The Nittany Lions were able to match the win total for all of last season, grabbing the 8th win of the year on the road in Madison, Wisconsin. Tonight, the team has a chance to match their B1G regular season win total from last season (3) as they attempt a rare road sweep. Many Badger fans have left town in order to attend tonight's football game, Wisconsin vs Ohio State in Indianapolis. Their absence in the Kohl Center should neutralize the home ice advantage. Attendance for the game last night was listed at just under nine-thousand but it was clear that half that number showed up. The visiting Lions did their part, getting an early lead and keeping it, not allowing the fans that did attend to cheer in the early-going.
The game started with a fast-paced tempo which is what the Lions prefer. Having tallied the first nine shots on goal of the game, Penn State had a clear early advantage. Then, David Glen scored for the third time this season on the power play, with nine minutes remaining in the period. Casey Bailey and David Goodwin assisted on the goal. Three minutes later, freshman forward James Robinson added a second goal, unassisted, to give the visiting Lions a two-goal cushion. The advantage in score seemed to match the on-ice advantage that Penn State had up to that point in the game.
Following the second goal allowed, Wisconsin started to play the type of game it prefers. With careful puck control and precision spacing, the Badgers were able to get a goal with just under two minutes remaining in the first period. Morgan Zulinick got the goal for the home team on a shot that sailed over Eamon McAdam's head while he was screened. The period ended 2-1.
The second period was more evenly played. PSU would end the period with a 15-8 advantage in shots on goal but that was due mostly to both teams' game plan. Wisconsin got nearly as many quality scoring chances with a controlled and deliberate attack, as PSU was able to muster while throwing everything on net that they could.
With three minutes left in the period Dylan Richard added what would prove to be the game-winning goal off a pass from David Goodwin. The goal was Richard's second of the season and was the production the team needed out of the experienced center. Richard had missed the five previous games due to injury. After the game, coach Guy Gadowsky spoke of the return to the ice for David Glen and Dylan Richard.
"It's not as important that they scored, but that they are good leaders. What they bring in terms of character is tremendous."
The talent on the ice may have been even, but Wisconsin plays thirteen true and redshirt freshmen. Penn State's experience and collective adhesion was the biggest advantage over the the Badgers on this night.
Twenty seconds into the period, Wisconsin's Cameron Hughes was called for a 5-minute major and 10-minute game misconduct for a check from behind on Tommy Olczyk. The penalty was justified but it was a shame for the young Badger freshman to take such a momentous penalty at that point in the game. While the play was worthy of the call, there wasn't any ill-will behind the hit and the young player from Edmonton pleaded his case to the referee while skating off the ice. Hughes played a nice game prior to that, having an assist and being very active on the ice.
Two minutes in to the five minute penalty, Casey Bailey scored for the tenth time this season on a pass from David Glen and David Goodwin. The assist was Goodwin's third of the game, which is the scoring equivalent of a hat trick, called a 'play-maker'. Unfortunately Goodwin took a penalty a few minutes later for a high stick. On the power play, Wisconsin would make the game 4-2 on a goal from Tim Davison with 11 minutes left in the game.
Penn State was then able to kill a penalty on Scott Conway for slashing, leaving only four minutes to play in the game. In an attempt to get back in the game, Wisconsin pulled the goalie with 3:46 left on the clock. Soon after employing this gutsy strategy, Gadowsky used his timeout to talk things over with the team. Then, Wisconsin used a timeout of their own. In real time the net was empty for Wisconsin for almost ten minutes after the stoppages.
With forty seconds left in the game David Goodwin added an empty net goal off a David Thompson assist. The game ended, 5-2.
- The second game of the series in tonight at 9 p.m. and can be seen on btn2go.com or regional coverage.
- The Lions played without Zach Saar, Taylor Holstrom, and Jonathan Milley. The trio of injured players would make a formidable line by themselves. All three are expected back after tonight's game.
- Eamon McAdam stopped 19 of 21 shots that he faced.
- The comment section of this article will be used as an open-thread for the second game.
- Check out the scoring plays from last night courtesy of gopsusports.com