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Penn State Men’s Hockey Outlasts Ohio State 4-3 In Wear White Game

Penn State men’s hockey (12-11-3, 4-9-3 Big Ten) took down Ohio State (9-13-4, 1-13-2 Big Ten) 4-3 at Pegula Ice Arena in the annual Wear White game.

The Nittany Lions completed the series sweep on the heels of a third-period comeback as Tyler Paquette scored the game-winning goal. Freshman Aiden Fink had a breakout series, scoring three goals across two games.

How It Happened

Liam Souliere started in net after leading the Nittany Lions to victory on Friday. Penn State started fast and held the puck in the offensive zone before it was cleared by Ohio State for an icing. Souliere wasn’t tested until he made a save on a blast from the point nearly four minutes into the game.

Penn State continued to generate chances but couldn’t get the puck past Kristoffer Eberly in net for the Buckeyes. Things became more physical near the midway point in the period with a number of scrums breaking out after the whistle.

Penn State’s first break came with under 10 minutes left when Cam Thiesing was sent to the box for cross checking and Penn State’s power play unit got its first chance of the night. Ryan Kirwan and Jarod Crespo both had shots go wide before Ohio State returned to full strength after killing the penalty.

The Nittany Lions appeared to be heading back to the power play after Fink was tripped up trying to break into the zone, but Fink was also sent to the box for holding and the teams went to a four-on-four. The four-on-four didn’t last long as Thiesing was sent to the box for cross checking and Penn State went on a four-on-three power play.

Jacques Bouquot opened the scoring with a minute left in the first period after a blocked shot was sent back to his waiting stick and Penn State took a 1-0 lead to close out the first period.

Souliere kept Penn State’s lead intact early in the first period after Patrick Guzzo couldn’t get a centering pass to the back of the net. Max Montes found himself on a breakaway a few seconds later, but Souliere remained perfect as play rolled on.

Penn State got a sustained offensive zone presence four minutes into the second period that ended with an Eberly save and Fink heading to the bench injured after taking a hard hit at the blue line. The hit was challenged by Guy Gadowsky and a five-minute major was assessed for contact to the head and Jake Dunlap was ejected from the game.

Fink returned to the game for the power play and found the back of the net three minutes in to give the Nittany Lions a 2-0 lead. The rest of the major penalty was killed by the Buckeyes and both teams were at full strength with just under 10 minutes left.

The Nittany Lions didn’t lose momentum and Crespo struck again for Penn State 30 seconds after coming off of the power play to push the lead to 3-0. Penn State added a power play onto the goal as Weis was sent to the box for hooking. The Nittany Lions didn’t get the full two minutes as Dylan Lugris was called for interference. After 30 seconds of the four-on-four, Ohio State’s William Smith ended Souliere’s shutout and put the Buckeyes on the board 3-1.

It got worse for Penn State as the Buckeyes headed to the power play and Guzzo slammed home a rebound to get Ohio State back within one at 3-2. The penalties continued and Nathan McBrayer was called for a check-from-behind with six minutes left in the period. Penn State had a few chances on the power play but the Buckeyes killed the penalty and got back to full strength.

Reese Laubach became the next player to head to the box after a roughing call with a minute left in the period. The call was challenged by Ohio State and Laubach was assessed a five-minute major. The Nittany Lions killed off the remainder of the second period and headed to the third with four minutes left on the penalty.

The Buckeyes started the third period with a long offensive stand in their own zone. Tyler Paquette jumped in front of a shot and created a breakaway chance for the Nittany Lions but Bouquot couldn’t connect and the score remained 3-2.

Davis Burnside committed interference almost two minutes into the period and the Buckeye’s power play ended for a period of four-on-four hockey before a Penn State power play. Souliere gave Pegula a jolt of energy duing the four-on-four after a diving save kept Ohio State out of the net. All of the penalties were killed off and the teams skated into the final 15 minutes at full strength.

Penn State was caught on its heels with 13 minutes left in the contest as Stephen Halliday beat Souliere and evened the game at three-apiece.

Guzzo was sent to the box for elbowing with six minutes left and Penn State went back on the power play. The power play struggled early and didn’t generate many chances, but Paquette buried the puck from the wing and gave Penn State another lead at 4-3.

Ohio State pulled Eberly with just over a minute left int he third period. The puck squeaked out of the zone and almost went in the empty net, but the Buckeyes regrouped and mounted a zone presence but Souliere couldn’t be beat.

Takeaways

  • Penalties were rampant in Saturday night’s game with a combined 37 minutes of penalties between both teams. Penn State was four of eight on the power play during the win.
  • Aiden Fink had a great weekend after being nominated for the Hobey Baker Award. The freshman tallied three goals on the weekend and was a large part of the series sweep.
  • Souliere was the difference-maker for the Nittany Lions Saturday. The senior had 29 saves on a .906 save percentage.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions head to a bye week before going on the road to Minnesota to take on the Golden Gophers at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 9, in Minneapolis.

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About the Author

CJ Doebler

CJ is a junior double majoring in broadcast journalism and finance. He is from Northumberland, Pa, just east of State College. CJ is an avid Pittsburgh sports fan, but chooses to ignore the Pirates' existence. For the occasional random retweet and/or bad take, follow @CDoebler on Twitter. All complaints can be sent to [email protected].

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