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No. 9 Penn State Men’s Hockey Picks Up Much-Needed 4-3 Win Over No. 7 Ohio State

No. 9 Penn State men’s hockey (19-9-1, 9-9-1 Big Ten) beat No. 7 Ohio State (16-10-1, 9-8 Big Ten) 4-3 to end its two-game losing streak.

Connor MacEachern and Kevin Wall scored two goals each for the Nittany Lions to go along with a 32-save performance for freshman Noah Grannan in just his fifth start to lead Penn State to a big series-opening win.

How It Happened

In what was somewhat of a surprise move, head coach Guy Gadowsky elected to start freshman Noah Grannan in favor of usual starter Liam Souliere after his struggles in the team’s most recent series in Ann Arbor. Sophomore goaltender Jakub Dobeš got the start for the Buckeyes.

After a very fast-paced and uneventful first four-plus minutes, veteran forward Kevin Wall beat Dobeš on the odd-man rush for his 13th goal of the season to give Penn State the early 1-0 lead.

Just under four minutes following Penn State’s goal, the Nittany Lions were given the game’s first power play as Mason Lohrei was sent to the box for two minutes for slashing. Penn State failed to double its lead on the man advantage as the Buckeyes killed the penalty.

Another breakdown in the defensive zone by the Buckeyes allowed the Nittany Lions to take advantage and find the back of the net. Forward Connor MacEachern took a beautiful feed from Tyler Gratton right in front of the net and fired it past Dobeš for his 10th goal of the season to double Penn State’s lead.

Ohio State got one right back as Tate Singleton beat Grannan to cut Penn State’s lead in half. Stephen Halliday and James Marooney were credited with the assists on the play.

The first period came to an end with Penn State leading Ohio State 2-1. Shots were in favor of Ohio State 10-9 after the first 20 minutes of play.

The early moments of the second period were very similar to the first period as both teams struggled to grab the momentum and generate quality scoring chances. Then, MacEachern beat Dobeš for his second goal of the game to give the Nittany Lions their two-goal lead back. Simon Mack registered the lone assist on the goal, the sixth of the season for the sophomore defenseman.

Ohio State scored just 1:06 later to pull back to within one. Freshman Davis Burnside’s 12th goal of the season made it a 3-2 game with just under seven minutes left in the second period. Halliday got an assist on the play, the second of the game for the freshman forward.

Penn State would get its second power play opportunity of the game due to a cross-checking penalty called on CJ Regula. The Nittany Lions didn’t score on the power play, moving them to 0-2 on the man advantage.

The horn sounded on the second period with Penn State leading Ohio State 3-2. Shots were even at 20 after 40 minutes.

Ohio State got its first power play of the game after Danny Dzhaniyev was called for interference at the 2:21 mark of the final period. Penn State and Grannan did a great job on the penalty kill to keep the Buckeyes out of the back of the net.

Dzhaniyev and Joe Dunlap were both called for roughing in the early moments of the third to bring about two minutes of 4-on-4 hockey. Neither team scored despite the extra skating room. Dunlap was called for another penalty as he touched the puck immediately upon his exit from the penalty box. Penn State went back to the man advantage looking for its first power-play goal of the game. Ohio State killed the penalty with ease.

Jarod Crespo was called for a cross-checking penalty just moments after Ohio State’s successful kill. Ohio State scored on the power play to tie the game at three with just under eight minutes remaining in regulation. Jake Wise fired a shot high glove side past Grannan on the power play to give the Buckeyes the equalizer.

Penn State needed this win, and it was Kevin Wall who delivered when needed as the veteran scored his second of the game to give Penn State a one-goal lead with just over two minutes remaining in regulation.

Ohio State emptied its net needing another equalizer but was unable to find it as Penn State held on to win 4-3.


  • Connor MacEachern was the best player on the ice Friday night, as the Ontario native scored two goals to lead Penn State to a much-needed 3-2 series-opening win.
  • Noah Grannan was solid in his fifth start of the season. The freshman was put into a tough situation given how important this game was for Penn State, but in the end, the Wisconsin native did enough to earn the win.
  • Late in the third, after Ohio State scored to tie the game, Penn State needed a hero, and it found it in veteran forward Kevin Wall. Wall’s second of the game gave the Nittany Lions a 4-3 lead that they wouldn’t lose.

What’s Next?

Penn State will return to the ice less than 24 hours from now as it stays in Columbus to play the Buckeyes for the season finale between the two teams. Puck drop is set for 6:30 p.m., and you can watch the game on the Big Ten Network.

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About the Author

Devon Craley

Devon is a junior studying sports journalism. He has the genuine misfortune of being a Philadelphia sports fan...IYKYK. Send your hot takes and preferably your freezing cold takes on Twitter to @devon3134. Devon is also your friendly, neighborhood State College movie nerd.

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