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Penn State Splits Series Against Wisconsin With 5-4 Win

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The Nittany Lions nearly blew a three-goal lead in the third period.

Heather Weikel | Black Shoe Diaries

Goals By Period

Team 1st 2nd 3rd OT Final
Team 1st 2nd 3rd OT Final
Wisconsin 0 1 3 x 4
Penn State 3 1 1 x 5

Penn State has made great strides this season in its ability to close out games. A three-goal lead to start the third period should have been an easy task for the Nittany Lions.

Instead, the Nittany Lions struggled to keep Wisconsin at bay, ultimately escaping the game with a 5-4 victory over the Badgers.

The Nittany Lions’ effort looked promising as the third period crossed the halfway point. The Badgers had managed just four shots on Oskar Autio up to that point of the period. Shortly after the media timeout, however, the Badgers came to life, trimming the lead to one within a 96-second span.

Even after the Nittany Lions potted an empty-net goal, the Badgers fought back with a Cole Caufield tally a mere 50 seconds after the Nittany Lions insurance marker. Caufield was set up for a one timer to level the game in the dying seconds, but the pass drifted through his legs and into the corner as the Nittany Lions killed what was left on the clock.

The Nittany Lions found themselves with the three-goal lead thanks in part to a first period onslaught. A night after Cameron Rowe stopped 45 of 46 shots, his night wouldn’t even last the opening period. The Nittany Lions pumped three past him on 16 shots, including a pair separated by just 13 seconds.

Aarne Talvitie netted a pair of those goals, while Connor McMenamin tied the single-game program records for assists with four and points with five.

How It Happened

The Nittany Lions opened the scoring less than three minutes into the contest. After a great effort from Christian Sarlo to win the puck back in the neutral zone, Aarne Talvitie guided a Connor McMenamin pass through the legs of Cameron Rowe.

Just 13 seconds later, Kevin Wall doubled the lead as he banked a shot in off Rowe’s skate.

Later in the period, Talvitie netted his second of the game on the power play. Buzzing down the left wing, Talvitie picked the corner past Rowe’s blocker.

Just over seven minutes into the middle frame, the Badgers got on the board as Dylan Holloway beat Oskar Autio glove side on a breakaway.

Clayton Phillips responded for the Nittany Lions a little more than two minutes later, beating Robbie Beydoun with a shot through traffic from the left circle.

Midway through the third period, Roman Ahcan trimmed the Nittany Lions’ lead to two as he buried a one timer from the slot.

Barely 90 seconds later, Ty Pelton-Byce brought the Badgers within one as he wired a shot under the crossbar after a slick passing sequence.

With under two minutes to play, McMenamin hit the empty net for his fifth point of the night.

The Badgers wouldn’t go quietly into the night, however. Cole Caufield beat Autio from a sharp angle with just under a minute to play.