Barratt Has Monster Game in Back and Forth Shootout
Evan Barratt led the way with a hat-trick in a huge overtime victory for Penn State over Big Ten conference opponent Michigan and took home a well-deserved first star of the game.
The Nittany Lions needed every goal in this overtime thriller as they looked to rebound from a 6-4 loss to Michigan in the series opener. The line of Barratt, Limoges and Folkes continued to terrorize the opposition.
“His mind is absolutely elite, and so is his competitive level. He’s just a hockey player and he’s fun to watch,” head coach Guy Gadowsky said of Barratt.
Folkes found Barrett in the early stages of the first period to get out to a quick 1-0 lead during the first power play of the game and Barratt never looked back on the way to his ninth goal on the season.
Barratt’s second goal was scored a during a 4-4 matchup, with two players from both Michigan and Penn State in the penalty box after an altercation where players on both sides were called for roughing and embellishment. Brandon Biro found Barratt on a nice pass while the offense worked with plenty of space on the ice, and the goal put the Nittany Lions up 3-2.
The third goal of the hat trick came with 5:57 left to play in the second period off of assists by his old pals Alex Limoges and Liam Folkes. The ice was then barraged by the hats of cheering fans going ballistic in the Pegula Ice Arena.
“It’s definitely really special. Me, Folkes and [Limoges] have been all over recently and we’re just excited that the kind of work is starting to pay off recently,” Evan Barratt said.
The Wolverines and the Nittany Lions came out swinging in an exciting third period, and there were a total of six goals scored in the last frame of regulation. For Penn State, the goal scorers were Brandon Biro and Nate Sucese in a very back and forth period.
Dakota Raabe, Nick Pastujov, Will Lockwood and Garrett Van Wyhe all scored goals in an explosive period for Michigan. The Wolverines fought all the way back to tie the game with just over one minute to play in regulation and sent the game into overtime in front of an electric crowd.
The third period was also extremely physical, which is to be expected in a Big Ten matchup. The speed, physicality and intensity were certainly turned up for squads.
“It being our first weekend, you can see the pace pick up right away with physicality. There’s definitely a difference and we definitely feel it. Just faster, quicker and a lot more on the line,” Sam Sternschein said in reference to Big Ten hockey compared to out of conference play.
Michigan found themselves in prime position to score only seconds after Van Wyhe scored his goal late in the third to bring the Wolverines within one. Nolan Moyle of Michigan and Penn State’s Cole Hults found themselves in a shoving match in front of Penn State’s net, which led to a fistfight. Both players were sent to the penalty box with just over three minutes to play.
Overtime did not last long. Nikita Pavylchev corralled the faceoff and immediately started towards Michigan’s net. He fired the puck, it ricocheted, and Sam Sternschein was there to recover it.
“[Pavylchev] did a great job going forward with the draw and I think he shot it and I went straight for the net and somehow the puck ended up right there,” Sternschein said about the final sequences of the game.
There was nothing in front of Sternschein but Strauss Mann, the Freshman goaltender for the Wolverines. Sternschein took his shot and it was true, finding the back of the net. Overtime had concluded with only six ticks off the clock and Penn State would walk out of the arena the 7-6 victor.
Logan Dolby is a Junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him email firstname.lastname@example.org.