|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
The No.14 Nittany Lions (20-9-4) held on for a very important Big Ten conference victory. After getting out to a 2-1 lead, the Lions fought off an onslaught of scoring chances as the Badgers tried to mount a comeback at home.
The win coupled with Michigan's 7-4 loss to Ohio State on Friday night leaves the Lions currently just three points behind the Wolverines in the conference standings. The teams are vying for a bye position in the Big Ten tournament and the results tonight ensure that next weekend's series in Ann Arbor will decide which team gets the advantage.
Andrew Sturtz opened up the scoring for Penn State with a power-play goal in the first period. After a flurry of Wisconsin scoring chances that were turned away by Penn State goalie Eamon McAdam, Tommy Olczyk scored what would prove to be the game-winning goal early in the second period.
While there were no goals in the final period of play, it was an exciting 20 minutes of hockey. The Badgers had several opportunities to tie the game but bad bounces, pucks off the post, and great play by the Penn State defense kept them in check.
The teams will play game two of the series on Saturday night at 8 p.m.
It took 15 minutes for the teams to get started in the scoring column. Andrew Sturtz got a power-play goal to give the Lions a 1-0 lead with five minutes left in the first period. David Glen and Kevin Kerr assisted on the play. Penn State won a faceoff in the offensive zone and then held the puck for 35 seconds before getting the goal. It was a great showcase of talent by the power play line.
It didn't take long for Wisconsin to answer. Freshman phenom Luke Kunin scored for the sixteenth time and the Badgers tied the game at one apiece. The goal came less than two minutes after the PSU score.
In the second period there were some fireworks before either team could find the back of the net. Eamon McAdam misplayed a loose puck and craziness ensued. The Badgers were unable to get the puck in the back of the net and the Lions avoided disaster.
Just a minute later Penn State took advantage of a miscue to take the lead 2-1. Tommy Olczyk took the puck on a misplayed pass in the Badger zone and finished the goal with a sweet backhand.
Wisconsin had a few chances to tie the game at two but fate kept the puck out of the net. Luke Kunin rushed in on McAdam but the puck glanced off the side of the net. Later in the period Grant Besse had a chance to score but he hit the post squarely and the puck deflected away from the net.
The third period was marked by several Wisconsin scoring chances that did not pay off. Late in the game a rash of penalties hit the teams. The game ended with the Badgers on a 4-on-3 power-play with the goalie pulled for a two-man advantage. Penn State was able to hold on.