No. 10 M. Hockey Sweeps No. 17 Wisconsin in Badger Country
Friday night’s 5-3 win over the Badgers was just what Penn State needed to regain its confidence after two weeks of difficult losses.
Captain David Goodwin (Des Peres, Mo.) got the ball rolling with the first goal of the night just six minutes into the first period thanks to a well-placed pass from Kevin Kerr (Bensalem, Pa.).
Brandon Biro (Sherwood Park, Alberta) put PSU up 2-0 just before the end of the first thanks to a pass from Nikita Pavlychev (Yaroslavl, Russia) that was followed by a one-on-one with the Badger’s goaltender.
Wisconsin found the back of the net twice in two minutes at the start of the second period to tie things up and put pressure on the Nittany Lions.
Pressure creates diamonds, and diamonds were formed as freshman Denis Smirnov (Moscow, Russia) and Goodwin each added a goal before the end of the second to put the Blue and White in a comfortable 4-2 lead heading into the second intermission.
Within one minute of the third period Trevor Hamilton (Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.) found the twine thanks to an assist from Biro.
Wisconsin added its final goal of the night to put the game within one point of a tie, but it was senior Zach Saar (Richland, Mich.) who sealed the deal with a final goal in the last two minutes of the game, locking in a 5-3 Nittany Lion win.
Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.) played the full 60 minutes in net and recorded 30 saves.
Saturday was nearly a case of deja vu as Penn State once again dominated the Badgers and collected a solid 5-2 win to take the sweep.
Freshman standout Nate Sucese (Fairport, N.Y.) got the first point on the board late in the first period thanks to a stellar pass from Goodwin in the offensive zone.
Wisconsin added a point of its own just 30 seconds before the first intermission, tying up the game 1-1.
It was Sucese again who put the Lions back on top thanks to a rebound in front of the Badger’s net.
Smirnov came in clutch as he skated into the offensive zone with the puck and nailed a shot in the upper corner of the goal. The puck hit the pipe and found the twine to give Penn State a 3-1 lead.
Wisconsin found its final point of the day shortly after Smirnov’s goal, sending the teams to second intermission with Penn State leading by one.
In a night of the freshmen, Smirnov again found the boards on a breakaway that turned into a 4-1 lead for the Blue and White.
Hamilton locked in the win with a well-placed rebound to secure a 5-2 domination over Wisconsin.
Jones recorded 27 saves in 60 minutes for the Blue and White.
After the two wins, now No. 9 Penn State returns home for a pair of THON weekend games against No. 5 Minnesota on Friday at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday at 8 p.m. at Pegula Ice Arena.