No. 13 Men’s Hockey falls to No. 4 Ohio State, Swept at Home
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa -- Ohio State scored four power-play goals on 10 chances, downing Penn State 6-4 at Pegula Ice Arena Saturday.
The Buckeyes (15-5-4) allowed two short-handed goals from the Nittany Lions (13-9-2), but controlled an intense second period and held off a Nittany Lion rally in the third to secure the win.
“When you’re on the penalty kill, you’re not on it to to score short-handed goals,” Penn State head coach Guy Gadowsky said. “You’re on it to kill it, and we had to kill a lot of minutes tonight, but we let four in.”
Similar to Friday’s prequel, Ohio State opened up the scoring. Grant Gabrielle fired a slapshot from the right dot past Peyton Jones about six minutes into the game, giving the Buckeyes an early 1-0 advantage.
10 minutes later, Evan Barratt, fresh off leading Team USA to a silver medal at World Juniors, had another highlight reel play.
The sophomore broke away on an Ohio State power play, put the moves on a pair of Buckeyes and netted the first shorthanded tally of his career. This tied the game at one with four minutes to play in the opening period.
“I thought this was a really good night for that line,” Gadowsky said. “I think they [Barratt, Liam Folkes, Alex Limoges] will gain a lot of confidence, because Ohio State’s a great team, and they showed his they can produce opportunities.”
Penn State carried the momentum into the opening stages of the second period, when Liam Folkes went top-shelf on Tommy Nappier to give the Nittany Lions their only lead of the weekend at 2-1.
However, the penalty bug came back to bite Penn State, as Ludvig Larsson’s trip resulted in Dakota Joshua capitalizing with a power-play goal, making it 2-2 with 16 minutes to play in the middle stanza.
From there, emotions started to boil over. Kris Myllari was given a two-minute roughing penalty, and while Ohio State took to the power play, Nate Sucese was whistled for a hold, giving the Buckeyes a chance at 5-on-3 hockey. They capitalized about 30 seconds in, as Matt Miller beat Jones glove-side for a 3-2 lead.
Minutes later, Penn State’s Blake Gober laid a brutal hit on Ohio State’s Tanner Lacznyski that sent him flying into the boards in front of a raucous Roar Zone. A scuffle ensued, and when the dust cleared, Gober was assessed a five-minute major plus a game misconduct for boarding. Lacznyski exited the game holding his right arm in place.
Again, Penn State tied it up during an Ohio State power play. Nate Sucese fed Larsson on the breakaway and he finished to tie the game at three with around six minutes to play in the middle stanza.
Momentum shifted hands back to the Buckeye side when Joshua scored his second goal of the evening towards the end of the five-minute major. Ohio State led 4-3 with five minutes to go in the second period and never turned back.
The Buckeyes went on to score twice more to build their lead to 6-3 before Chase Berger’s rebound tally brought the Nittany Lions within two.
Although Penn State outshot the Buckeyes 19-7 in the final period, it wasn’t enough, and the Buckeyes completed the sweep with a 6-4 victory.
Ohio State will await the injury news on their star forward Lacznyski as they move to 15-5-4 on the year. Penn State drops to 13-9-2 as they get set for a trip to Ann Arbor then Madison Square Garden next weekend.
Matt Freiler is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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