Player Spotlight: Nate Sucese
After falling behind 3-1 against Minnesota on Saturday, the Nittany Lions needed to mount a substantial comeback on the road if they were to take home a series sweep of the Golden Gophers. Liam Folkes cut the Minnesota lead in half early on in the second period, and it was Nate Sucese who netted the equalizer a few minutes later.
The tying goal was significant because it set the tone for the remainder of the contest. The Nittany Lions dominated the third period, scoring three goals (including another tally from Sucese) and shutting out the Gophers to make it a 6-3 final.
The tying goal was additionally significant because it was the 55th goal in Sucese’s career—a new program record. The senior forward had been knotted at the top with former Nittany Lion Andrew Sturtz (2015-18), but he was finally able to break the tie after a three-game scoring drought.
“To finally get over the hump and get that one—it was really relieving,” Sucese said. “I’m super proud of my accomplishment, and I’m ready to build on it.”
Sucese has been regarded as one of the most consistent players to don the blue and white. He credits the mentality he’s had since his freshman year as the reason why he’s been able to sustain a high level of excellence at Penn State.
“I wanted to make a statement—to be the best player I could be every single day. I wanted to be a player that everyone knew what they were going to get every Friday and Saturday night.”
After last week’s memorable series, Sucese looks ahead to the Nittany Lions’ bout with Ohio State. It’s the first time these teams will have met since the Big Ten Tournament last season, when Penn State went into Columbus and cruised to a 5-1 victory.
“They’re going to remember what we did to them in the Big Ten playoffs last year; I don’t think that’s gone to the wayside for them,” Sucese said. “They’ve done well in the Big Ten so far this year, and they obviously want to steal some points from us, so it’s up to us to come out and start the fight on Friday night.”
Nate Sucese and the Nittany Lions take on the Ohio State Buckeyes this Friday and Saturday in the Pegula Ice Arena.
Connor Griffin is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.