In a hotly contested battle Penn State held on for the win. The game featured seven penalties on each team and a great deal of heavy hitting. Midway through the first period play became very chippy after the whistle. As a result there were many matching penalties and a half dozen 4 on 4 scenarios.
The win puts the Nittany Lions in first place in the Big Ten for the moment, edging Michigan by one point.
The teams skated evenly for the first five minutes until David Glen was called for a tripping penalty. Wisconsin used the man advantage to take momentum, able to get a couple of nice looks at scoring. Midway through Glen's penalty, Taylor Holstrom was called for a tripping penalty of his own. Penn State found itself on a 5 on 3 penalty kill in a tie game. Wisconsin was not able to convert on the power play but took the chance to put the home team on its heals.
Soon after killing the penalties Penn State went on the attack. Kevin Schulze was called for holding with eight minutes left in the period, giving the Lions a chance to score with a man advantage. Luke Juha made it count for the Lions, scoring his first goal of the season on an assist from Casey Bailey and Taylor Holstrom.
There would be no more scoring in the period as the teams would twice match penalties and skate four against four. The penalties derailed any momentum that PSU had gained while scoring first. There was a lot of hitting and the crowd got into the game as a result.
The period ended 1-0 Icers and the home team also had the advantage in shots 14-10.
The pace was fast and the play was clean for the first few minutes of the period. Dylan Richard extended the Lion's lead on a sweet pass from Eric Scheid just under four minutes into the period. Scheid stole the puck from Wisconsin in their defensive zone and made a great pass to Richard as he streaked to the open slot.
Play once again became very contentious and there were many scuffles after the whistle. Nine minutes in, the teams were given matching penalties for transgressions that occurred after the whistle. During the four on four hockey Wisconsin was able to cut the deficit in half on a goal by Adam Rockwood.
After Rockwood's goal the teams split scoring opportunities with each team unable to capitalize. As the period ended a penalty was called on PSU's Connor Varley, forcing PSU to start the third period short-handed. The Lions held the advantage overall in the period and held a 16-6 shot advantage in the frame as well.
END 2ND: #PennState 2, Wisconsin 1. PSU goes ahead by two on Richard's goal, but Rockwood cuts that in half. #WeAre pic.twitter.com/s50FWXmIJ6— Penn State Hockey (@PennStateMHKY) February 7, 2015
The momentum was even for the first part of the final period. Wisconsin was skating furiously, with renewed vigor, in an effort to tie the game. The home team was equal to the task for the first eight minutes.
With just over twelve minutes remaining in the game it appeared that Aidan Cavallini had tied the game for the Badgers. The game was stopped for over five minutes as the referees looked at the goal on video replay. The decision was made that the tip in front of the net occurred while Cavallini's stick was too high. The goal was waved off. This was the key moment in the game.
A minute later PSU went on the power play but the advantage only lasted five seconds as David Goodwin took a penalty for the home team to nullify the extra skater. The teams skated four on four once again, a reoccurring theme in the game.
James Robinson scored a goal with just over ten minutes remaining in the game on an assist from Curtis Loik and Nate Jensen. The Lions never looked back, able to add a late goal from Erik Autio on a power play with less than two minutes remaining in the game. Penn State once again out-shot its opponent, this time 43-28.
- PJ Musico got the win in net for the third time in the past four games, extending his record to 3-0-1 in that time.
- This is the first time in division one program history that Penn State has been eight games over .500 (15-7-4)
- Penn State is currently #19 in the PairWise standings, one spot behind Minnesota. Four of PSU's final ten Big Ten games will be played against Minnesota.
- Penn State will play a pair of games on the road against Michigan State next weekend.