Wisconsin Halts Red-Hot Penn State with 4-1 Victory

Story posted January 21, 2021 in CommRadio, Sports by Christopher Hess

No. 12 Wisconsin flexed its muscles against Penn State and took game one of the series 4-1 on Thursday night at Pegula Ice Arena.

The Nittany Lions took seven penalties on the evening and it proved to be an issue throughout the night.

“I’m just disappointed that we were a very undisciplined team tonight,” head coach Guy Gadowsky said. “I don’t think we played disciplined with the puck either.”

It didn’t take long for that prolific Badgers attack to strike as Cole Caufield almost went bardown on Oskar Autio just :15 into the contest and the pressure mounted early on.

Penn State returned the favor, however, as a slashing penalty on Ryder Donovan gave the Nittany Lions a power-play and there were three quality chances, but Badgers netminder, Cameron Rowe, kept it a scoreless game.

Then penalties on Sam Sternschein and Alex Stevens gave Wisconsin a five-on-three, eventually resulting in Ty Pelton-Byce power-play goal to give the Badgers a 1-0 lead at 13:07 of the first period.

Wisconsin turned up the heat on Autio again but he was able stop Jason Dhooghe point-blank on a breakaway with 5:29 to play and kept it a 1-0 game.

Mathieu De St. Phalle then proceeded to go bardown on a wicked wrister at 16:58 to give Wisconsin a 2-0 lead in the back-end of the opening frame.

Wisconsin took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission, but it didn’t take long for Penn State to get themselves right back into the game

Kevin Wall added his seventh goal of the season at 1:00 of the second period with an on-ice shot that snuck between the wickets of Rowe.

Tempers flared for a good chunk of the period as both sides had “Grade A” chances and there was plenty of pushing and shoving.

Jack Gorniak had a wide-open shot at an empty net at 9:10 but whistled it just wide and the scored remained 2-1.

As the period went on, the game got far more physical as bodies were flying everywhere.

The second period ended with the Badgers leading 2-1 and the third period saw a lot of that same physical play from the second.

Penn State continued to penetrate the Wisconsin net but nothing was able to stick.

Mason Snell was booked for a hook at 13:13 of the third period and Cole Caufield finally made an impact.

The Montreal Canadiens draft pick went bardown from the high slot on Autio to give his team a 3-1 lead at 14:11 and that was the dagger.

Dominick Mersch added another goal at 16:41 coming out of the box after a slashing penalty, giving the Badgers a 4-1 lead.

Oskar Autio saved 26 of 29 shots faced for a save percentage of .897 while two of the goals given up came on the power-play.

The story of the game was Wisconsin netminder Cameron Rowe who stood on his head the entire evening saving 45 of 46 shots faced for a .978 save percentage.

The Nittany Lions and Badgers will meet again tomorrow evening at 6 p.m. back at Pegula Ice Arena.

Christopher Hess is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email christopherhess22@gmail.com.