Penn State drops game one of Big Ten quarterfinals at Ohio State

Story posted March 4, 2023 in CommRadio, Sports by Mac Young

The No. 10 Penn State Nittany Lions dropped game one of the best-of-three Big Ten quarterfinals 5-1 to the Ohio State Buckeyes Friday evening.

Buckeye forward Stephen Halliday was the star of the show with a four-point performance and the game-sealing goal in the third period.

Penn State had a strong start to the contest outshooting Ohio State 14-11 in the first period. However, the Buckeyes notched the lone goal of the period during the first five minutes of play with Davis Burnside scoring off a Halliday assist.

The Nittany Lions had a decent start to period two as well, killing off a penalty and providing some pressure against Buckeye goaltender Jakub Dobes.

The turning point of the hockey game came just over four minutes into the middle frame when Christian Berger and Dalton Messina each received roughing penalties sending their respective squads to four-on-four hockey.

The Buckeyes took advantage of the open ice scoring two goals within 44 seconds of each other. Tyler Duke and Cam Thiesing recorded the tallies.

During this four-on-four and during the rest of the game for that matter, Penn State looked a step slow against the Ohio State skaters.

Cole McWard would bury a beautifully executed power-play goal later in the period to extend the Ohio State lead to four.

The Nittany Lions struggled to mount any kind of rapid comeback effort in the third, especially against the wall that is Dobes.

The Buckeye netminder turned away 34 of Penn State’s 35 shots.

That one Penn State goal stands out as one of the few bright spots for the blue and white.

After struggling mightily in their last game against the Wisconsin Badgers, the Nittany Lions' power play got on the board with Ture Linden steering one by Dobes.

Outside of that goal, Penn State has little to take away from this game. For just the fifth time this season the Nittany Lions were outshot in a game with four of those occasions coming against the Buckeyes.

The beauty of the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals is that the teams play a three-game series, so Penn State should be able to throw this performance out the door and buckle down for an elimination game Saturday night.

The Nittany Lions found them in this exact situation in the same place last season. Penn State lost game one against the Buckeyes in Columbus 4-3 before rattling off victories in games two and three to clinch the series.

In Big Ten quarterfinal elimination games the Nittany Lions are 4-0 since the conference enacted the three-game series format.

The history and the way Penn State has played Ohio State closely all year weighs in the Nittany Lions' favor, but it will be up to the veteran leaders on this team to mount a series comeback in enemy territory.

All eyes will be on the action in Colombus with the Nittany Lions trying to avoid a three-game losing skid before possibly entering their first NCAA tournament since 2018.

Maclain Young is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email macyoung21@gmail.com.