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No. 10 Penn State Men’s Hockey Overcomes No. 9 Ohio State 2-1 In Overtime Thriller

No. 10 Penn State men’s hockey (21-14-1, 10-13-1 Big Ten) defeated No. 9 Ohio State (19-12-3) 2-1 Saturday evening thanks to a late third-period score by Ryan Kirwan and a game-sealing overtime goal by Kevin Wall.

Liam Souliere set a new program record with 55 saves to help Penn State outlast the top-10 Buckeyes in game two of the Big Ten Touranment’s opening round.

How It Happened

Needing a win to stay alive in the Big Ten Tournament, Penn State once again went with Liam Souliere between the pipes in game two. The junior struggled in game one, allowing five goals on 39 shots. Jakub Dobes got the start for Ohio State after stopping all but one Nittany Lion shot in the Buckeyes’ game-one win.

Travis Treloar nearly put Ohio State on the board early in the first period, as he beat Souliere but couldn’t get it by the post. Just moments later, Ohio State registered another scoring chance, but the Nittany Lions’ defense coupled with Souliere’s glove did all they could to keep the game scoreless.

Ohio State was given the game’s first power play when forward Xander Lamppa was whistled for slashing at the 9:31 mark of the first period. The Buckeyes did not score on the man advantage.

With just 2:58 remaining in the opening period, Danny Dzhaniyev was dragged down in the neutral zone leading to a Penn State power play opportunity. The Nittany Lions failed to register much on the man advantage, and the game entered the first intermission tied at zero.

The Buckeyes outshot Penn State by three in the first 20 minutes.

As was the case to open the first period, Ohio State got the first scoring chance of the middle period, but Souliere shut the door on the odd-man rush to keep the Buckeyes off the scoreboard.

Penn State picked up its second power play of the game when the Buckeyes were called for interference just 3:13 into the second period. The Nittany Lions once again failed to beat Dobes on the one-man advantage.

After an extended period of back-and-forth hockey, Ashton Calder was called for hooking, giving Ohio State its second power play opportunity of the game. Penn State killed the penalty with ease. The game remained tied at zero entering the final minutes of the second period.

With about 90 seconds remaining in the second, Ohio State challenged the call on the ice alleging a major penalty had been committed by Jimmy Dowd Jr. after the whistle. After a lengthy review, the officials ruled that Dowd would be given a five-minute major penalty for slashing. Ohio State would not score before the conclusion of the second period, however, it would open the third period with 3:18 of power play time.

Despite a plethora of chances by the Buckeyes in the opening minutes of the third period, Penn State killed the remainder of the major penalty.

Penn State forward Tyler Gratton was called for a penalty with just under ten minutes remaining. The play was under review for a potential major penalty but the call stood as a two-minute minor penalty for a check to the head. Despite a solid amount of chances in the offensive zone gifted to Ohio State, the Nittany Lions killed the penalty.

Kevin Wall and Paul DeNaples both had great scoring chances in the minutes following the penalty kill, but they were both denied by Dobes.

Penn State got the goal it needed when Ryan Kirwan finally beat Dobes on a one-timer following a perfect pass from Xander Lamppa. It was Kirwan’s first goal since his return from injury, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Ohio State pulled Dobes for the extra attacker, and it worked as Joe Dunlap beat Souliere to tie the game at 1-1 with just 1:34 remaining. Penn State challenged the goal for potential goaltender inference, but the call on the ice stood. Neither team would score again, and this game would need overtime to determine a winner.

Connor McMenamin was sent to the box for tripping but Stephen Halliday was also sent to the box for embellishment. The two teams would play two minutes of 4-on-4 hockey. Ohio State scored two goals in 44 seconds during 4-on-4 play in its win in game one on Friday night.

Kevin Wall scored early on in the 4-on-4 period to win the game for Penn State. The series will now need a win-or-go-home, game three to determine which squad moves on.

Takeaways

  • Liam Souliere did all he could to lead the Nittany Lions to a win in what was a truly remarkable turnaround performance. After struggling in game one, Souliere was phenomenal in game two. The Ontario native set a program record with 54 saves. Buckeyes netminder Jakub Dobes was solid again for the second straight night, as he stopped 28 shots.
  • Penn State completely turning it around less than 24 hours after last night’s debacle cannot be overstated. The Nittany Lions were outplayed in every facet last night, so to come out in game two and play a much-improved game, head coach Guy Gadowsky and the players deserve a ton of credit.
  • Penn State’s penalty kill was excellent in game two. The five-minute major penalty at the end of the second period could have hurt the Nittany Lions but they stood tall to keep the Buckeyes out of the goal column on the man advantage. Ohio State went 0-for-4 on the power play throughout the contest.

What’s Next?

Penn State will stay in Columbus to take on Ohio State in a win-or-go-home game three in the quarterfinal round of the Big Ten Tournament. Puck drop is set for 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 5.

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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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