A night after losing a two-goal lead in the third period, Penn State gave up three separate two-goal leads to squander a chance for a split in Wisconsin.
In a game that was very competitive throughout, the Lions were unable to hang on to what could have been a momentous road win following four consecutive losses. Instead it returns home with a tie, a solid effort, and will remain in the hunt for an NCAA at-large bid. The Lions currently hold the No. 15 PairWise slot.
Wisconsin won the shootout, earning two points on the night to Penn State’s one, for Big Ten standings purposes. For the PairWise Rankings, the game will go as a tie.
Penn State will host Notre Dame next weekend in a series that will have Big Ten conference and national implications.
The tone of the game was set after the opening face-off was brought straight down toward Penn State goalie Peyton Jones, who covered the puck six seconds into the game. A Wisconsin player threw ice shavings into Jones’ face needlessly and Penn State did not like the gesture. Each team came out playing hard and it didn’t take a full minute for a penalty to be called on Wisconsin. The Lions were unable to capitalize on the advantage.
Following a flurry of shots during one long possession for the Lions, Wisconsin was called for another penalty. Alex Limoges and Peter Tishke were given matching penalties shortly into the power-play and the teams skated 5 on 4. Once again Penn State was unable to score with the extra skater.
Ryan Wagner and Sam Sternschein were sent to the penalty box a couple of minutes later when the pair got into a scuffle after the whistle. The teams were very chippy to start the game and the referees tried to keep control.
Denis Smirnov made a great play on the defensive side of the ice that led to an open scoring chance. The sophomore scoring threat did not let the opportunity slip by.
Penn State had a 14-3 advantage in shots on goal at the time. Penn State was called for a penalty a few minutes later. During the the kill another penalty was handed to the Lions, and Wisconsin had a 5 on 3 advantage for 30 seconds. Both penalties came and went without a score.
This is a typical post-whistle scene from the first period. As you can see, there are a few different couples dancing together on the ice as the referees break up the party. No penalties were called on this particular scrum.
Very late in the period, with just three seconds to go, each side was given additional matching penalties. The teams went to the locker rooms with a 1-0 PSU lead but the bad blood was beginning to spill over.
Denis Smirnov nearly scored another goal in the opening moments of the second period with the teams skating 4 on 4. After the penalties expired, Wisconsin had Peyton Jones out of the net but was unable to get the puck behind him.
Trevor Hamilton fired a shot off the mask of Jack Berry while on a 3 on 2 break. Two trips down the ice later, Peyton Jones took a shot off the mask that halted play while he adjusted a strap in his headgear that was loosened by the puck.
Jones made a nice couple of saves shortly after to preserve the lead.
Brandon Biro was taken to the ice while on a breakaway a couple of minutes later. He was awarded a penalty shot for the infraction and was able to make it count, getting the puck between the legs of Jack Berry.
The Lions went on a power-play shortly after but it was Wisconsin that scored, when Ryan Wagner got the puck past Peyton Jones for a short-handed goal.
The setback didn’t last for very long, as Chase Berger restored the two-goal lead minutes later. On what could have become a 4 on 1 break, Berger took business himself.
Penn State was called for a penalty with five minutes to play before the second intermission. There were few scoring chances and no goals during the power-play but Wisconsin was able to gain momentum back from the Lions. The shots were 23-22 in favor of Penn State after the penalty.
Liam Folkes hit the post in the opening minute of the final period and just a few seconds later JD Greenway scored for the Badgers to cut the lead to 3-2.
Nate Sucese and Brandon Biro made a nice play to get the puck to Denis Smirnov to extend the lead to 4-2 later in the period.
A fight broke out and players were sent to the penalty box but the teams skated 5 on 5. The Badgers cut the lead to one when Linus Weissbach scored with fifteen minutes to play in the game. Nikita Pavlychev was called for a penalty shortly after and Wisconsin had a chance to tie the game with a power-play opportunity but was unable to score.
Max Zimmer tied the game with less than three minutes to play. Each team had late chances to score but the game went to overtime. Liam Folkes nearly scored late in overtime. This shot hit the nub on the end of Jack Berry’s stick.
The teams went to a shootout to determine which team would get 2 points in the Big Ten standings. Wisconsin won the shootout 1-0 to gain 5 points on the weekend in Big Ten standings to Penn State’s 1 point.