Series Preview: Men’s Hockey vs. Wisconsin
Host Jeremy Ganes and analysts Chris Hess and Zech Lambert preview Penn State's road series against Wisconsin.
The Penn State Nittany Lions are in the middle of the most important stretch of the season, and with a solid weekend in Columbus, they will look to secure their spot in the NCAA Tournament this weekend if they can stay hot.
The task at hand this weekend is another road trip, this time to Madison, Wisconsin to take on the Wisconsin Badgers. The Badgers have a lot of talent on their roster but have never shown serious consistency, and it has led to a disappointing season overall. The Badgers come in with a record of 10-17-1, which puts them at No. 37 in the PairWise. The Badgers have lost five straight games, including two sweeps against Minnesota and Michigan.
First-round draft pick Cole Caufield has not lived up to the mountain-high expectations he was given this year, but he still ranks 15th in total points with 32 in 28 games played. Caufield has recorded a point in 20 of the 28 games he’s played, which is extremely impressive.
Goaltending, however, has not been so impressive for the Badgers. Starting goalie Daniel Lebedeff is 8-13 on the year with a 3.52 goals-against average, which is one of the biggest reasons why the Badgers find themselves in last place in the Big Ten. The goaltending will be the deciding factor for the Badgers if they want to compete this weekend against a Penn State team this is catching fire.
The Nittany Lions come in at 18-9-3, having won their last time out 6-3 against Ohio State. They need to stay hot to solidify their place in the tournament come March, but they are also looking to lock up the top spot in the Big Ten, which is now theirs to lose, leading the Big Ten by two points ahead of Ohio State and Michigan.
A season in which the Nittany Lions have been struggling to consistently get shots on goal and score goals has seemed to come to an end, as they seem to be finding their groove with the offense being led by forward Nate Sucese, who has tallied 34 points on the season. The Nittany Lions love to spread the wealth, however, as they have four players in the top 50 for scoring. Senior goalie Peyton Jones is having his best season in Happy Valley, as he boasts a record of 16-8-2 with a 2.58 goals-against average.
This series is much more important to the Nittany Lions than the Badgers, but the Badgers would love to play spoiler this weekend and put the pressure on Penn State to hold its grip on the top seed in the Big Ten. With the conference tournament just three weeks away, the Nittany Lions should be playing their best hockey right now, and it seems as if they are doing just that. A top-heavy Wisconsin team will give them trouble on the road, but as the games progresses, it will be evident that Penn State is the much better team on the ice.
Prediction: Penn State sweeps 2-0
Game 1: Penn State 4, Wisconsin 1
Game 2: Penn State 3, Wisconsin 1
Danny Murray is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email him firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Fifth Year / Broadcast Journalism
Hailing from Long Island, Christopher is a fifth-year with experience broadcasting football, volleyball, hockey, baseball, softball and public address announcing. Chris has been featured on State College Saturdays, CommRadio’s Saturday college football pregame show, Daylate Tailgate, CommRadio’s Sunday college football recap show, and on a number of podcasts. Chris also writes a number of articles during football and hockey season and is an insider for the men’s hockey team. Chris is also a co-host on Hockey Night in State College and 1st & 10. Chris is interested in either play-by-play or working in the sports media department for a college or professional sports team alongside being a sports radio personality. To contact Chris, email @email@example.com.
Senior / Journalism
Senior / Broadcast journalism