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Penn State Men’s Hockey Overpowers Ohio State 5-2

Penn State men’s hockey (14-16-3, 6-14-3 Big Ten) bested Ohio State (12-17-4, 3-17-2 Big Ten) 5-2 on Friday night in Columbus.

Five different Nittany Lions scored goals in the win without Aiden Fink. Goaltender Liam Souliere finished with an .923 save percentage on 24 saves. Casey Aman scored his first goal of the season late in the game Friday on what was the final Nittany Lion goal of the night.

How It Happened

Penn State was without freshman Fink, and head coach Guy Gadowsky went with the Danny Dzhaniyev, Jaques Bouquot, and Dylan Lugris line to start the game.

It took over two minutes of play before the first shot attempt of the period. Both teams continued evenly matched play with neither able to establish a long offensive zone presence.

Souliere was tested for the first time with just over 15 minutes left as he flashed his glove and snatched the puck out of the air from the low slot to keep the game at 0-0.

Alex Servagno and Reese Laubach crashed the net a few minutes later, but Ohio State goalkeeper Logan Terness bobbled the puck before covering and forcing a face off.

Ohio State regained possession in the neutral zone after a Penn State turnover and set up an odd-man rush. A pass from the wing found its way to the waiting stick of Scooter Brickey who slammed home the one-timer attempt and beat Souliere.

The goal was disallowed after Penn State challenged for a hit to the head on Dzhaniyev from Jake Dunlap that resulted in a five-minute major and game misconduct for the Buckeyes. The Nittany Lion power play got its first chance on a five-minute major and a complete momentum swing.

Penn State struck with under a minute and a half left on the power play when Laubach found Bouquot in the crease, and the freshman found the net. The Buckeyes evened the score 52 seconds later on a breakaway as Dalton Messina got past Souliere shorthanded.

The major penalty ended with each team scoring a goal but Penn State took the lead back on a deep shot attempt from Tanner Palocsik that found paydirt and put the Nittany Lions back up 2-1.

Penn State continued to outpace the Buckeyes on shots throughout the final four minutes but couldn’t break through again as the Nittany Lions skated into the second period leading 2-1.

Ohio State came out strong in the second period and quickly racked up four shots early in the period. After some back-and-forth action, Dzhaniyev grabbed the puck and scored from a tough angle along the baseline to put the Nittany Lions up 3-1.

Penn State kept up the pressure and continued to put pucks on net, but Terness couldn’t be beaten despite the weak defensive effort from the Buckeyes. At the midway point of the game, Penn State led the Buckeyes in shots 18-10 while nursing the two-goal lead.

Xander Lamppa and Matt Cassidy were booked for roughing and embellishment, respectively, while Cassidy was also given a 10-minute misconduct. Penn State struck a minute into the four-on-four as Laubach found Tyler Paquette in the slot and pushed the lead to 4-1.

The Buckeyes couldn’t keep the puck in their own zone and Penn State’s defense led to very few shot opportunities throughout the middle of the second period. Ohio State went to its first power play of the night after Laubach was sent to the box for slashing.

The Buckeyes had a quality chance on the advantage but when the puck slid through a vacant crease no one was there to slam it home and the score remained 4-1. Penn State killed off the penalty after allowing four shots from the Buckeyes.

After going back to full strength, Penn State went right back to crashing the net and generating offense. Christian Sarlo had another good chance but couldn’t score as the period ticked under three minutes.

Stephen Halliday took a big hit from Carter Schade entering the Buckeye zone that led to an Ohio State challenge for a major penalty. The challenge was successful, and Schade headed to the box for a five-minute major. Schade, however, was not called for any misconduct.

Ohio State managed three shots but couldn’t generate any quality chances after the call and entered the locker room with just over three minutes left on the five-minute call.

The Buckeyes grabbed the puck on the opening faceoff of the third period and put pucks on net early. Penn State cleared the puck without letting Ohio State get too comfortable and ended up killing the major penalty and returning to full strength with under 17 minutes to go in the contest.

From there, Ohio State got the puck to the offensive zone, but the Nittany Lions’ defense continued to force turnovers and limit shot opportunities for the Buckeyes. They got another break with under 10 minutes left in the game when Dane Dowiak was sent to the box for hooking.

After just one shot, the power play came to an end, and Dowiak skated back into play to put the Nittany Lions back at full strength. Penn State returned to the dominance it’d shown the entire game, and Aman got past Terness for his first goal of the season to make it 5-1.

The final three minutes passed without incident as the Buckeyes desperately tried to mount any sort of offense to create momentum for the next night’s rematch.

Ryan Kirwan was called for interference and the Buckeye’s doubled down on their offensive ferosity. Brickey beat Souliere with thirty seconds left in the game to make it 5-2.

Kirwan exited the box, and Penn State won its first away game since November 5-2.

Takeaways

  • Penn State’s defense was stifling Friday night. Penn State outmatched the Buckeyes all night long, and despite a Buckeye surge late in the game, finished with an 31-25 lead in shots.
  • Liam Souliere was back in form after another tough slate of games. The senior ended the night with a .923 save percentage.
  • Even without its leading scorer in freshman Aiden Fink, Penn State put together a complete offensive showing. Bouquot finished with two assists while five different Nittany Lions scored in the win.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will be back in action at 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 2, in Columbus to close out the regular season.

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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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