No. 6 Penn State Uses Late Goal to Topple Buckeyes
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – In the first game back from the Thanksgiving hiatus, the No. 6 Penn State Nittany Lions defeated the No. 17 Ohio State Buckeyes thanks to a late third-period goal.
It was a feeling-out process for both squads through the first 10 minutes or so, but the game quickly picked up in pace and physicality throughout the remainder of the period and the game itself.
“I thought it was an excellent hockey game,” coach Guy Gadowsky said. “Wasn’t a lot of room out there and great goaltending on both ends.”
The stellar goaltending was not a surprise to most, as coming into the contest both Jakub Dobes and Liam Souliere were two of the best netminders in the Big Ten and the nation.
Each goaltender was matching the other shot-for-shot as the game progressed, with both Dobes and Souliere making incredible acrobatic saves.
“I think, as competitors, everyone wants to go against the best in the league and I would say [Dobes] is out there,” Souliere said. “It was a tough game for both of us but I’m happy we got the win.”
It seemed like neither team would be able to crack the opposing goaltender in this contest as time continued to wind down late in the third period knotted up at one apiece with overtime looming.
Yet, just like the Rubix Cube that was displayed on the jumbotron, the Nittany Lions were finally able to solve Dobes.
A shot from the point from Jimmy Dowd Jr. snuck its way through the legs of the sophomore goaltender and would eventually be the game-winner as the clock hit zeros.
“It feels good. It’s something I’ve been preaching ever since I stepped foot on campus,” Dowd Jr. said. “Just shoot pucks, get pucks on net and it felt good to be the one to win it.”
While Dowd Jr. preached about getting pucks on net, Gadowsky preached about the power play, which has continuously gotten better over the last few weeks.
Connor MacEachern found the back of the net mere seconds into the blue and white’s first power play opportunity, while Dowd Jr. scored the second goal immediately after another man advantage.
“I liked a lot of what happened,” Gadowsky said. “We had a couple of shots off the post too, so there was a lot to like tonight.”
Power plays were plentiful in the matchup, with animosity between two programs that have a rich history.
“I think that’s a trend that’s going to continue as we go through the years,” Gadowsky said. “The great thing about college hockey and the Big Ten in general is that every game is so, so important.”
One key reason the Nittany Lions have been so dominant all season long has been their success in the faceoff dots. This contest was no different.
Penn State had the advantage between the dots 55-22, absolutely smothering the Buckeyes all game long. Three out of the four centermen of the night were over 65% in the circles as well.
“With our program, we’ve always been on the side that faceoffs are extremely important,” Gadowsky said. “If you look at college hockey and the teams that make the tournament, faceoffs are one of the commonalities. So I think it’s really really important.”
Penn State improved to 14-3-0 on the season and 6-3-0 in conference play while Ohio State drops to 9-7-1 and 4-5-0 in conference play. These two teams will do it again Saturday night at 5:30 p.m. for the annual Teddy Bear Toss game.
Joshua Bartosik is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.