Through much of Penn State’s Big Ten slate this season, the Nittany Lions have felt they’ve been just a lucky break away. A bounce that goes in the other direction here or there and their frankly abysmal conference record might look a lot different.
On Friday, the Nittany Lions didn’t have to rely too much on luck.
They did have to rely quite a bit on Liam Souliere, however.
In his first start since Nov. 24, Souliere stopped 40 out of 41 shots as the Nittany Lions beat Wisconsin 4-1, snapping their four-game conference losing streak.
Goals By Period
Admittedly nervous heading into his first start in nearly two months, Souliere settled in quickly, posting a shutout through the first 40-plus minutes of play. The only goal he yielded came via a point shot through a screen on a power play.
Souliere wasn’t the only Nittany Lion rewarded for his patience on Friday. Though Connor McMenamin hasn’t yet missed a game this season, he has been held without a goal since Nov. 12.
His determination and willingness to do the little things that Gadowsky holds in such high esteem finally paid off, as McMenamin netted a pair of goals, including the game winner.
How It Happened
Midway through the first period, the Nittany Lions opened the scoring near the tail end of a lengthy two-man advantage. After Kevin Wall hit the post with a shot, the Nittany Lions worked the puck down low to Ryan Kirwan, who snuck a shot short side through Jared Moe.
Later in the period, Connor McMenamin doubled the lead. As McMenamin escaped coverage in the attacking zone, Chritian Sarlo helped force a turnover and fed a pass to his linemate. With all day to shoot, McMenamin slipped a shot through the legs of Moe.
Midway through the second period, McMenamin netted his second of the night, picking the short side corner on Moe.
Late in the period, Kirwan also netted his second of the night. After some extended offensive pressure, Kirwan shoveled a rebound past Cameron Rowe.
Midway through the third period, the Badgers ended Liam Souliere’s shutout bid. On their second power play of the game, Corson Ceulemans collected the puck at the point and wristed one off the post and in.