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Penn State Falls To Wisconsin, 7-3

The Nittany Lions dropped their fourth consecutive game to open the season.

Penn State Men's Hockey 2020-21
Penn State Men’s Hockey 2020-21
Heather Weikel

Goals by Period

Team 1st 2nd 3rd OT Final
Team 1st 2nd 3rd OT Final
Penn State 0 1 2 x 3
Wisconsin 3 1 3 x 7

This was long expected to be a rebuilding year for Penn State.

Few would have expected just how much work was needed, though.

With their 7-3 loss to Wisconsin on Tuesday, the Nittany Lions dropped their fourth consecutive game to start the season.

The Nittany Lions are lacking the electrifying offense we’ve seen in prior seasons. For years now, it seemed the Nittany Lions were never out of a game, no matter how much they were trailing.

The combination of defensive deficiencies and a group of forwards largely not used to being relied on for production has flipped the script. The Badgers exploited that on Tuesday.

Tony Granato’s squad picked up where it left off Monday night, netting three goals in the opening frame and practically putting the game out of reach before the first period ended.

After a good-not-great outing in his first career start against Minnesota, Liam Soulière looked shaky in those opening 20 minutes. Twice he was beaten short side from favorable angles.

He also gifted the Badgers a goal and virtually ended the Nittany Lions’ comeback hopes early in the third period, giving away the puck as he left the crease to play it.

How It Happened

Linus Weissbach opened the scoring for Wisconsin less than seven minutes into the contest. After gathering the puck in the neutral zone, Weissbach flew down the left wing and beat Liam Soulière short side over the blocker.

A couple minutes later, Diminick Mersch doubled the Badgers lead. Mersch slipped a rebound through the legs of Soulière.

Late in the period, Cole Caufield extended the Badgers lead with a near carbon copy of Weissbach’s tally. On a Wisconsin power play, Caufield roared down the right wing and beat Soulière through the wickets once again.

Early in the second period, Alex Limoges cut into the Badgers lead with his first goal of the season. Limoges was left alone at the side of the net and beat Robbie Beydoun over the blocker after a perfect pass from Jimmy Dowd Jr.

The Badgers continued to pour it on at the start of the third period. Sam Stange netted his third of the weekend just 26 seconds into the period. He flipped a puck into an open net after Soulière gave away the puck behind his own net.

Less than a minute later, Cole Caufield potted his second of the game, beating Soulière from nearly the same spot as his first goal.

The Nittany Lions fought back with a pair of goals in short order. Xander Lamppa netted his first as a Nittany Lion as he finished off a tremendous effort by Jared Westcott.

Just over a minute later, Clayton Phillips beat Beydoun through a crowd for the Nittany Lions’ first power play goal of the season on their 13th attempt.

Cole Caufield completed his hat trick with an empty net goal with just over two minutes to play.