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Penn State Drops Series Opener Against Wisconsin, 4-1

The Nittany Lions ran into another hot goaltender against the Badgers.

Heather Weikel | Black Shoe Diaries

Goals by Period

Team 1st 2nd 3rd OT Final
Team 1st 2nd 3rd OT Final
Wisconsin 2 0 2 x 4
Penn State 0 1 0 x 1

Another game, another goaltender having a career performance against Penn State.

The Nittany Lions winning streak ended at three games as Wisconsin took the series opener 4-1. Badgers goaltender Cameron Rowe stopped 45 of the 46 shots he faced in the contest.

The freshman netminder started the season backing up Robbie Beydoun, the goalie of record for the Badgers’ early-season sweep of the Nittany Lions. Three-straight losses ensued for Beydoun, and coach Tony Granato made the switch.

It doesn’t appear he’ll be looking back any time soon.

In his five appearances entering the game, Rowe had yielded five goals on 104 shots.

In previous incarnations of this occurrence, it’s been touched upon how Penn State’s style lends itself to incredible numbers for opposing goalies. That was mostly the case against the Badgers, though the Nittany Lions managed their share of quality chances, particularly in an 18-shot third period.

Though Rowe’s light shined brighter, Oskar Autio’s was certainly not dim. He had arguably his best performance of the season, stopping 26 of 29 shots. Badgers star Cole Caufield, who finished with a goal and an assist, welcomed Autio to the contest with a laser beam of a shot directly off the forehead not even half a minute into the game.

There was only so much Autio could do as the Nittany Lions afforded the Badgers seven power play opportunities. Ty Pelton-Byce netted the game’s opening goal with the man advantage, while Caufield potted the insurance tally late in the third period.

How It Happened

With just under seven minutes to play in the first period, the Badgers opened the scoring with a power play tally. Cole Caufield rifled a pass across to Ty Pelton-Byce at the side of the net. Pelton-Byce beat Oskar Autio on the race to the post, lifting a shot over Autio’s shoulder and just under the crossbar.

The Badgers swiftly took over the game following the goal. Shortly before the opening period ended, Mathieu De St. Phalle doubled the lead with his first collegiate goal. After a nifty passing sequence by the Badgers, De St. Phalle picked the blocker-side corner on Autio.

Precisely one minute into the second period, Kevin Wall cut the Badgers’ lead in half. Working the cycle with Tim Doherty, Wall fired a sharp-angle shot from the left circle that found space between Cameron Rowe’s hip and the post.

With under seven minutes to play in a third period dominated by the Nittany Lions, Cole Caufield took advantage of a man advantage as he sniped one from the blue line.

Dominick Mersch capped off the scoring with an empty net goal with just under four minutes to play.