Schoen Steals The Show; Penn State Upsets No. 12 Ohio State In Shootout
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State continued its winning ways on Friday night at Pegula Ice Arena.
The blue and white tied No. 12 Ohio State at two after overtime but picked up the extra point capturing the shootout victory.
The Penn State faithful were ready for this Big Ten battle and coach Guy Gadowsky praised the fans for how loud they were throughout the contest.
“They bring it every night, it’s not just every once in a while. They are unbelievable,” Gadowsky said. “They kept us in there. They were positive. They were great. They were energetic. We rode their wave. They're the best in college hockey. They are.”
After scoring 11 goals last weekend in their series sweep against Wisconsin, the Nittany Lions wasted little time getting on the board in Friday's affair.
Just five minutes into the contest freshman forward Danny Dzhaniyev found the back of the net after a beautiful pass by freshman forward Ben Schoen.
The blue and white continued to generate chances after the goal and Dzhaniyev came inches away from giving his team a two-goal advantage but freshman goalie Jakub Dobes made an excellent save.
Gadowsky praised the two freshmen in Schoen and Dzhaniyev for their recent performances.
“They both started really fast and then the transition caught up to them and that's when they really had to work and they both did,” Gadowsky said. “When guys play for the team, good things seem to follow and that’s what’s going on.”
Midway through the opening period, the Buckeyes tied the game after Cam Thiesing tipped a shot past sophomore goalie Liam Souliere.
The score remained deadlocked at one until late in the second period when Ohio State took the lead after Joe Dunlap scored his fifth goal of the year.
Ohio State continued to create scoring chances however, Souliere stood tall and the Nittany Lions only trailed by a goal heading into the period.
Penn State came out firing to start the period and nearly tied it up several times but its shots just went wide or in the case of Schoen hit iron.
After hitting iron earlier in the period, Schoen capitalized on his next chance, tying the game at two just six minutes into the period.
Sophomore defender Jimmy Dowd. Jr made a great play to draw Dobes out of his net for his 16th assist this season.
“We were on the bench saying “If he is going to press that hard, why not try and take it around him,”’ Schoen said. “Jimmy did it and I knew he was going to fake it so I just went to the net and he got it right there.”
After Schoen’s goal, both teams had high-quality chances to score the go-ahead but both goalies stood strong and the game headed to overtime.
Overtime was a similar story to the ending of the third period with both teams having great chances to score but were unable to find twine.
The game was officially ruled as a tie after overtime but a shootout was necessary to see which team picked up the crucial extra point.
While Gadowsky said before he prefers 3-on-3 overtime instead of the randomness of a shootout, the blue and white were confident heading into the shootout.
In the shootout, both teams missed their first two shots however, it was Ohio State who drew first blood when Eric Cooley scored.
With the extra point on the line, Gadowsky sent junior forward Connor MacEachern and MacEachern made no mistake as he beat Dobes on the shot.
After a Buckeye miss, it was Schoen’s turn to win it for Penn State and in his first collegiate shootout nerves were high for the freshman.
“To get the opportunity from coach Gadowsky to tap on me and tell me I’m up, I was pretty nervous for sure,” Schoen said.
The Maumee, Ohio, native went to his backhand and the puck just got past Dobes as the blue and white upset No. 12 Ohio State and pick up the extra point.
“Just looking up and seeing the place erupt was a pretty special moment,” Schoen said. “I got my family here and were all from Ohio so to beat the Buckeyes was definitely pretty special for me.”
Penn State will be back in action on Saturday for game two against the Buckeyes.
Alex Rocco is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com