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No. 10 Penn State Men’s Hockey Eliminated From Big Ten Tournament In 3-1 Loss To No. 9 Ohio State

No. 10 Penn State men’s hockey (21-15-1, 10-14-1 Big Ten) was knocked out of the Big Ten Tournament following a 3-1 loss to No. 9 Ohio State (20-13-3, 12-10-2 Big Ten) Sunday night in Columbus.

After Penn State went up 1-0 in the second period, Ohio State stormed back to score two unanswered goals. The Nittany Lions had several chances throughout the remainder of the game, but Ohio State capitalized on an empty net with less than two minutes remaining in the third period.

The Nittany Lions ultimately lost 3-1 and were eliminated from the Big Ten Tournament after forcing a third game in the series.

How It Happened

The first period wasn’t too eventful as neither team scored. However, Penn State appeared to have more momentum coming off its game two overtime win and outshot Ohio State 12-5.

Ohio State’s Mason Lohrei appeared to have scored at the midway mark in the first period, but Guy Gadowsky challenged the call. The officials overturned the call due to goaltender interference and both teams played on.

The Buckeyes took the game’s first penalty a few minutes later, as Davis Burnside was assessed a tripping minor at 12:35. Barely one minute later, Ashton Calder went to the sin bin for roughing. The Nittany Lions killed the penalty, which made the Buckeyes just one-for-10 on the power play in the series.

Penn State applied more pressure than Ohio State, outshooting the Buckeyes 12-5 in a period that ultimately ended without a puck between the pipes.

Not one minute into the second period, Connor MacEachern was called for interference. Shortly after, Scooter Brickey took a tripping penalty. Neither team scored during the four-on-four sequence, and Penn State didn’t capitalize on its brief power play opportunity despite keeping Jakub Dobeš busy in goal.

At 6:28 in the second period, Penn State finally got to Dobeš. A shot from Kevin Wall snuck past Dobeš’s pads and into the net, as a Buckeye defenseman was too late to stop the puck from fully crossing the line and gave Penn State a 1-0 lead.

A few minutes later, Tate Singleton appeared to have scored for the Buckeyes. Penn State challenged and won for the second time in the game. The officials determined that Singleton kicked the puck into the net, so the score remained 1-0.

Upon review during that replay, Dylan Gratton was called for tripping. This time, the Buckeyes weren’t denied and Cole McWard sniped the puck past Liam Souliere to tie the game 1-1 at 12:08 in the second period. The goal ended Ohio State’s power play drought, which improved to two-for-11 during the series.

Ohio State kept the momentum and controlled the puck. The Buckeyes outskated the Nittany Lions’ defense in a three-on-one play and scored to make it 2-1 at 15:45 in the period. Ohio State went from having two goals called back to scoring two unanswered goals within just a few minutes of each other.

The second period ended 2-1.

Penn State began the third period on the power play, as Stephen Halliday was called for boarding with slightly over six seconds to spare at the end of the second period. Ohio State successfully kept Penn State from moving the puck enough to generate scoring chances, so the Nittany Lions remained scoreless.

Ohio State’s defense continued to stifle Penn State throughout the third period. The Nittany Lions had several good opportunities in front of the net, but the Buckeyes kept finding ways to regain control of the puck.

At 10:44 in the third period, Xander Lamppa was dealt a roughing penalty. Ohio State controlled the puck throughout the one-man advantage and peppered Souliere with shots, but Penn State hung on long enough to earn another kill.

Lamppa had a breakaway chance right after he left the penalty box, but Dobeš made the save. Penn State’s offensive pressure increased, although Ohio State’s net broke loose which briefly halted play.

The clock ticked on, and Penn State became increasingly desperate with less than five minutes remaining in the third period. However, Ohio State continued to keep the Nittany Lions at bay.

With 2:05 remaining in the third period, Gadowsky pulled Souliere for the extra attacker. Singleton scored the empty-netter to make things 3-1 in favor of Ohio State.

Penn State couldn’t get any more offense going and was knocked out from the Big Ten Tournament in the first round after the 3-1 loss.

Takeaways:

  • Allowing a three-on-one goal in a playoff series isn’t a good look, and that was one of the bigger mistakes that cost Penn State this series. Ohio State seemed to be the quicker team throughout the series.
  • Penn State’s penalty kill kept this series competitive. Ohio State went zero-for-four last night and one-for-six tonight.

What’s Next?

It’s still possible that Penn State could snag a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Selection Sunday is slated for Sunday, March 19.

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About the Author

Nolan Wick

Nolan is a third-year journalism major from Silver Spring, Maryland, which means he's an avid fan of all D.C. sports teams. If Nolan isn't writing about or watching sports, you can probably find him listening to all sorts of music or traveling. To keep up with Nolan, you can follow him on Twitter @nolan_wick or email him at [email protected].

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