves On To Big Ten Semifinals With 2-1 Win

Penn State men’s hockey beat No. 12 Ohio State in the Big Ten quarterfinals 2-1, taking the series 2-1. The Nittany Lions will move on to play No. 2 Minnesota in the semifinals.

A late goal from Dylan Lugris put the Nittany Lions ahead with under seven minutes to go in the third period. Penn State also made history by being the first road team to win the Big Ten quarterfinal round.

How It Happened

Head coach Guy Gudowsky opted to start sophomore goaltender Liam Souliere for the third consecutive night and fifth consecutive game. Ohio State also kept its starting goaltender consistent by starting freshman Jakub Dobes in net.

Just 3:20 into the first period, Penn State had a huge opportunity with its first power play of the game. The Nittany Lions generated a few strong chances and were able to test Jakob Dobes early, but the Buckeyes were able to kill the power play.

Ohio State’s first chance came on a breakaway for Eric Cooley, but Liam Souliere was able to make a huge stop.

Near the midway point of the first period, the Buckeyes started to get their offense rolling with a few quick chances. The Nittany Lions defended well and kept the game scoreless.

At 12:19 of the first period, both teams received matching minor penalties. Penn State found a few shots on net but none that appeared to be too threatening.

Kevin Wall created a turnover deep in Ohio State’s zone but was denied on the breakaway opportunity. This was the best chance that the Nittany Lions had in the first period.

The first period ended with both teams still scoreless. A combined 12 shots was an accurate representation of the minimal offense up to this point. Penn State was leading in the shot category, but neither team was able to find the back of the net.

Period two started the same way period one ended. There wasn’t much offense. Both teams found a couple shots on goal, but for the most part, both teams defended well and prevented scoring opportunities.

Kevin Wall skated into the offensive zone with a 2-on-0 opportunity, but Ohio State’s freshman goaltender was able to make an unbelievable stop to keep the game scoreless. This was a huge chance for Penn State to break into the score sheet.

Jakob Dubos was not the only goaltender making big stops. At the midway point of the game, he had made just nine saves, but a few of them had been huge.

Ryan Kirwan then put the Nittany Lions on the board first with a one-time shot at 13:30 of the second period. Freshman Ben Schoen was able to find Kirwan standing alone on the other side of the offensive zone, before he found the back of the net.

With just over a minute left in the period, Jake Wise made a flashy pass that made it through three Nittany Lions. Tate Singleton finished off the highlight-play to even the game at one.

Penn State won the shot battle again in period two, leading 13-8. In total, the Nittany Lions had 21 shots on goal, compared to Ohio State’s 12.

Dylan Lugris took a penalty for the Nittany Lions just 44 seconds into the third period. Fortunately, Penn State was able to kill the penalty and keep the game tied.

Penn State then had a huge opportunity on its second power play of the game at 5:24 of the final period.

Penn State rung a shot off the post which was put back on frame by Lugris, but Dobes made another great save.

With 13 seconds left on the power play, Ben Copeland took a penalty for the Nittany Lions to bail Ohio State out and give the Buckeyes the man advantage. Luckily, Souliere stayed strong to kill off the power play.

Ohio State was called for elbowing at 9:47 of the third period. Although Penn State generated a few good chances, Ohio State kept them scoreless again. Penn State was 0-for-7 on the power play in the series.

Dylan Lugris then found the top corner at 13:07 of the final period to put the Nittany Lions up 2-1. He also scored a goal in last night’s win.

With two minutes remaining, Ohio State pulled its goalie to add an extra attacker in a final push to tie the game up.

The Nittany Lions were throwing their bodies in front of the puck and were able to block multiple shots.

Ultimately, Penn State defended well against the extra attacker and was able to close out the win.

Takeaways

  • Penn State showed fierce determination to win back-to-back games on the road in the postseason. This is a huge showing for the Nittany Lions after what seemed to be a less than promising regular season.
  • Penn State’s lower lines showed up and made a difference. Having depth is a major reason that Penn State was able to win the series.
  • Liam Souliere was huge again tonight. Goaltending has been huge for Penn State this season. The sophomore recorded 23 saves tonight on 24 shots on goal. After three consecutive starts, he will be expected to remain in between the pipes in the Big Ten semi-final.

What’s Next?

Penn State will head to Minneappolis to take on Big Ten regular-season champions Minnesota in the semifinals of the tournament on Saturday, March 12. Puck drop is slated for 9 p.m. ET, and the game can be viewed on the Big Ten Network.

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About the Author

Theo Koch

Theo is a freshman at Penn State majoring in marketing. He is from Colorado Springs, Colorado. Both of his parents attended Penn State, so he was born into this. He enjoys watching all sports, outdoor activities, and spending time with family and friends. Feel free to reach out to [email protected] with any comments, questions, or concerns.

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