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No. 1 Penn State Ties No. 13 Ohio State, Falls in the Shootout

The Lions had ample chances to win the game but it ultimately lost the shootout.

Photo by Heather Weikel

No. 1 Penn State (16-2-2) came out ready to play against the No. 13 Ohio State Buckeyes (11-4-6). The first period was dominated by the home team, aided by the capacity white-out crowd inside of the Pegula Ice Arena.

While the Lions dominated play in the first period, it only was able to gain a one-goal advantage. Many scoring chances went by the wayside for PSU, and in retrospect it was then that the team had the best chance to win this game.

The second period was controlled by the Buckeyes. Penn State managed to score a late goal to hold the goal-advantage, 2-1, heading into the final period.

OSU played a great final period and each team had plenty of chances to win in regulation. Instead the game went to overtime, and while PSU had a power-play chance, it was unable to cash in the victory. Overtime ended with the teams still knotted up 3-3.

The game went to a shootout and each team scored a goal in the 6th attempt. Two tries later, OSU took the shootout victory. With the shootout victory, OSU gets 2 points and PSU gets one point for Big Ten conference standings records. The NCAA does not recognize shootouts, so officially the game will end in a tie for the PairWise Rankings.

The teams will play the second game of the series on Saturday at 7 p.m. If Penn State can rebound and win the second game, it would conclude the regular-season series with the Buckeyes and hold a 2-1-1 record versus the contending Big Ten team. A loss would put the advantage, head-to-head, on the OSU side and could prove to be a deciding factor later in the year when conference tournament seedings are distributed. It’s a big game and the entire college hockey world will be keeping an eye on the outcome.

Game Summary

The teams began with a furious pace, displaying the skills that come with the two highest-rated offenses in the country. Ohio State took an early penalty when John Wiitala tripped David Goodwin to the ice in the first minute of the game. PSU was unable to cash in on the early break and the teams continued the end-to-end, high-octane action for the first 8 minutes without either team holding a clear advantage.

At that point the scoring was kicked off by James Robinson, who put the puck in the net past Christian Frey to give the Lions a 1-0 lead. Kris Myllari and Nate Sucese assisted on the goal. Check out the score and then the reaction of the Roar Zone. The atmosphere inside the Peg was electric.

With five minutes left in the first period, the Lions established dominance to the tune of a 17-3 advantage in shots on goal. With just under two minutes remaining in the period, Alec Marsh hit the inside of the post on a 2 on 1 break, just missing a goal. It was the second time the Lions hit the goal post in the period, to go with the one successful goal. With so much dominance in the first period, it was unfortunate that the team did not have a 2 or 3 goal lead heading into the first intermission.

Penn State had an edge in face-offs won, 18-4, and shots on goal 24-3, but only led on the scoreboard 1-0 after the first period.

The second period began in a similar fashion. The Lions came out with an advantage, controlling play and holding the puck in the Ohio State zone. As time wore on, the Buckeyes began to show signs of frustration. For nearly half of the game, every attempt for OSU to get together momentum was thwarted by the defensive effort of the entire PSU team. Midway through the game, PSU had a 25-5 shot on goal advantage. Each number was impressive. The high amount of shots is a traditional characteristic of the team, but the ability to limit OSU to just 5 shots was enough to have the team from Columbus ready to burst out of their uniforms with angst.

Penn State let OSU off the hook a little bit when Nikita Pavlychev took a penalty. During the power play, the Buckeyes were able to keep consistent pressure on the Lions but were unable to score. The power play allowed OSU to regroup and take a breath.

Josh Healy made the most of the transition when he scored a goal to tie the game 1-1 with less than 8 minutes left in the second period. The shot tally was 6-5 at that point in the period, indicating a major adjustment in the effectiveness of the OSU approach.

With under 2 minutes remaining, Vince Pedrie bailed out the Penn State team and the entire stress-filled arena. A shot from Chase Berger drew a rebound that came to Pedrie, who finished to give the Lions a one-goal lead heading into the final period.

OSU recovered after a shaky first period to pull even in the second, and with the complete dominance that Penn State displayed in the first, the tie game felt like a deficit. The go-ahead goal made things equal for what the fans saw on the ice, the home team led 2-1. The aggressive play of Ohio State was able to quiet the crowd inside of Pegula Ice Arena, neutralizing a huge home-ice noise advantage.

Early in the final period the Buckeyes went on the power play but PSU was able to kill it off. Mason Jobst had a great chance to score five minutes into the period but Peyton Jones stonewalled him, turning aside a point-blank scoring chance. Jones simply threw his glove into the air, hoping to stop the open shot, and it worked.

Minutes later Jobst made a similar shot on a rebound and beat Jones over his glove hand to tie the game 2-2 with just over 12 minutes left to play in the game.

Christian Frey held solid in the pipes for OSU, stopping a flurry of high-percentage shots by Ricky DeRosa and James Robinson with just over 8 minutes left in the game. It only held off the onslaught for a few minutes.

Alec Marsh scored to bring the PSU advantage to 3-2 less than a minute later. Just a few seconds later, Andrew Sturtz nearly scored again to give the Lions a two-goal lead.

The feeling of relief didn’t last long for the crowd inside the Peg as David Goodwin took a penalty, and OSU scored a power-play goal. Mason Jobst got the tying goal to even the game at three apiece. The teams skated evenly with a few chances on each side to score in regulation but the game went to overtime with the score tied at 3.

Overtime started with a furious pace but no goals through two minutes. PSU went on the power play midway into the extra period and got a few great scoring chances as a result. Penn State took a time out with 53 seconds remaining on the overtime penalty to discuss its approach for the power play. The Lions were unable to score during the power play but it maintained possession in the OSU zone for the final half of the overtime period. The overtime ended without either team scoring a goal, so it went to a shootout. Each team had more than a half-dozen tries in the shootout, but OSU was the victor, taking the extra point for conference standings purposes with the shootout win.

Stars of the Game

First Star- Mason Jobst, Ohio State. 2 goals scored.

Second Star- Christian Frey, Ohio State. Shootout win, 56 saves.

Third Star- Vince Pedrie, Penn State. 1 goal, 1 assist.