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Penn State Men’s Hockey Edges Ohio State 2-1 In Regular-Season Finale

Penn State men’s hockey (15-16-3, 7-14-3 Big Ten) edged Ohio State (12-18-4, 3-18-2 Big Ten) 2-1 in its regular-season finale on Saturday evening at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

The Nittany Lions rallied to win after trailing in the first intermission. Liam Souliere’s 25 saves were instrumental as Penn State’s momentum in the second and third periods led it to end the regular season on a high note. It is the first time in program history that Penn State swept a season series against Ohio State.

How It Happened

Aiden Fink remained sidelined for the second game in a row. Guy Gadowsky returned Jacques Bouquot, Dylan Lugris, and Danny Dzhaniyev to the top line for the season finale.

Davis Burnside took a boarding penalty two minutes into the game, and Penn State only had one shot on the entire power play, so Ohio State got an easy kill to start things off.

The tide continued to turn in the Buckeyes’ direction. Sam Deckhut ripped a shot from the side of Liam Souliere’s net and into the goal to give them a 1-0 lead at 7:06 in the first period.

Xander Lamppa and Thomas Weis were given matching unsportsmanlike conduct minors as Ohio State continued controlling the puck and sending a barrage of shots toward Souliere.

The Nittany Lions’ defense had problems clearing the puck as the Buckeyes continued to play with strong momentum. However, their penalty kill impressed to end the period, when Reese Laubach’s boarding minor did not result in a goal.

Momentum shifted toward Penn State’s direction in the second period. Although Max Montes’ hooking penalty one minute after puck drop didn’t lead to any goals, the Nittany Lions were playing better.

Shot after shot was taken by the Nittany Lions. Matt Cassidy took a tripping penalty six minutes later, giving them the perfect opportunity to pounce while playing with momentum.

At 7:27 in the second period, Dane Dowiak tied it 1-1. It was the first power-play goal of the game.

Two more penalties were taken shortly after. Burnside took a hooking penalty eight minutes into the period, and Dowiak took a holding penalty four minutes later. Neither team scored on either opportunity.

The penalties continued as John Larkin was called for indirect contact to the head with five minutes remaining in the second period. This time, Penn State wasn’t denied. Dowiak grabbed his second goal of the night to give Penn State a 2-1 lead at 15:54 in the second period.

After six penalties were taken in the second period, the first 10 minutes of the third period passed without incident. However, Penn State continued to play like the team firmly in the driver’s seat.

Tyler Paquette nearly scored what would’ve been an insurance goal for Penn State, but the net became detached before the puck crossed the line. Nonetheless, the Nittany Lions continued on with momentum like they had throughout the majority of the game.

As the clock winded down, Ohio State pulled Kristoffer Eberly. An extra skater came on with two minutes remaining in regulation.

Ohio State took multiple shots, but Penn State skated down the ice with the puck. However, two of its shots were blocked by the Buckeyes.

Tripping against Damien Carfagna with less than a minute to go virtually sealed the deal, and Penn State won 2-1.

Takeaways

  • The final score wasn’t an accurate representation of how this game went. Despite trailing at the end of the first period, Penn State dominated in every area in the latter two periods.
  • Liam Souliere had another outstanding night in goal with 25 saves. The importance of his presence simply can’t be understated, especially in close games.
  • Have a night, Dane Dowiak! Tonight’s game was his first multi-goal performance of his career.

What’s Next?

Penn State will face either Minnesota or Michigan on the road in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals beginning on Friday, March 8.

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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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