No. 6 Penn State men’s hockey (10-3-1-1, 2-3-0-1 Big Ten) completed its series on the road against Wisconsin (6-7-2-1, 1-3-3-1 Big Ten) with an 8-5 loss in Madison.
Liam Folkes, Evan Barratt, Sam Sternschein, and Nikita Pavlychev scored for the Nittany Lions, who put up four straight goals in the second period. However, the Badgers responded with five consecutive tallies of their own to hand Guy Gadowsky’s team its third regulation loss of the season.
Peyton Jones made 28 saves in the defeat.
How It Happened
Wisconsin opened the scoring 2:22 into Saturday’s game thanks to Matthew Freytag’s first goal of the 2018-19 campaign.
The line of Alex Limoges, Evan Barratt, and Liam Folkes responded 20 seconds after the goal to tie the game at one. Folkes scored his seventh goal of the season as Barratt and Limoges widened their lead atop the NCAA’s scoring charts with assists on the play.
An evenly-contested first period ended with a second goal for the Badgers. Will Johnson scored his fourth of the year with 71 seconds left in the frame to give his team a 2-1 lead entering the intermission.
Things went from bad to worse for the Nittany Lions early on in the second period — Wyatt Kalynuk banked the puck in off Peyton Jones’ back to extend Wisconsin’s lead to 3-1 just over a minute into the second period.
Barratt provided another response for the Nittany Lions — he converted a beautiful tic-tac-toe passing play from, you guessed it, Limoges and Folkes. His 12th goal of the season trimmed Wisconsin’s lead down to one.
The trio wasn’t done there. Folkes quickly followed Barratt’s goal with his eighth of the season on the power play. He collected a beautiful back-pass by Limoges and fired a wrist shot glove side to tie the game at three with 15:55 to play in the second period. Alex Stevens picked up the secondary assist on the power play goal, which was the second goal in 49 seconds.
Penn State scored its third consecutive goal when Nikita Pavlychev rifled home his ninth of the year and second in as many games. His goal, which came after a juicy rebound, gave the team its first lead of the evening with 9:20 to play in the second. Sam Sternschein and Wisconsin native Cole Hults got the assists on the play.
Sternschein posted another goal for the Nittany Lions on the power play to extend their lead to 5-3. His fifth of the year chased Wisconsin’s Daniel Lebedeff out of the net, as he was replaced by Jack Berry.
Wisconsin got a goal back late in the period on the power play. Will Johnson’s second of the game trimmed Penn State’s lead to 5-4 with 1:15 to play in the frame, and that’s exactly how the first 40 minutes of the game ended.
The third period could not have gone worse for the Nittany Lions, who let the game slip away by conceding four consecutive goals. Max Zimmer tied things up at five with 9:45 to play in the frame, and first-round draft pick K’Andre Miller scored the game-winner 2:26 after the tying goal.
Tarek Baker added an insurance tally with just under four minutes left in the game, and an empty-netter by Peter Tischke sealed the result with 2:55 to play. Penn State lost its third game in regulation this season tonight — all three of those losses have come in Big Ten play.
- There are three constants in this world: death, taxes, and the line of Alex Limoges, Evan Barratt, and Liam Folkes producing offense. The line combined to create Penn State’s first two goals of the game as the two sophomores on the line kept their spots on top of college hockey’s scoring ranks.
- Wisconsin scored 11 goals in eight games throughout the month of November, but put up six goals in this weekend’s series against Penn State. The Nittany Lions are obviously an elite team in terms of scoring, but their defense needs to tighten up as the season continues.
- Saturday’s game was all about scoring streaks — Penn State scored four unanswered goals in the second period to take what seemed like a firm grasp on the game, but Wisconsin responded with five straight goals of its own to claim the victory tonight.
The Nittany Lions will host No. 8 Notre Dame for their final conference series before winter break. The puck will drop at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights at Pegula Ice Arena.