Penn State travels to Columbus for control of Big Ten’s second seed

Story posted February 3, 2023 in CommRadio, Sports by Mac Young

The new year has not been kind to the Penn State Nittany Lions.

Three series into 2023 and Penn State has collected just one victory. That win came at home in the Nittany Lions’ annual “Wear White” game against Notre Dame.

This weekend Penn State hits the road for its final away series of the regular season facing the Ohio State Buckeyes at Value City Arena.

Last weekend the Nittany Lions had a chance to steal a game at Yost Ice Arena against Michigan establishing a 3-0 lead early.

However, the Wolverines stormed back, with top-five draft pick Luke Hughs piling in four goals to knock off Penn State 5-4.

Nittany Lions coach Guy Gadowsky was upset with his team’s regression in the second half of the season and hockey games.

“I think there’s things that we did well at the start of the year that we’re not doing well, specifically in the third period,” Gadowsky said.

The Penn State bench boss also mentioned that the team is struggling with a lot of injuries to key players.

Ben Schoen is now out for the season with a lower-body injury. Ryan Kirwan and Connor McMenamin have also been dealing with injuries.

Ohio State has been playing a bit better but has failed to pick up the series sweep in their last two divisional series.

The Buckeyes had last week off and should be well-rested as they prepare for a final gauntlet of four straight Big Ten series.

Ohio State goaltender Jakub Dobes collected his third shutout of the season with a 27-save effort against Wisconsin.

After a fantastic freshman campaign, the Czech Republic native has continued to be fantastic with a .921 save percentage and 2.18 goals against average.

Penn State will have to find creative ways to beat the star goaltender in the offensive zone, something the team has struggled with in the new year.

The Nittany Lions have been firing plenty of shots on goal, but are struggling to get to the juicy rebounds.

“We felt that we were nowhere near the level that we should be at and that’s in terms of getting to the net and taking advantage of what happens after those shots,” Gadowsky said.

Gadowsky added that to have success scoring in the Big Ten, a team must be able to get shots to the net as well as capture rebounds.

The blue and white will need to be crease creatures if they hope to have a strong offensive series against one of the best goaltenders in the Big Ten and in the entire country.

The Buckeyes and Nittany Lions are tied in terms of points for second place in the conference, but Ohio State has games in hand.

If Penn State has any hope at that precious No. 2 seed in the Big Ten tournament, they’ll need a pair of wins in Columbus. If the Nittany Lions want a crucial home series in the postseason, they have to win at least one of two this weekend.

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